Billie Eilish, the young American singer-songwriter, made history when she took home five Grammys over the weekend, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist.
The sensational haul makes her the youngest and first female artist ever to sweep the prestigious awards.
Eilish’s brother, who is also her producing partner, Finneas O’Connell, said after the win, “We didn’t make this album to win a Grammy. We didn’t think it would win anything ever. We wrote an album about depression, suicidal thoughts, and climate change, and being the bad guy, whatever that means.”
“We stand up here confused and grateful,” he said.
Last year, the 18-year old LA-native became the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one record on the U.S Billboard charts.
Such a haul is not unprecedented, female artists including Adele and Norah Jones have achieved similar results at the Grammys. But her age and the fact she is a first-time Grammy nominee make it particularly impressive.
Eilish is also an outspoken climate activist – last November, she wore a T-shirt with the message “No Music on a Dead Planet” printed loud and bold to the American Music Awards.
Her image is uncharacteristic of the sexualised-tropes we so often see, and she has said publicly she’s never smoked, never done drugs.
Closer to home, on Saturday with her song “Bad guy”, she became the youngest ever artist and first ever solo female artist to top Triple J’s Hottest 100.
Her music video for “All the Good Girls Go to Hell,” is laden with blunt references to bushfires raging across parts of the world ( “Hills burn in California / My turn to ignore ya / Don’t say I didn’t warn ya”.
She’s also active on Instagram, posting climate-related activism and mobilising awareness and support through her attendance at climate strikes, including the youth climate strike in Los Angeles in November last year.
When she spoke to LA times, she said, “It’s weird…It feels like we’re living in a movie that you’d watch where the world is like ending. We could stop it, but we’re not going to because everybody’s too lazy …We’re about to die if we don’t change.”
“I’ve had a million dreams about the world ending…It makes you realise how nothing we all are, and how little everyone’s lives matter because the world itself, if the world dies, we’re all gone. I want to have children and I want them to have children. That’s possibly not going to happen, and I hate it.”
Eilish rose to fame in 2016 when she uploaded the song “Ocean Eyes” onto SoundCloud; earning her an instant fanbase. Last April, Hollywood Reporter published details she’d signed a $25-million deal for an Apple TV+ documentary based on her life as a young artist.
Her latest video for “Everything i wanted” was released last week and has had almost 20 million views since.