Remember That Time Billie Eilish (Queen Of Grammys) Sang In Spanish And Stole Our Hearts
The saga of how Billie Eilish rose to fame isn’t really a saga at all—she’s gotten so famous so quickly that it’s more like a short story, a quick cuento about a hyper-talented girl who took the internet (then, the world) by storm. Just three years ago, Eilish uploaded the song “Ocean Eyes”—a track written and produced by her brother Finneas O’Connell, who she continues to collaborates with on almost all her songs—to SoundCloud, and it didn’t take long before the video went viral and the tune was picked up by Interscope Records. Eilish was just 14 at the time, but there was a magical quality about her voice, something that seemed to transcend her age and electrify a wide range of listeners across the globe.
Then, in early 2017, Eilish released a series of singles, one of which was part of the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack. And just a few months later, an EP called Don’t Smile At Me appeared. It reached the Top 15 in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia, and just like that, Eilish became one of the most striking and entrancing artists on the map.
Since then, Eilish has become one of the most ubiquitous names in pop music, breaking a series of records along the way. Por ejemplo: After the release of her debut full-length album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Eilish became the first artist born in the 2000s to have a No. 1 album in the US, and the youngest female of all time with a No. 1 album in the UK. The album broke the record for most simultaneously charting Billboard Hot 100 songs by a female artist, after all 14 songs from the album landed on the charts. She is also the first artist born in the 2000s—and the youngest artist since Lorde—to have a No. 1 single, with the song “Bad Guy.”
In fall of 2019, Eilish announced her 2020 world tour, which will begin in North America before stopping in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.
Credit: Christopher Polk / Shutterstock
From South America, Eilish will move on to Europe and the UK. While there are still tickets available in a few cities outside the US and Canada, the entire North American part of the tour sold out in the first hour—that’s 500,000 tickets sold in a virtual instant.
Sara Bollwinkel, Eilish’s co-agent at Paradigm, told Pollstar, “It’s impossible to know how quickly a tour will sell out, but Billie has sold out every tour in the last four years in under a minute. The build was gradual into these arenas and she is very ready for them.”
She added, “The truth is, whatever amount of tickets are available will get sold. [Eilish] probably could have played MSG (Madison Square Garden) two years ago, but it doesn’t make sense to put a 15-year-old on a stage that big without the right experience under her belt. And, frankly, that is just a lot to put on a kid. We decided to take our time and build her up to it.”
Right—we must not forget that Eilish literally JUST turned 18 and is already selling out stadiums all over the world. But amid all her rapid rise to superstardom, the teenager has managed to stay humble, grounded, and goofy. She’s also proven to be open to embracing and respecting other cultures—and no, we’re not just talking about her long-overdue collaboration with Spanish artist Rosalia.
Although some folks have drawn attention to Eilish’s signature style (androgynous, baggy, and ostentatious in all its glory), claiming that she’s been incorrectly praised for starting a trend long-heralded by black women, others argue that Eilish is not problematic at all, citing the fact that she’s given credit to the black designers who have inspired and helped shape her sense of fashion. And Eilish, in spite of not speaking any other language fluently, has made efforts—however basic—to engage with her international fans (on social media, on the radio, at live shows, etc.) in su propia lengua.
Perhaps the best example of this isn’t in conversations with Eilish, but a cover she made of Carla Morrison’s “Eres Tu” a few years ago.
Several YouTube users praised her ethereal voice, acknowledging that although Eilish wrote in the description that she “actually doesn’t even speak Spanish,” her cover of Morrison’s song turned out to be really good.