Happy Birthday Billie Eilish: Look back at her illustrious music career so far
Billie Eilish has the sort of career that makes anyone feel like an underachiever. What were you doing when you were thirteen? She was busy, producing songs with her brother and well on her way to being discovered by the music industry. Meanwhile, the rest of us were probably busy freaking out about the feud between Taylor Swift & Nicki Minaj (the year was 2015, kids).
It’s been five years since Billie Eilish released her single “Ocean Eyes” during the humble Soundcloud era of her career. She used the platform for some great free music promotion and was eventually signed by Interscope Records, where she released her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
The number of milestones she has reached in that relatively short time is quite impressive, and worth celebrating as Eilish turns one year older. Happy birthday, Billie Eilish: here’s a loving recap of your achievements so far!
Even before Billie Eilish became the massive household name she is these days, the young singer’s early work caught the eye of Apple Music, which led to Eilish signing with the A&R company Platoon. Platoon specialized in packaging emerging artists before they got a major-label contract. Throw in a publicist, a connection to the fashion brand Chanel, and a stylist, and Billie Eilish was ready to take over the world.
The music video for “Ocean Eyes” premiered on Billie Eilish’s YouTube channel on March 24th, 2016. The song & its young performer received praise from numerous media outlets and marketers, setting the stage for the continuous success she would see over the following years.
Don’t Smile at Me
By the time Billie Eilish released her first EP, she had been signed to Darkroom & Interscope Records for about a year – and had been hard at work generating new singles & content for her YouTube channel. The EP, Don’t Smile at Me, was released on August 11th, 2017, and was a sleeper hit, eventually reaching number 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
The EP’s release launched Billie Eilish’s first headlining tour – the Don’t Smile at Me Tour – throughout October 2017. Don’t Smile at Me also initiated a long & productive relationship between Eilish’s team & Spotify, with the streaming company falling hard for the blossoming artist and promoting her on its most popular playlist, “Today’s Top Hits”. The promotion provided a big boost to Billie-Eilish-mania.
Build-up to an album
Billie Eilish started 2018 by embarking on her second headlining tour – the Where’s My Mind Tour – from February to April. She spent the rest of the year collaborating with other artists (Drake on the B-side “Hotline Bling”, Khalid on the single “Lovely”) as well as releasing more solo work. When Forbes placed Eilish on their “2018 30 Under 30” list in November, nobody was surprised.
Billie Eilish received a late birthday present in January 2019, when Don’t Smile at Me reached a billion streams on Spotify. The milestone carried extra weight because it made her the youngest artist to top one billion streams on a project. At least one of those streams was you, wasn’t it? That makes you part of music history!
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
March 29th, 2019: the day Billie Eilish kicked her career into high gear. The release of her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was celebrated by Spotify by launching a full-blown promotional campaign behind it (told you they fell hard for her). Spotify went as far as setting up a “pop up enhanced album experience” in Los Angeles, providing fans with different artwork and a “multisensory” take on each track.
When We All Fall Asleep debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 & the UK Albums Chart. Billie Eilish became the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number-one album in the United States, as well as the youngest female ever to have a number-one album in the United Kingdom.
As if that wasn’t cool enough, Billie Eilish broke an interesting record with the release of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?: most songs simultaneously charting on the Hot 100. She had fourteen songs on the chart at one time – basically the entire When We All Fall Asleep album with the exception of one track.
November 2019 was a huge month for Billie Eilish, and not only because she was crowned 2019’s Billboard Woman of the Year (you can call that one an early birthday present).
On November 20th, 2019, Billie Eilish became the youngest artist to be nominated in all four General Field categories at the 62nd Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year (“Bad Guy”), Album of the Year and Best New Artist. In a turn of events that shocked absolutely no one, she would later become the youngest person & first woman to win those four main categories.
2020 saw Billie Eilish spread her reach over to the movie industry. On February 9th, she performed a soulful rendition of The Beatles’s “Yesterday” at the Oscars, during the In Memoriam segment – a performance that had been kept under wraps leading up to the ceremony and which proved to be one of the night’s highlights.
Later in February, Billie Eilish made history again as she became the youngest artist to write & perform a song for the James Bond franchise. Eilish recorded the titular track for the 25th Bond movie, No Time To Die, and the single was released on February 13th, 2020 – once again leading her to the top of the UK Charts.
“No Time To Die” was the second Bond theme to ever top British charts and the first theme by a female artist to do so.
Most Billie Eilish fans would probably agree that her biggest accomplishment isn’t the amount of recognition she’s earned, but rather the quality of her music. Still, what better way to celebrate Billie Eilish’s birthday than reading about her achievements? That’s what we’re here for.
Have you wished Billie Eilish a happy birthday yet?