Billie Eilish

Singer/songwriter Billie Eilish's ethereal voice and penchant for ruminative, hip-hop-flavored alt-pop songs made her a chart-topping music artist with her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), all while still in her teens. Born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell on December 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, she and her older brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O'Connell, were raised by their parents, actors Patrick O'Connell and Maggie Baird, in the city's Highland Park neighborhood. Both siblings were homeschooled by their mother, who taught them rudimentary songwriting as part of their curriculum. Dance was Eilish's first outlet, by at the age of eight, she began singing with the Los Angeles Children's Chorus. Finneas was the first of the pair to show musical aptitude by writing and producing his own original material at the age of 12. But in 2015, he recruited his sister, then 13, to provide vocals for a track he'd written titled "Ocean Eyes." They then uploaded the song to SoundCloud with the intent of having Eilish's dance teacher choreograph a dance routine for it. But the song began to make the rounds on the music streaming service, and with the help of word of mouth and some unofficial remixes, "Ocean Eyes" became an online sensation with 14 million streams. The popularity of the track led to a recording contract with Darkroom, a marketing company turned independent music label, in partnership with Interscope Records; the two companies reissued "Ocean Eyes" to overwhelming critical acclaim in 2016, and encouraged Eilish and her brother, who was now her permanent collaborator, to write more music. The incubator approach yielded impressive results: a new single, "Bellyache," was released in 2017, and swiftly followed by "Bored," which found its way to the soundtrack for the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" (2017- ), and then "Watch" and "Copycat," all of which would be featured on Eilish's debut EP, Don't Smile at Me in the summer of 2017. Momentum built slowly but steadily for the record, which rose from No. 185 on the Billboard 200 to the Top 100 a year later and finally peaking at No. 14 in the first quarter of 2019. Regular media coverage of Eilish's career and unique fashion, as well as some unsettling videos for the singles, which featured the singer in various states of surreal distress, helped to boost album sales and Eilish's profile as an up-and-coming artist and tastemaker to watch. She also continued her breakneck pace of songwriting and recording, issuing a 7" single featuring an acoustic take on her song "Party Favor" with a cover of Drake's "Hotline Bling" for 2018's Record Store Day releases. A subsequent collaboration with the singer Khalid called "Lovely" was featured in the second season of "13 Reasons Why," and again, preceded a flurry of songs, including "When the Party's Over," "Bury a Friend" and "You Should See Me in a Crown." All tracks were included on her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which solidified her status as ascending star by debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.