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With hits like “Bad Guy” and “Ocean Eyes,” Billie Eilish is going down in music history. There’s no question. She may be at the beginning of her career, but she’s already solidified a legacy that will last decades. But becoming a legend before turning 20 is not easy.

Billie Eilish smiling
Billie Eilish | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Eilish has had a hard time dealing with the fame that her music has earned her. Luckily, she has her family behind her. According to an interview with the LA Times, Eilish “hated going outside” because she was constantly being recognized after “Ocean Eyes” went viral

Billie Eilish was just a kid when her music blew up 

Eilish and her brother recorded and released “Ocean Eyes” when she was just 14 years old, according to Vox. The song was an overnight success, almost literally. At 18, Eilish swept the Grammys. From the outside looking in, it seems like Eilish handled fame extremely well, considering her age.

She kept making music and hits. She developed a signature style, lime green and black hair with lime green and black clothing. She has a dedicated following online. But being young and famous wasn’t as easy as Eilish made it look.

When “Ocean Eyes” went viral, she was suddenly thrust into the spotlight in a way she never wanted. According to Eilish, the internet only made things worse. Not only did she feel like she was being watched when she was out in public, but her whereabouts could be shared online, giving millions a view of her private life. 

According to Billie Eilish, she ‘lost’ her teenage years because of fame 

The constant scrutiny made being a regular teenager completely impossible for Eilish. In 2021, Eilish told the LA Times that her fame interrupted her teen years. “I hated going outside. I hated going to events. I hated being recognized. I hated the internet having a bunch of eyes on me. I just wanted to be doing teenager s—-,” she said. According to Buzzfeed, Eilish claims she “lost” her teenage years to fame, and she had to learn it all on her own.  

“I don’t mean this in a necessarily negative way, but I sort of lost my teenage years because this all started when I was 13. There is no training, there’s no, like, let me go to a school that’s going to teach me how to be famous,” Eilish said. 

3voor12 extra via YouTube

Although Eilish is very close with her family, her fame has made it hard to have friends. Eilish told Paper Magazine she doesn’t really have any, aside from the people she works with. When she does see people she knew from before she was famous, things can be awkward. They often expect her to be different, but she really hasn’t changed much. 

How is Billie Eilish handling fame now?


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Eilish hasn’t changed, but her life has. And in ways she was too busy to think about, until recently. Eilish told the LA Times that the pandemic had an unexpected silver lining. At just 16, Eilish was touring the world. At 18, she was sweeping the Grammys.

When the pandemic hit, she was forced to stay home with her family and isolate herself like everyone else. It allowed her to really reflect on her life, her goals, and her music. She’s been able to think a lot about fame, and what it means to her. 

She claims being a professional musician has changed the way she sees things, in a negative way. “Things that I enjoy can sometimes just turn into things that feel like a burden, and it’s really weird. Like, ‘Oh, this is something I used to love, and now it feels like a job.’ It’s not, like, ‘Oh, I hate this now.’ It’s different. It’s changed,” she said.

She called fame “horrible.” Still, she loves making music. And she isn’t going to stop.