Foo Fighters Frontman Dave Grohl Just Called Billie Eilish ‘The Next Nirvana’

It’s hard to turn on a radio station today without hearing the eccentric, slightly creepy, surprisingly catchy notes of a Billie Eilish song. Despite their departure from the typical pop genre, Eilish is taking over the airwaves and people can’t stop talking about her. But the most surprising thing of all? She’s only 17 years old.

There’s something familiar about the way Billie Eilish is bucking tradition and forging her own path to the top of the music charts. One famous musician even had an apt comparison for her explosive yet countercultural popularity. As Foo Fighters frontman and rock legend Dave Grohl said, “My daughters are obsessed with Billie Eilish. The same thing is happening with her that happened with Nirvana in 1991.”

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill. But if anyone can do it, Billie can.

Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella

Who is Billie Eilish?

It seems like Eilish came out of nowhere and that’s exactly what she wants you to think. Her first hit “Ocean Eyes” was released on SoundCloud and people couldn’t get enough.

The young artist has been writing songs since age 11 and arranging them with the help of her older brother Finneas. She’s inspired by modern artists — “Childish Gambino created me, dude,” she told Rolling Stone — but she has a sound that’s totally unique. That’s no easy feat in a pop music world that’s rife with innovation.

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Born in Los Angeles on December 18, 2001, Billie Eilish hails from a talented family with two parents who are both in entertainment industry. She was homeschooled and went on to join Los Angeles Children’s Choir when she was 8.

Eilish wants you to be creeped out

If there was ever an antithesis to a candy-coated pop star, Billie Eilish is it. With a piercing gaze, oversized baggy clothing, and goth appearance, it’s not even slightly surprising that her lyrics venture to dark places. But there’s no denying that her audience loves her for it.

She said her way of dressing is so she can “look memorable” and so she can “prove to people that I’m more important than they think.” It’s all very intentional — she describes the look as, “kind of intimidating, so people will listen up.”

Eilish has plenty of Gen X fans, but there are a surprising number of older generations who are digging her vibe just as much. She may be unique, but Eilish has some commonality with the emo grunge rockers of decades ago, like Courtney Love, Alanis Morissette, and yes, Nirvana. Her authenticity, like theirs, is part of her appeal. Plus, she’s just so talented.

What’s next for Billie Eilish?

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She’s on top of the world right now but has no plans of stopping anytime soon. As Rolling Stone explained, “This girl wants the world, and she wants it now.” Eilish made it onto the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for good reason.

Her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released in March 2019, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart. She’s the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one album in the United States.

It appears the next generation of music has arrived.