Why Billie Eilish Fans Are Freaking Out Over What She Said About Van Halen

On Monday, December 2, after the Thanksgiving weekend, Van Halen started trending on Twitter. No, they’re not reuniting with the original members. No, they’re not going on tour or releasing a new album or even a single song. They’re trending because Billie Eilish said something about them. Hey, it’s better than no one talking about them! 

Billie Eilish at the 2019 American Music Awards | Sarah Morris/FilmMagic

Billie Eilish is the 17-year-old music sensation who sings “Ocean Eyes,” “When the Party’s Over,” Everything I Wanted” and more. Van Halen was the ‘80s power rock band named for Eddie and Alex Van Halen, featuring David Lee Roth and then Sammy Hagar. Their hits “Jump,” “Dreams” and right now are among hits you’ve probably heard even if you didn’t know who they were. Anyway, Billie Eilish and Van Halen probably never would have been in the same conversation had this not happened.

What Billie Eilish said about Van Halen

On the November 21 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Billie Eilish sat on the couch for a quiz. Kimmel proceeded to ask her if she knew popular musical artists and their songs. When he asked her favorite Van Halen song, Eilish replied, “Who?” News traveled slowly to Twitter, perhaps due to the Thanksgiving holiday in between. 

Kimmel was just having fun and making fun of himself for being of the generation that was now outdated to Eilish and her fans. That would have been the end of it, but Twitter has a way of keeping things going. Fans of both Billie Eilish and Van Halen took to Twitter to comment.

Eilish did know Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, but blanked on Huey Lewis and Run DMC. They are not trending though.

Billie Eilish fans defended the singer

@soggybread__ said, “wow 17 year old girl doesn’t know of a band who’s [sic] peak was nearly 40 years ago, that’s crazy aha.)

Verified musician Gav said there’s an even bigger swath of musicians whom the rock band hasn’t reached. 

@KarenWi49310106 said people should not be so quick to dismiss Billie Eilish’s music either. “I’d rather someone not know who Van Halen is than think they ‘suck’ after listening to 20 seconds of their music,’ grandmadisco wrote. “Older people who say today’s artists are bad without listening to them bother me, too. It’s just ignorance.”

@darlingdevvil said, “She’s 17. I’m 18 and I didn’t know who they were. It all depends on different music tastes. Billie wouldn’t be able to name a lot of classic artists while older people wouldn’t be able to name a lot of the hip hop artists she listens to.”

@hailie75643531 said, “Ok to be fair Van Halen has not really been big in awhile and this is coming from a teen like Billie. I only know them from my mom and even I barely know them.”

Van Halen fans said any singer should know their stuff

@juice0nthel00se said, “You’re a musician and you don’t know who Van Halen is… wow…”

Turnabout is fair play. Many classic rock fans don’t know who Billie Eilish is. @RayTakes Pix said, “Who is Billie Eilish and why does he (or she) not know who Van Halen is?”

@HugoOlemiss wrote, “I had to google Billie Eilish… and I still don’t know who it is but we will play some Van Halen.”

@avfsara said even if Van Halen was before her time, musicians should know their history. She wrote, “doesn’t matter if their peak was 40 years ago lmao if you don’t know van halen there’s some sort of problem with your music knowledge.”

A time for healing 

@alshipley says this as an opportunity for fans of both artists to come together. He wrote, “I don’t care that Billie Eilish doesn’t know who Van Halen is but a Van Halen cover of ‘Bad Guy’ would kick ass and you know it.”

Sarah Kendzior suggested a Billie Eilish cover.

Leslie Streeter said this is the perfect opportunity to open Billie Eilish’s musical world.

Rubi added: