Why Billie Eilish Grew Up Thinking the Spice Girls Were Fake

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have at least heard of Billie Eilish. For the past few years, the 17-year-old pop star has slowly been racking up more and more fans, moving from viral SoundCloud star to a runaway success story. She was the first person born post-2000 to have ever topped the Billboard Hot 100 for her song “Bad Guy.”

Eilish’s attitude and vibe speak to a certain offbeat, alternative subset of Generation Z, mostly because she doesn’t show much interest in playing by the traditional rules of pop success. She has even been known to use her platform to speak to important issues like depression that especially matter to people her age.

Eilish has racked up a ton of famous fans

Billie Eilish performs a song onstage.
Billie Eilish | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

There’s no doubt that Eilish’s rise to fame has been nothing short of meteoric. When she sat down to talk with Ellen a few months back, Eilish revealed that she didn’t even know she was on the radar of some of her most famous fans. Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters, Nirvana — who is such a big fan that he was actually in the audience for the Ellen interview — Ellen also mentioned Thom Yorke (from Radiohead), Julia Roberts, and Sam Smith as just a few of the others who can’t stop singing Eilish’s praises.

Joking about how she meant no disrespect to anyone’s age, Eilish pointed out that a lot of these famous fans are people her parents knew more about, suggesting she is surprised that her appeal extends beyond her own generation. Eilish even mentioned a meeting with designer Stella McCartney in which she called her dad (Paul freakin’ McCartney!) just to show off how she was hanging with the pop star…much to Eilish’s parents’ delight!

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You won’t believe this hilarious Spice Girls story she shared

When Ellen asked Eilish if any of those celebrity fans ever seem like a big deal to her, Eilish mentioned a show in London where Sporty Spice apparently came backstage to meet her. She said that she used to watch the movie Spice World over and over when she was growing up but apparently thought it was a work of fiction.

That means that she didn’t realize the Spice Girls were an actual, real-deal band outside of the film — she thought they were just a fake band that had been made up for the movie!

What’s even funnier is that even after Eilish realized there was a real-world band called the Spice Girls that toured around, she still thought that they were more like cosplayers simply re-enacting the movie.

Eilish also opened up to Ellen about her Tourette Syndrome

A lot of people don’t even know that Eilish has Tourette Syndrome because she doesn’t want to make it the center of discussions about her. She told Ellen that she used to tend to downplay that fact about herself just because she didn’t want the media to lead with that when they talked to her.

Now, however, she says she feels more at home discussing it because she knows her fans will stand behind her and support her. She also said that ever since she realized how many of her fans struggle with the same syndrome, she feels less of a reason to hide it from anyone.

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hamburg show tonight went vraazy

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“It’s something I’ve lived with my whole life,” she told Ellen, noting, “Everybody in my family, all my friends, all the people that are closest to me know I have it, and it’s not anything different, y’know?”

As Ellen mentions in the interview, it’s a big deal that Eilish is talking about this stuff because it helps take away the stigma for those who live with Tourette Syndrome and other issues like it.

Clearly, it has not held Eilish back in any way because she is a huge, huge success and only likely to get bigger over time. Who knows, maybe she’ll even be as big as that “fake” band in Spice World one day.