Every megastar singer that we pay attention to has begun their career somewhere, and Billie Eilish is no different. The young singer/songwriter was born and raised in the fame capital of the world, Los Angeles, California. With the full name of Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, she was raised by both of her creative parents. Her older brother Finneas O’Connell’s bedroom down the hall from her own became their musical laboratory and recording studio where they created the magic that has propelled her to global stardom within the music industry.
Los Angeles may be the physical geographic location on the map that designates where Billie Eilish is from. But her beginnings have much more of a story than just being born on December 18, 2001, in Los Angeles, California.
Billie Eilish didn’t just become an overnight success with microwaved talent that didn’t have time to get cooked properly. Eilish has had many gradual moments of creative grooming to emerge to where she is today:
- 4-Years-Old: This is actually the age Billie Eilish wrote her first song with the imaginative subject matter of slipping into a “black hole.”
- 8-Years-Old: She becomes a member of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and performs in talent shows.
- 13-Years-Old: She begins her teens years, making her own music after being encouraged by her dance teacher. “Ocean Eyes” is recorded by Billie with her brother Finneas who wrote it, and they uploaded it to the SoundCloud music sharing website. It rose from 1,000 plays in one day to over 40 million listens on SoundCloud.
- 14-Years-Old: Billie signed her record deal with Interscope Records/Darkroom by August 2016 and dropped a music video for “Ocean Eyes” that November along with her debut ep, Don’t Smile at Me including the song “idontwannabeyouanymore.”
- 15-Years-Old: “Bellyache” is Billie Eilish’s follow-up new single after “Ocean Eyes,” and her clout increases with her track “Bored” featured on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
- 16-Years-Old: Things get huge when she embarks on her first headlining global tour – Where’s My Mind? Billie gets included on the Season 2 soundtrack for the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why on which she collaborates with the singer Khalid. She reaches 1 billion streams on Spotify.
- 17-Years-Old: Billie plays 66 shows all over the world for her We All Fall Asleep World Tour. Her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is released and becomes the highest-selling debut album of 2019 thanks to Billboard hit songs like Bad Guy, Bury a Friend, When the Party’s Over, Xanny, Wish You Were Gay, and You Should See Me in a Crown. Billie Eilish becomes the youngest female solo artist to grab a number one album in the UK.
- 18-Years-Old: During the 2020 Grammys Billie wins five Grammy Awards including best new artist and song of the year/record of the year, and makes history once again as the youngest person ever to win album of the year for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Her brother, Finneas, won producer of the year, non-classical. She also released a new song, “No Time to Die,” as the new James Bond theme song.
Mother of Billie Eilish
The mother of Billie Eilish is Maggie Baird, born in Western Colorado, who has found success in her own right as an actor and screenwriter. Maggie Baird learned how to play the piano and guitar in her teens and followed that early investment in her talent by attending the University of Utah, where she studied theatre and dance.
Later on, after her stint in Utah, Maggie moved to New York City, and this led to opportunities to perform in Broadway and Off-Broadway theater productions.
The television soap opera Another World is where Billie Eilish’s mom made her television debut and played the role of Taylor Baldwin in the soap opera As the World Turns.
She also made the leap onto the silver screen with the motion picture An Innocent Man that starred Tom Selleck and F. Murray Abraham. A year after this film was released, she went on tour with The Heidi Chronicles in 1990, in playing the role of one of Heidi’s friends.
In 1991 Maggie moved to Los Angeles, where Billie Eilish would be born a decade later. Maggie appeared in television and film productions like Murphy Brown, Picket Fences, L.A. Law, Bones, The X-Files, and Six Feet Under.
In 2013, Maggie made her screenwriting debut in the 2013 film Life Inside Out. Baird wrote, co-produced, and acted in the film, which also featured her son Finneas O’Connell and husband Patrick O’Connell, who is also Billie and Finneas’ father.
Father of Billie Eilish
Patrick O’Connell, the father of Billie Eilish, not only helped raise his daughter, but he became an influence in her music career. Patrick and Billie’s mother, Maggie, met in Alaska, and they were married in 1995.
Patrick allowed his children to train as musicians due to his love of music and has made acting
appearances in productions such as Iron Man and The West Wing. O’Connell developed his appreciation for acting while growing up in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Eilish’s Parents Homeschooled Billie and Finneas
Billie’s parents made the decision to homeschool her and Finneas to create the freedom and ability for them to focus on their talents.
By Billie Eilish’s parents Maggie and Patrick investing their time in both of their kids with homeschooling and exploring the depths of their creative talents, they were able to spend more time together and witness both Billie and Finneas blossom in music at really young ages.
Finneas O’Connell talked about how he benefited from homeschooling with Teen Mag, stating that the experience was about discovering himself and being able to not have to base his personal value on public perception and having to fit in with other kids that may judge you for all of the wrong reasons. He described being homeschooled as a positive experience that he doesn’t regret and feels totally enriched by.
When you look at the amount of music that Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas created at home in their bedrooms, homeschooling is probably a major factor for why they were able to concentrate so hard on it for so long.
Billie Eilish’s Irish Roots
Along with Scottish, Billie Eilish has Irish roots that she proudly represents. Her parents Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, are both born in the United States but have roots in Ireland.
The name ‘Eilish’ is actually an Irish form of an old Hebrew name that translates from Elisheva, which is Hebrew for “My God is an oath,” or “My God is abundance.” Its anglicized English form would be ‘Elizabeth.’
Eilish, which is pronounced ‘eye-lish’ (not ay-lish), which sounds like ‘Irish,’ is purposely used by Billie to represent her Irish background. Her brother Finneas Baird O’Connell may have the more obviously Irish red hair, but believe it or not, she is also a natural redhead.
Now that you have a better understanding of where the pop star Billie Eilish is from, it is much easier to see why Billie and her brother are so tight musically and why she maintains such a close relationship with her parents.