Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, also known to her fans as Billie Eilish, is considered the very first artist that is killing it completely on the music charts with a studio album and was born in the 2000s.
While like many of her Gen Z peers, she has never bought a CD or heard the sound of dial-up internet, she is unlike many teenagers in that she has made music featured in the Top 100, toured the U.K. and Australia, and has sold out far too many amphitheaters and arenas across the U.S. to count.
Born on December 18, 2001, in Los Angeles, Eilish’s parents Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, were former actors who named her after a documentary about conjoined Irish twins (Katie and Eilish Holton) and Baird’s father Bill who died during her pregnancy. Eilish’s middle name, “Pirate,” comes from her older brother Finneas O’Connell calling her that when he was only age four during the time that she was born.
Once Eilish’s parents left their careers, they decided to homeschool their children. Instead of developing a formal curriculum, Maggie and Patrick chose to let their children focus on whatever topics interested them most. Their strategy seemed to work. Eilish managed to pass her equivalency exam and graduate from high school at the tender age of 15.
The fascinating biographical points do not end with her childhood years. So, who is this 18-year-old Billie Eilish, and what other unique details make up her young life?
A Change of He(Art)
As you might imagine, having actors as parents means that you have likely tried your hand at a number of art forms. This is most definitely true for Eilish, who first tried acting as a child though she admits that she found acting to be super-weird and didn’t have much patience for the audition process.
She claims that she went on a few auditions but disliked the process, the atmosphere, and the kid actors who she read as “psychopaths.”
Having watched her parents as actors Eilish, thought it strange that you could work for years and never get a role, or you could be a mediocre actor and become a huge star only having done one audition.
After trying out acting, Eilish discovered that she enjoyed recording background dialogue for group scenes instead, as in the case of her work on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Ramona and Beezus, and X-Men.
As she got older, Eilish began to develop greater interests in shooting and editing home movies with her friends – so much so that her parents thought she would become a director.
Dancing to Her Own Beat
Later, at age 12, Eilish joined a competitive dance company. She said that being in a dance program with “really pretty girls” made her feel insecure, lacking in confidence and self-conscious about her body, especially because her dance teacher had them wear “really tiny clothes.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Eilish admitted that this stage of her life was the peak of her body dysmorphia when she couldn’t look in the mirror at all. Then, just as she was starting to excel at dance, she ruptured the growth plate in her hip during a hip-hop class.
She claims that this was the moment her depression started, and she began engaging in self-harm because she thought that she deserved to be in pain.
One of the most commonly known facts about Billie Eilish is her love of animals – so much so that it inspired her choice to switch to a vegan lifestyle. She would prefer not to have any object that has been made out of an animal along with not eating food that stems from an animal having to be killed to create the meal.
Eilish, who is also lactose intolerant, admitted that since she had grown up a vegetarian and had never tasted meat, her choice to become vegan was not a drastic shift.
As a child, Eilish had always had tremendous respect for animals, especially horses. As a youngster whose parents did not have that much disposable income, Eilish worked at a nearby stable bridling and brushing the horses in exchange for riding lessons.
She admitted that after a few years, she stopped coming around the stables because she struggled with being seen as the “poor girl around the stable.”
As a young adult, Eilish continues to find refuge in horseback riding, especially as a way to deal with her ongoing mental health issues. In an Elle interview, Eilish told the reporter that “horses are the most therapeutic animals.”
To this day, Eilish still remembers the names of the horses in the barn that were called Captain America, Tinkerbell, Rosie, Frenchie, Clover, and Jellybean. Her favorite horse? A gorgeous black mare named Jackie O, who she claims to have been in love with and taken lessons on.
Eilish remembers that her lessons with Jackie O ended rather abruptly after a young rider with more money wanted to ride her. Since Eilish could not afford to pay, the wealthier rider got priority. Eilish was crushed and decided to quit riding because she couldn’t bear to see someone else ride Jackie O.
Throughout her childhood and young adult life, Eilish has always fought her own fair share of battles. It’s a well-known fact that Eilish has always been afraid of the ocean, deep water, places that are dark like closets or garages when it is dark outside.
As a kid, Eilish was really sensitive. She suffered for a long while with severe separation anxiety and had to sleep in her parents’ bed until she was 10. She was also diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, which for her manifests as barely noticeable tics.
While she is usually able to suppress her tics, sometimes she finds that they can be triggered. She also experiences bouts of synesthesia, the neurosensory wire-crossing in which senses seem to blend together. She developed a love for artists like Justin Bieber and Lana Del Rey.
Dealing With Depression
One of the things that Eilish has been especially vocal about is her challenges with mental health. As a child, she was scared to be by herself. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, pop star Billie Eilish stated that:
“Every time I was alone, I would break down and kind of crumble…It got to the point where my friend would say, ‘I’m going home, see you,’ and I’d get this feeling in my stomach like a knife being twisted around. I felt unsafe with myself, even for an hour.”
Given her history of self-harm, she still struggles with the feeling of not trusting herself to be alone. She said that this could be a particular challenge as a celebrity, seeing that her job doesn’t allow her the freedom to break down emotionally.
In order to deal with these ongoing challenges, she has been to see a therapist to deal with the feelings of stress as a celebrity. She admitted that slowly but surely, she began to feel better, especially as she began to spend time with friends on her tour bus and ride Jackie O again when she returned home. The songwriter continues to wear “goth” or baggy clothing as her fashion preference in addition to inspiring social media posts.
Despite a lot of struggles, Eilish has experienced a great deal of success ever since she uploaded “Ocean Eyes” to SoundCloud. After it was officially released by Interscope Records/Darkroom, she released her debut ep, “Don’t Smile at Me.” She then worked to release her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” featuring Billboard Hot 100 hit songs like Bad Guy, Bury a Friend, When the Party’s Over, You Should See Me in a Crown, Wish You Were Gay, Xanny, and more. This album, songs, and music videos earned her several Grammy Awards including best new artist, song of the year, album of the year, and record of the year. Many of these songs were written with the help of Billie Eilish’s brother as well. Her songs have appeared on Netflix’s hit show 13 Reasons Why. She was the youngest person to hit 1 billion streams on the Spotify streaming platform. She performed at Coachella in 2019 She recently released “No Time to Die” which is being used as the James Bond theme song for the new movie. Overall, Billie is killing the game and definitely has no reason to be bored!