It doesn’t matter how many people love you, some will still find a reason to hate you. Take Billie Eilish, for example. She’s easily one of the most adored artists in the music industry today. However, as of recently, Billie is receiving backlash for not knowing who Van Halen is. Yes, a 17-year-old is unaware of rockers who got together in the seventies and saw most of their success in the eighties.
Billie admitted this on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when Kimmel was quizzing her on some bands who were popular when he was 17 himself (1984). During the same interview, she also said she didn’t know Huey Lewis and when asked to fill in the blank, ‘Run-D-M’ replied, “What? What is that?” before Jimmy explained to her that it was a reference to the famous 1980s hip hop group Run-DMC.
17-year-old Billie Eilish admitted to not knowing who Van Halen is in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Immediately, Twitter users started mocking her “ignorance”
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The things that Eilish and Kimmel talked about just moments before the “big revelation” is what really makes this ironic. When the host of the show asked the artist whether or not she feels as if she’s competing with other artists when they’re performing on the same stage, Billie said, “Almost, but it’s more like competitiveness with myself, if that makes sense?”
Kimmel said he totally knew what she meant and elaborated. “I’ve been in situations where there’s been a bunch of comedians on and you always want to be the best one, doesn’t mean you want the other ones to not be good.”
“It’s weird,” Billie responded. “It’s like the whole universe is, like, trying to pit every artist against each other.”
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When Van Halen began trending on Twitter due to the interview, Wolfgang Van Halen, the band’s bassist and son of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, stepped in with a wholesome response to silence the critics. After the tweet, fans have also pointed out that Eilish was only 10 when Van Halen last came out with new music, 2012’s “A Different Kind of Truth.”
Trying to figure out more about the situation, Bored Panda spoke with an independent music critic, Emilija Visockaitė. “First of all, I believe that an artist doesn’t have to unite or polarize audiences,” she said. “Quite often, it’s the boring ones that unite, the ones that try to please everyone. On the other hand, the ones that pit them against each other tend to be innovative and strange, refuse to follow the rules. Having said that, I think Billie Eilish did unite a big part of younger music lovers – it’s been a while since there was such a colorful figure on the stage, expressing the things that are important to an entire generation. Also, the fact that older listeners aren’t happy with new up and coming artists isn’t something new either. Often they don’t bother to fully understand and appreciate where the musician is coming from and what their work is all about. It’s easier to determine their “value” based on their looks (‘What, green hair!?’), videos (‘Why is there blood coming from her nose? Is she a drug addict?’) or other shallow criteria.”
It’s obvious that Billie Eilish has become successful despite analyzing every little detail about all of the artists and bands that made it into the Billboard charts the past decades. “As long as she has enough creative ‘material’ inside of her, she doesn’t need to know it all,” Visockaitė said. “I think some people are simply constantly looking for ways to find fault with artists like Billie. ‘Even though they made a name for themselves, they’re still young so they have to be stupid, right?'”
“This situation, in particular, is really funny because the band in question is Van Halen. Not Mozart or Bob Dylan. Who could’ve thought that Van Halen is still relevant?“
However, Eddie Van Halen’s son and the current bassist of the band, Wolfgang, defended Billie in a wholesome response to the haters
Image credits: WolfVanHalen
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For the record, as of March 2019, Van Halen is 20th on the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of best-selling artists in the United States. The band has sold 56 million albums in the States and more than 80 million worldwide, making them one of the best-selling groups of all time. The band had numerous albums and songs that dominated the Billboard charts and even won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
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Which made the discussion way more civil
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