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Tonight’s youngest nominee for the Recording Academy’s top four categories has just stunned us all. Billie Eilish’s Grammys 2020 performance video shows the L.A. rising star owning the Staples Center stage like it’s no biggie—although we know the night is actually huge for her. Not only is Billie, 18, nominated for the Grammys’ “big four” awards; she and her older brother, Finneas O’Connell, 22, celebrate the night with a whopping total of 11 nominations between them. And now, Billie joined the stage with Finneas to perform a mashup of songs off the album that the pair co-wrote and produced last year.
Ever since Billie Eilish made Grammys history as the youngest artist nominated for every top category, fans knew they could expect a stunning performance on music’s biggest night. Billie opened with the haunting ballad, “when the party’s over,” which took on a special weight following today’s tragic news of the death of NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Maria-Onore Bryant. She delivered her vocals seated on a stool, while Finneas played the piano behind her.
“when the party’s over” is off of Billie’s 2019 debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? which took home an award for Best Pop Vocal Album earlier this evening, and is also currently up for Album of the Year. Her lead single from the album, “Bad Guy,” also earns three nods for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance (this latter award, however, just went to Lizzo for “Truth Hurts.”) Meanwhile, Billie herself is nominated for Best New Artist.
It’s a worthy ode to the album that logged billions of streams last year, and to the young lady who was named Billboard’s woman of the year. With and beyond her music, Billie is breaking down barriers for the new generation of pop. We’re seeing figures like her contest inequality and wellness in the industry, like fellow leading nominee, Lizzo speaking out on body-shaming and depression.
Billie has also spoken at length recently about her own experiences with depression and anxiety. A recent single released late last year, “everything i wanted,” documents the slow burn of these symptoms throughout the comparatively sudden rise she’s experienced as an artist. The “everything i wanted” lyrics make allusions to ending her life: “Thought I could fly (Fly)
So I stepped off the Golden [Gate Bridge], mm.”
Billie confirmed this interpretation to Gayle King in an interview just days before the Grammys. While the youngest artist is in a better headspace these days, she admitted to the ABC news anchor that her lyrics contained a serious warning about her mental health. We’re glad Billie’s gotten the help she needs; without it, we wouldn’t even be seeing her performance below.
The 62nd GRAMMY Awards is broadcasting live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.