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Music

At 18, Billie Eilish is one of the youngest ever to win best new artist Grammy

Billie Eilish
At 18, Billie Eilish is the second-youngest artist ever to win the best new artist Grammy award.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Billie Eilish was named best new artist at the 2020 Grammy Awards, beating a competitive field that included Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Rosalia, Maggie Rogers and others.

Referring to her competitors, Eilish said from the stage, “I know your fans are hardcore, they’re going to talk s— about for me for years.”

The L.A. native got the trophy for work from her Darkroom/Interscope debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Produced and co-written by her 22-year-old brother, Finneas O’Connell, Eilish’s massively successful album tallied billions of streams, many of them for her relentlessly catchy No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single, “Bad Guy.”

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Eilish was nominated in all four major categories: new artist, song, record and album of the year.

At 18, she is the second-youngest artist to land the prize; country star LeAnn Rimes was 14 when she won in 1997.

Whether the best new artist Grammy is good for Eilish’s future prospects on the charts is another matter. Considered by some to be the kiss of death for long-term commercial success, over the years the trophy has been given to flash-in-the-pan artists including the Starland Vocal Band, Milli Vanilli, Christopher Cross and Macklemore.

Eilish is likely aware of the challenges facing those anchored by great expectations. “I grew up going to the Grammy Museum all the time,” she told The Times’ August Brown. “I grew up wishing with all my heart that I could just be the fan, not even the artist. And now I’m on the other side of it, which is just like, what the hell is my life?”


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