This is how Billie Eilish owns her fame

In this essay penned exclusively for Grazia Middle East, commentator Olivia Adams explores how Billie Eilish is navigating her public persona, and is winning
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This is how Billie Eilish owns her fame

Billie Eilish hit the public consciousness without giving the mainstream mould of celebrity a chance. She stayed living in her parents’ two-bedroom bungalow in Los Angeles, refused to stay quiet on issues of importance to her – from politics to the environment – declined gifted diamonds and kept all her old mates, saying, “I’m determined to not throw my best friends away for someone or something else.”

Her career has rocketed since releasing her debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me, in 2017, yet Billie manages fame differently to other A-list artists: she maintains her happiness above the needs of her label and fans. “That’s most important to me,” she admitted in November, “I want to stay happy.” She turned 18 last December, and, unlike many young pop stars, Billie has humbly embraced fame, gushing, “I’m very grateful for it. It’s really rare and I’m very lucky.”

The singer uses her heavily followed social media platforms to advocate veganism and draw attention to reforming US laws, demanding changes for greater gun control, and calling on her generation to vote against “old and out-of-date” politicians.

Perhaps being educated by her parents at home with her best friend/brother/producer helps to explain the star’s independence, as she “doesn’t feel the need to be with anyone” romantically, and growing up without experiencing stereotypes means she can only be herself.

She has connected with her fans by being open about living with Tourette syndrome (a disorder characterised by involuntary movements and vocalisations known as tics) and experiencing depression. To keep her mood measured, Billie doesn’t read trolling Instagram comments and keeps her support network close – literally. Her mum, dad and older brother Finneas all go on tour with her, leaving only the pet dog, cat and spider (seriously) at home. I’m telling you, Billie is built to last. 

Photos: Supplied and Instagram