Billie Eilish fans defend the singer after she reveals she doesn't know who Van Halen are
3 December 2019, 13:47
The internet had the strangest reaction to 17-year-old Billie Eilish revealing to Jimmy Kimmel that she has no idea who Van Halen are.
Billie Eilish turns 18 this December, making her one of the most successful young artists dominating the charts right now. Despite her meteoric rise and current level of success, Billie still gets flack about her youth in ways that are specifically designed to make her seem especially naive.
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This week, Billie Eilish was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and she was quizzed on a number of subjects, including her knowledge of popular culture from decades past. She was asked if she knew who Madonna was (she did), if she'd ever played with a Cabbage Patch doll (she had not), and quizzed on whether she could "name a Van Halen" ("who?").
It was her answer to the question about Van Halen that sent the internet into debate mode as some folks simply struggled to believe that Billie didn't know Van Halen.
Watch from 3:14 to hear Jimmy's illuminating line of questioning.
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Some people were pressed about a 17-year-old not knowing a rock band formed nearly 30 years before she was born.
Who is Billie Eilish and why does he (or she) not know who Van Halen is? pic.twitter.com/awFXsDb38l— Ray Takes Pictures (@RayTakesPix) December 2, 2019
Not to sound too get off my lawn but Billie Eilish should know who Van Halen is even if she’s only seventeen.— David Kuhne (@D_Khunne) December 2, 2019
Billie Eilish didn't know who Van Halen was, I'm sobbing. pic.twitter.com/tX6xrs7cIE— Mack (@_Kenziepuff) November 29, 2019
But others were quick to her defence, pointing out how silly it is to expect people to be experts in music released decades before they'd ever even drawn their first breath of air.
I say this as a superfan: Van Halen has given Billie Eilish no reason to know who they are. They've done very little during her lifetime.— Dan Amrich (@DanAmrich) December 2, 2019
Don't complain about other people's musical experience being different. Instead, share -- give people a reason to love what you love. 🎧
If you're surprised Billie Eilish has never heard of Van Halen, I would love to ask you what music you were listening to as teenager from 40 years ago.— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) December 2, 2019
That's listening to music from the 1930s when you grew up in the '70s, and the 1940s if you grew up in the '80s.
i could not tell you a single van halen song and i'm just about double Billie Eilish' age. get over it. https://t.co/8l8rF2SCaj— Alexandria Ne❄️nakis 🎄 (@Beavs) December 2, 2019
Billie Eilish is one day older than The Fellowship of the Ring so sure let’s pretend to be outraged that she doesn’t know who Van Halen is.— Brian Duffield of Dreams (@BrianDuffield) December 2, 2019
As if this argument couldn't get any more surreal, Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie Van Halen, stepped in to defend Billie.
The Van Halen bassist summed it up nicely, writing: "If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool. If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too. Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us. Listen to what you want and don’t shame others for not knowing what you like."
If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool. If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too.— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) December 2, 2019
Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us. Listen to what you want and don’t shame others for not knowing what you like.
That settles that then!