Lil Nas X
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Copyright © 2023 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4684-9 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4683-2 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7130-8 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Bach, Greg, author. Title: Billie Eilish / Greg Bach. Description: Hollywood, FL : Mason Crest, 2023. | Series: Pop music stars | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2022004182 | ISBN 9781422246849 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422246832 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Eilish, Billie, 2001—Juvenile literature. | Singers–United States–Biography–Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC ML3930.E35 B33 2023 | DDC 782.42164092 [B]–dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2022004182 Developed and Produced by National Highlights Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content, LLC (www.craftedcontentllc.com)
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND: These words, with their easy-to-understand definitions, will increase readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. SIDEBARS: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing themwith additional educational content to supplement the text. TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. RESEARCH PROJECTS: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series.Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Contents BREAKTHROUGH ������������������������������������������������������������������ 6 CHAPTER 1: A STAR IS BORN �����������������������������������������������������11 CHAPTER 2: GREATEST MOMENTS ������������������������������������������������25 CHAPTER 3: BEHIND THE CURTAIN ���������������������������������������������39 CHAPTER 4: BRAND BILLIE EILISH ��������������������������������������������� 51 CHAPTER 5: MODERN MEGASTAR ������������������������������������������������65 SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS ���������������������������������������������76 FURTHER READING ����������������������������������������������������������������77 INTERNET RESOURCES ������������������������������������������������������������77 INDEX �������������������������������������������������������������������������������78 AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY & CREDITS ������������������������������������������������80 Key Icons to Look For
Breakthrough When an unknown Billie Eilish put her 14-year-old voice to some lyrics strung together by her older brother back in 2015, a stunning tidal wave of rave reviews and life-changing reactions quickly followed, catapulting the talented teen to the front of the line of industry-changing superstars.
A lover of singing and dancing growing up in Southern California, Eilish was asked by her dance instructor to write and record a song that he could choreograph a routine around for an upcoming recital. When Finneas, her high school band-playing brother, handed over “Ocean Eyes” because he thought it would be a good fit for his sister, he proved to be spot on. Her magical voice melted into the life-changing words and produced a musical masterpiece still marveled about and cherished all these years later. Eilish recorded the three-minute and twenty-second song with her brother’s helping hand at the family home, and they plopped it on the streaming platform SoundCloud for her dance teacher to check out. By the following day, he wasn’t the only one who was listening to it, loving it, and sharing it, as it had gone viral. A music discovery website that sifts through thousands of uploads searching for talented works came across it, took a liking to it, and fueled an already-growing interest by sharing it. Amid the flurry of fans flocking to check it out and listening to it again and again, the youngster’s inbox was filling up with admiring, flattering, and inquiring emails. Attention-grabbing and transformative, the song propelled Eilish past all the obstacles and career-crushing rejections that tend to pile up on the hopes and dreams of wannabe singers and songwriters looking to
gain entrance into the hard-to-crack music industry. It also turned all-important heads in the fancy high-rise offices of music executives, leading to crucial connections and meetings. These are all boxes that young singers with hopes of heading down the path to fame, fortune, and a career of entertaining crowds of fans around the world must check, and Eilish was doing so remarkably quickly. Before she blew out the candles on her 15 th birthday cake, she was already trending toward superstardom with a manager and a publicist in tow and a rapidly ballooning fan base that was beginning to push streaming numbers into the stratosphere. Plus, she had already struck gold by scribbling her name on a deal with Darkroom/ Interscope Records, a moment every teenager who has ever stood on a stage, held a microphone, and sang a lyric dreams of doing. “Ocean Eyes” has been a musical sensation with staying power ever since its debut, registering more than 800 million streams and counting. Eilish pulls listeners in and tingles their senses with the slow-paced and dreamy love ballad that
spotlights her magnetic and mesmerizing vocals that fans continue to find intoxicating, captivating, and alluring. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and it peaked at No. 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. When Eilish embarked on her WhenWe All Fall AsleepWorldTour in 2019, “Ocean Eyes” was a favorite that she performed to the delight and enthusiastic applause of fans everywhere. “Ocean Eyes” introduced Billie Eilish to the world and propelled her into the spotlight, and ever since, millions of adoring fans and music enthusiasts everywhere have savored the sensational works of one of the world’s great entertainers.
Awesome with Alicia “Ocean Eyes” has been sung by many fans in cars, showers, and karaoke stages around the world, though likely not very well! The hit has also been taken on by much better and more experienced voices, including the sensational Alicia Keys. The owner of a whopping 15 Grammy Awards, and a huge fan of Billie Eilish, the R&B star performed a cover of “Ocean Eyes” as part of a special series of singles released by Spotify each week where a different star recorded a cover of a hit. She shared a clip on her Instagram account and gave a shout-out to Eilish by writing, “Keep shining mama, writing that truth.” In 2019, the two united for a fabulous duet on The Late Late Show with James Corden . On this December show, Keys handled the hosting duties for the vacationing Corden, and Eilish was the musical guest. When they graced the stage together, two of the greatest voices on the planet blended in an explosion of pure greatness. Keys was magical on the piano and backup vocals; Eilish was her usual sensational self, driving the song the way only she can; and the duo treated the studio audience and the national television audience to a mesmerizing rendition of her hit.
Powerful performer, planet protector
The power of “Ocean Eyes” has stretched across the globe, as Billie Eilish gave a thumbs up to the non-profit group CoralWatch and its request to use the mega-hit in its social media campaign to raise awareness about the damages affecting the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Eilish, active and outspoken on protecting the planet, was pleased to share her hit to help the group’s efforts in saving one of the seven
natural wonders of the world and the largest coral reef on the planet. An 8-year-old fan, and avid CoralWatch supporter, reached out to Eilish on social media asking if they could utilize the hit. The moment showcases both
the wide range of fans from around the world who adore Eilish’s music, plus that the young superstar cares deeply about serious environmental matters and wants to help be a difference-maker in saving the planet.
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND charismatic —of, having, or characteristic of a personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people dabble —to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently, especially in a secondary activity or interest dispensed —handed out, distributed replicate —duplicate; repeat unconventional —out of the ordinary
Wave of Success While “Ocean Eyes’’ flung Billie Eilish into the spotlight, the talented teen with the one-of-a-kind voice was only getting started on a career that has been dazzling and delighting fans ever since. Creative, charismatic , and at times controversial, she has been churning out hits that continue racking up prime time airplay minutes on radio stations nationwide while registering millions of downloads and landing on the playlists of music fans everywhere. With a flair for writing thought-provoking lyrics, blended with a voice that can rise to the occasion and take on any song, her climb to the top has been swift and stunning. “Ocean Eyes” was featured on Eilish’s debut extended play album Don’t Smile at Me in 2016, which reached No. 14 on the US Billboard 200 chart and hinted at greater success just around the corner. Her debut full-length album, WhenWe All Fall Asleep,Where DoWe Go?, rolled out in 2019 and was greeted with high praise, glowing reviews, and downloads galore. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and later earned Eilish a shiny collection of coveted Grammy Awards, as she won Album of theYear and Best PopVocal Album. Plus, the track “Bad Guy” captured Record of theYear and Song of theYear. In addition, her win as Best NewArtist—one of the five Grammys she hauled home that evening—announced her arrival as a megastar on the world stage.
a star is born
Catchy lyrics and a voice mature beyond her years rocketed Eilish to the top with “Ocean Eyes.”
“I think it is cooler to be unpredictable rather than have everyone knowing what is coming next.”
Family Ties The singer was born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell on December 18, 2001. Her parents, Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, are long-time actors and musicians who love the stage and performing, so it was somewhat predictable that her path in life veered in the direction of the entertainment
Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell have been a formidable team on the pop scene.
a star is born
world, too. She grew up in a cozy two-bedroom home in Highland Park, a community northeast of Los Angeles, far from the bright lights of Hollywood and all the famous concert venues that populate the City of Angels. Eilish’s mom appeared in several noteworthy television shows, including Bones and The X-Files . During that time, her father had roles on the political drama The WestWing and Iron Man , among others. Even her brother Finneas dabbled in acting, snagging some screen time in the movie BadTeacher starring Cameron Diaz, along with television roles on Modern Family and Glee . While the household was unconventional in many respects—the kids were given the two bedrooms while mom and dad slept in the living room—their upbringing was draped in love, support, and encouragement. No matter the struggles that arrived on the family doorstep through the years, and there were plenty of those just as there are in most families, their bond as a loving and deeply caring family grew tighter over time. When the parents didn’t have an acting gig pinned down, which was often in an industry in which thousands vie for roles and harbor dreams of big-screen stardom, they did a variety of jobs. Her mom taught some acting classes, and dad was skilled with lumber, picking up carpentry jobs on the side to generate income to buy food, pay bills, and support their kids any way they could. The home décor also hinted at the family’s attachment to the entertainment industry: a variety of musical instruments were often within easy reach throughout the house, movie and television scripts laid on the table awaiting review; and a small studio stood out back that was used for voice-over work. Dream Chasing Growing up in this atmosphere, surrounded by hard working parents, laid a strong foundation for Eilish from the start of her journey. She saw from an early age that there are no shortcuts to success. Her parents had to work incredibly hard and compete to earn roles, and Eilish was a witness to the dedication they appointed to their craft. Commitment, perseverance, and tireless effort were required day after day and week after week to progress and attain goals. It was seeing her parents grinding over lines in a script and all the hours that were devoted to memorizing and rehearsing them that would seep into her work ethic, too.
Eilish also saw the importance of dreaming big and refusing to surrender no matter how many rejections were dispensed , setbacks experienced, or obstacles encountered along the way. When children see the genuine passion in their parents’ eyes for pursuing dreams and always striving to do their best, that energy and enthusiasm can be contagious and serve as a powerful source of inspiration in their own work. Eilish has revealed in interviews that she credits her mom for a lot of the songwriting skills she learned and developed growing up. Her mom released her own 11-track album called We Sail in 2009. So, when Eilish is piecing together lyrics, mediocrity isn’t an option. She has been vocal about having high standards for her work, all because she has seen how dedicated her mom has been to the songwriting craft.
Eilish’s mom was also an entertainer, working as an actor and an acting teacher when her daughter was growing up.
a star is born
Voice for Vegan Billie Eilish has shared in numerous interviews that she supports a plant-based lifestyle and is vegan, meaning she doesn’t eat or use any animal products. Through some of her social media posts, she has encouraged her fans to adopt a vegan lifestyle, too, while also criticizing what she sees as the unnecessary raising and killing of animals simply for dining pleasure.
“Pretty much my whole life I’ve been a performer and have loved singing and writing songs in my room for my own ears.”
Home, But Not Alone Eilish’s parents chose to homeschool her and her brother, one of those delicate decisions often met with wary glances and raised eyebrows from outsiders who believe that kids need personal interactions with teachers and classmates in a traditional classroom setting. As a much-debated topic in education these days about what’s best for kids, it’s clear that home schooled children do tend to miss out on a lot of experiences that can’t be replicated where they live, such as those conversations with other students in the hallways and cafeteria; learning to take instruction and feedback from a variety of teachers with different styles and personalities; and participating in school plays, sports, clubs, and a multitude of other extracurricular activities that are a big part of a child’s educational experience and development on school property.
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