Billie Eilish Says She Feels “A Bit Protective” of Olivia Rodrigo

Billie Eilish emerged not only as a groundbreaking talent but also as a guardian of sorts for the rising stars in her wake. In a candid interview, the 21-year-old Grammy winner shared her feelings of protectiveness over Olivia Rodrigo, the young artist who followed in Eilish’s footsteps to superstardom.

Eilish’s connection with Rodrigo runs deep, and it’s evident in her music. The song ‘Goldwing’ from Eilish’s 2021 album, ‘Happier Than Ever,’ serves as a testament to this unique bond. In the interview, Eilish opened up about the inspiration behind the track, acknowledging that it was, in part, a reflection on Rodrigo’s sudden rise to fame. The lyrics of ‘Goldwing’ explore themes of vulnerability and being taken advantage of, capturing the essence of navigating the music industry at a young age.

Image Courtesy: The New York Times

Expressing her concerns, Eilish admitted feeling nervous about Rodrigo’s ascent, particularly given the challenges of the acting world from which Rodrigo emerged. Eilish, having faced her struggles after going viral at the age of 14 with ‘Ocean Eyes,’ understands the harsh realities of growing up in the public eye. The challenges of fame, as she noted in a BBC interview in 2022, made it a bruising experience, leaving her grasping at straws.

In a more recent interview, Eilish shared her ongoing journey with fame, acknowledging that she is just “starting to do better.” The haunting reality of constant scrutiny and the loss of privacy can be overwhelming, leading to what she described as “impending-doom feelings.” However, Eilish emphasized the importance of letting go and navigating the challenges that come with immense fame.

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Eilish’s protective stance isn’t limited to Rodrigo alone; she sees reflections of her own experiences in all young artists, including 16-year-old Ariana Greenblatt. 

Despite the challenges, Eilish continues to shine in her own right. Recently receiving five Grammy nominations for ‘What Was I Made For?,’ a ballad she wrote for the Barbie movie soundtrack, Eilish explores themes of purpose and self-discovery. The song, nominated in major categories such as ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year,’ showcases Eilish’s ability to channel her personal experiences into powerful and relatable music.

Image Courtesy: Teen Vogue

As Billie Eilish navigates the complexities of fame, her protectiveness over emerging artists like Olivia Rodrigo highlights a genuine desire to foster a supportive community within the music industry. In a world where the spotlight can be both dazzling and harsh, Eilish’s openness about her struggles and her commitment to lifting others reinforces the idea that, in the end, we’re all in this together.

-Britney Jones