“There are so many things that I would never ever be able to do if I didn’t have what I have, and so many things that I can never do again.”
Fame hit Billie Eilish like a freight train at a very young age and there was just no way she could be prepared for it. It’s been a surreal thing for the star, now 20 years old, to reflect on when it all changed.
Like other artists before her, Eilish has channeled her journey from aspiring star to bona fide superstar in her music, with her sophomore album “Happier Than Ever” chronicling the ups, downs and struggles of achieving such a level of stardom that nobody really fathoms even if they dream big.
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As quickly as fame happened for her, though, apparently the money wasn’t quite rolling in fast enough. Eilish shared with V Magazine the scary incident during her first major tour when she was just 16 years old that made her realize she couldn’t just go out and do things anymore.
It all went down when she returned to Los Angeles midway through her tour and decided to go ice skating with a friend. “It was a nightmare and it scared the living hell out of me, because I was just turned into this prop,” she told the magazine.
What Eilish didn’t know was that during the grind of the tour she’d been on, she’d been blowing up as a bona fide superstar. “I’ve never been so scared. It was like, a huge stampede,” she said. “In those three months, I’d gotten bigger, but I didn’t know it until I was in that situation.”
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And that was the end of normalcy for Eilish. “From that day on, I didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t do anything. I was so flipped out by what had happened and how powerless I felt.”
To make matters worse, Eilish said that she didn’t even have security at this point in her career, because it had all happened so fast. Her fame had reached that level, but she didn’t have the kind of money that pays for security yet.
“I was the level of fame that needs security, but also the level of fame where you don’t really have the resources,” she explained. Obviously, that has since changed for Eilish as her fame has fully established itself. But still she can’t just go out ice skating with a friend like the old days.
When asked if she felt that her level of celebrity has been as restricting as it’s been freeing, Eilish said it was “an unbelievable 50/50.”
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“There are so many things that I would never ever be able to do if I didn’t have what I have, and so many things that I can never do again,” she said, before adding, “And that, that’s the thing that is freaky—never—you know? Just hearing that word come out of my mouth freaks me out.”
It’s been a journey these past few years for Eilish to reach a level of comfort and acceptance of her life, even if it’s still a little jarring for her. While she admits to a “secret house” on her sophomore album, Eilish and her family still live in and own the house she grew up in.
“It feels the same as it always did. There’s no sign that a famous person exists within 200 feet of this area,” she said. “I mean, it’s really funny. I have to remind myself what my life actually is to the outside world, because I just forget sometimes.”
“My life really, honestly feels the same as it did when I was a child — except that I don’t have any friends,” she noted before laughing quickly, adding, “I mean, besides the people that I work with, who are absolutely my friends — they’re actually my best friends.”