Billie Eilish took home five Grammys at tonight’s ceremony (Photo by Rich Fury)
Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Back in 2018, Forbes put a 16-year-old singer-songwriter on the 30 Under 30 Music list. She had something of a loyal cult following but hadn’t yet sniffed mainstream stardom. After tonight’s sweep of all four major categories at the Grammys—becoming only the second artist in history to do so—it’s safe to say Billie Eilish has cemented her status in the pop firmament.
She took home five golden gramophones in all: Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album (both for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?), Record of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Bad Guy”) and Best New Artist. “The fans deserve everything,” she said while onstage to collect the latter Grammy. “They’re the only reason any of us are here at all.”
Eilish’s acceptance speeches grew shorter as the night went on, using her time for Album of the Year to say she felt Ariana Grande deserved the award and closing the ceremony with a simple “thank you” after winning “Record of the Year.” But she opened up more to Forbes back in 2018, both onstage and via printed word. These interviews gave us the clues to predict she’d be one of music’s top three breakouts of the past year.
Here’s a flashback to some of the most compelling answers she gave as part of our standard Under 30 Q&A back in 2018, along with a video of the onstage interview at our 30 Under 30 Summit in Boston that same year.
Forbes: Who’s your ideal mentor?
Billie Eilish: A$AP Rocky.
F: Worst advice you have ever received?
B: Nothing specific comes to mind. Bad advice I just forget about.
F: What is the biggest myth about Millennials?
B: Am I a Millennial? I don’t think any stereotypes about them apply to me.
F: How many hours per week do you work?
F: What is your greatest achievement?
B: Learning to listen to myself.
F: Do you consider being under 30 an advantage in your chosen career?
F: What was your first job?
B: Working as a horse camp counselor at age 11.
F: App you can’t live without?
B: All of my music apps.
F: When did you decide what you wanted for a career?
B: As a child.