Billie Eilish doesn’t know who Van Halen are and Twitter is furious

Singer Billie Eilish
Singer Billie Eilish said she never heard of Van Halen. Pic credit: @ImageCollect/ImagePressAgency.

A video clip of a recent Billie Eilish interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in which she admits that she does know the ’80s rock band Van Halen has gone viral on social media.

Many Van Halen fans took to social media to express outrage after Eilish said she has never heard of the famous rock band from Pasadena, California.

In the interview, Kimmel tests Eilish’s knowledge of some of the top pop/rock singers and bands from the ’80s, decades before she was born. Kimmel asks Eilish if she knows Madonna and she said she did.

He then asks her about Van Halen.

“Can you name a Van Halen?” Kimmel asks.

“Who?” Billie Eilish responds.

“I’m gonna start crying,” Kimmel says.

Van Halen fans react on Twitter

That brief exchange between Eilish and Kimmel sparked a row on Twitter, with many Van Halen fans, and other fans of hard rock music, expressing disbelief that Eilish never heard of the famous rock band formed in the early ’70s in Pasadena.

Van Halen featured rock stars, such as guitarist Eddie Van Halen, his brother Alex Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, and son Wolfgang Van Halen, among others.

Older rock fans, in particular, railed against what they considered the falling standards of music and the ignorance of the younger generation about the pioneers of rock music.

But some Twitter users defended Eilish, saying she is just 17 years old and that critics were not being fair on her because she was born in 2001, long after Van Halen was formed in 1972.

Van Halen reached the peak of their success in the ’80s, two decades before Eilish was born. Others pointed out that Van Halen has only released one album — A Different Kind of Truth (2012) — since Eilish was born in 2001.

Van Halen member, Wolfgang, also contributed to the Twitter debate. He scolded Twitter users who attacked Eilish for not knowing about his band.

Eilish first caught attention after she released her song Ocean Eyes on SoundCloud in 2015. The song was later released on Darkroom and Interscope Records label in 2016.

Her debut EP Don’t Smile at Me (2017) reached the top 15 in the U.S. She is also known for songs such as Lovely, released in April 2018, in collaboration with Khalid.

She released her debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? in March 2019. The album, which included hit singles such as When the Party’s Over, Wish You Were Gay, and Bad Guy, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Bad Guy was her first number-one single in the U.S.

She received six Grammy nominations in 2019, becoming the youngest person ever to be nominated in all of the four main award categories — Record, Song, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist — in the same year.

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