Popstar Billie Eilish recently revealed she didn’t know of the band Van Halen, and naturally, people have reacted to that fact. While making an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last month, Kimmel compared himself to the 17-year-old singer, readily admitting he wasn’t nearly as successful at that age. He did comfort himself by explaining he was 17 in 1984 — or as he called it, “perhaps the greatest year in American history.”
The “Bad Guy” singer prodded back about the host’s current age, to which Kimmel replied, “Do you know who Madonna is?”
While Eilish said she knew who The Material Girl was, she did that there was a lot from that era that she was unaware of, including Cabbage Patch Kids and Run DMC. However, it was the Van Halen comment that really got people talking. First, the rock fans who seemed disheartened by the revelation.
Billie Eilish didn’t know who Van Halen was, I’m sobbing. pic.twitter.com/tX6xrs7cIE
— Mack (@_Kenziepuff) November 29, 2019′
“My take: you should definitely know who Van Halen is even if you’re 17,” one fan wrote.
A second wrote, “I know u guys think that this is ok and I get it but…cmon girl it’s VAN HALEN.”
A third wrote, “Billie Eilish doesn’t know who Van Halen is. Get off my lawn!”
However, not everyone was so quick to pile on Eilish, who will turn 18 later this month, for not knowing a band that was formed 30 years prior. And, to be fair, have only put out one album in her lifetime, 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth.
“Who cares if a teenager doesn’t know the music you knew when you were a teen?” one fan wrote. “Introduce them! Y’all didn’t come onto this earth knowing all the stuff you know now either. Doesn’t matter when they meet the good stuff. Shut up and play it for them.”
A second wrote, “I say this as a superfan: Van Halen has given Billie Eilish no reason to know who they are. They’ve done very little during her lifetime. Don’t complain about other people’s musical experience being different. Instead, share — give people a reason to love what you love.”
We grew up listening to #VanHalen and we’re old as fck so why would @billieeilish know who they are? #NoDiss
— Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) December 2, 2019
Another wrote, “Now I feel bad being a 24 yr old male and not knowing who Van Halen is.”
Interestingly, one of Eilish’s most visible defenders (aside from ’90s rockers Smashmouth), came from Wolfgang Van Halen, the band’s current bassist and son of founding member/guitarist/band namesake Eddie Van Halen.
If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool. If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too.
Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us. Listen to what you want and don’t shame others for not knowing what you like.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) December 2, 2019
After her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Eilish got some flack online after a video surfaced that seemed to show her ignoring some fans after the taping. In the wake of the fallout, Eilish posted her reaction where she attempted to clarify the situation while ardently disputing the claim that she was ignoring her fans.