Billie Eilish Says She’s Never Heard of Van Halen, Huey Lewis or Run-DMC — Eddie Van Halen’s Son Responds

Billie Eilish Says She's Never Heard of Van Halen, Huey Lewis or Run-DMC

Photo of Billie Eilish by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography

17-year-old singer Billie Eilish stirred some controversy, at least on Twitter, when she told Jimmy Kimmel during an appearance on his show that she did not know who Van Halen is.

Eilish also admitted that she did not know who Run-DMC or Huey Lewis are, nor did she know what a Cabbage Patch doll is. She further has never seen Ghostbusters.

While this caused shock to many on Twitter, with Eilish and Van Halen becoming trending topics on the platform, it should not have been so surprising considering Eilish was born in 2001. By the time she had become culturally aware, it had been many decades since Van Halen, Run-DMC or Lewis had had hit songs.

It might be interesting to discover just how well Jimmy Kimmel would do if quizzed about music and culture from the early 1950s. He might look even dumber than Eilish did to some of Kimmel’s contemporaries.

One person who came to Eilish’s defense was Wolfgang Van Halen, who is the son of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen and the current bassist of Van Halen.

In a tweet, the 28-year-old Van Halen — who is also the son of actress Valerie Bertinelli — said:

“If you haven’t heard of [Billie Eilish], go check her out. She’s cool. If you haven’t heard of [Van Halen], 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.”

Billie Eilish, whose full name is Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, rose to fame in 2016 after releasing her single “Ocean Eyes” on SoundCloud. Her 2019 song “Bad Guy” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This year, she has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, including:

  • Record of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Best New Artist

12 Responses

  1. Sam

    Oh the youth of today…it’s sad, really, no matter what EVH son says.

  2. Paul Lanning

    Van Halen peaked in the 1980s. In 1985, the majority of rock performers and fans knew nothing about artists who topped the charts in 1950.

    • Sam

      Not true. There was an interest in the music genres and artists who proceeded that era of music. Today, not so much…unless it’s a hot Instameme.

      • Paul Lanning

        What 1950 hit artists did 1985 rockers know or care about?

        • Sam

          Take your pick – Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens, Carl Perkins, Muddy Waters, The Isley Brothers, The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra, Elvis…should I keep going? All of these artists, and more, had influence over generations of musical acts until we hit the 2000s, really.

          • Paul Lanning

            Sinatra was the only artist in your list who was on the charts or the radio in 1950. Maybe Lady Day here and there, maybe Chet Atkins on country radio, but that’s it. Isleys?! their first release was in 1959, and they didn’t break wide until the 1970s! Muddy got no airplay or chart position. I can list dozens of early rock n roll architects, but they all emerged in the mid to late 50s at the earliest, and were irrelevant and barely known to most 80s rockers. Sure, the early artists’ work formed the bedrock of what was to come later, but only the most erudite 80s rockers knew their stuff.

  3. Blobbo

    Run DMC and Huey Lewis – sorry fans, she’s not missing much. Van Halen are a bigger deal, but she’s a dumb young girl being elevated in America. What else is new?

  4. Baby boomer 1959

    I bet she heard of Elvis and the Beatles and Michael Jackson and Motown. Good music will always stand the test of time. Rock on motzart!!!

  5. Eric OMahony

    My little piggie in its blanket gets really swollen when I look at her sultry Ocean Eyes.

  6. Anonymous

    I’ve never heard of Billie Eilish. Until this click bait appeared. 🙂