Billie Eilish’s Brother Responds To Claims That They’re Only Famous Because Of Their Parents

Kaitlin Reilly
US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell attend the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 92nd Oscars at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on February 9, 2020. (Photo by Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

After skyrocketing to fame with their 2019 album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Billie Eilish and her producer brother Finneas swept the 2020 Grammys. Their current careers are far from where they were just a few years ago, when they uploaded Eilish’s first hit “Ocean Eyes” to Soundcloud and hoped for the best.

Uber-success, however, often comes with people suggesting they didn’t earn it. In the case of the siblings, some have claimed that Finneas and Eilish’s actor parents are the main reason they’re famous. In a since-deleted tweet, Finneas shared advice about how to break into the music industry. 

“Shooting your shot’ is promoted widely and I think honestly, it’s a little overrated,” he wrote on Twitter. “Work super hard alone or with your closest friends. Make shit so good it speaks for itself. Don’t pester people to work with you, let them come to you.”

Some fans took issue with the advice, and in the replies, told Finneas that he could eschew networking only because he lived in Los Angeles and had family with music connections.

Finneas clarified that while his parents provided him and Eilish with “love,” they “knew no one in the record industry.”

“During my life time, our parents were never able to fully financially support us off of their work as actors,” Finneas wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Our dad worked 12 hour days 7 days a week as a construction worker for Mattel and our mother was a teacher.”

He added that these days, Eilish and Finneas help their parents financially. 

“I paid off their mortgage last year and billie pays them each salaries to tour with us full time though they have told us many times they would work for us for free,” he tweeted, sharing that his dad now sweeps the stage floor before his kids perform. 

While there’s certainly something to be said for living in a music industry hub, it doesn’t sound like nepotism is what launched Finneas and Eilish’s massive careers. What did was the music they made in their childhood bedroom — which, yes, technically was provided by their parents. In fact, Eilish was still sleeping in her childhood home when she was woken up by her mom about Grammy nominations.

“I was knocked out,” Eilish told Jimmy Kimmel. “My mom came and woke me up and I was, like, half asleep, like, ‘Cool.’”

Credit mum for the constant support — not Eilish’s success.

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