On Sunday, January 26, the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards were hosted by Alicia Keys. The show opened with Lizzo performing her songs “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts.” She later went on to win three Grammys for Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album.
However, the night was dominated by 18-year-old Billie Eilish and her older brother Finneas O’Connell. Eilish started to gain attention in 2016 when she uploaded the song “Ocean Eyes” to SoundCloud. On March 29, 2019, Eilish, in collaboration with O’Connell, released her first studio album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” The album was highly anticipated after the release of her critically acclaimed EP “Don’t Smile at Me” in 2017.
On Sunday, Eilish made history by becoming the youngest artist and the first female to sweep the four main Grammy categories in the same year: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. Eilish also took home Best Pop Vocal Album.
As for her brother, O’Connell also won Grammys for Best Engineered Album (Non-classical) and Producer of the Year (Non-classical).
The brother-sister team has said they worked in complete collaboration to create the award-winning album, which they began writing in 2016. The whole album was recorded at their home in Highland Park, California in O’Connell’s room. Lyricially, the album features concepts of drug addiction, heartbreak, climate change, mental health and suicide. According to Eilish, the album was largely inspired by lucid dreaming and night terrors.
As well as making history, Eilish turned a few more heads due to her reaction to winning Album of the Year. Before the awards were announced, Eilish could be seen mouthing “please don’t be me.” Once she was announced as the winner, Eilish screamed out “No!” During her acceptance speech, Eilish said she thought Ariana Grande deserved the award for her album “Thank U, Next.” O’Connell jumped in and said, “We didn’t write a speech for this because we didn’t make this album to win a Grammy. We didn’t think it would win anything ever. We wrote an album about depression and suicidal thoughts and climate change and being ‘the bad guy’- whatever that means. We stand up here confused and grateful.”
In addition to winning seven Grammys collectively, Eilish and O’Connell also performed the song “When the Party’s Over” from “When We all Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Other notable performances came from The Jonas Brothers, Camila Cabello, Lizzo, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato. Many of the performances were dedicated to former basketball player Kobe Bryant who passed away in a helicopter crash earlier that day.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at