‘I didn’t think I’d make it to 17’
Billie Eilish has revealed that she was “so unhappy last year”, and considered taking her own life after feeling overwhelmed by her overnight success and falling into a deep depression.
In a new interview with Gayle King for the CBS’ Grammy Special, the singer discussed struggles with her mental health. “I was so joyless,” she said. “I don’t want to be too dark, but I genuinely didn’t think I would make it to 17.”
When asked if she thought she would do something to herself, Eilish replied, “yeah”, before elaborating about an experience she had while alone in a hotel room in Berlin. “I remember there was a window right there,” she explained. “I remember crying because I was thinking about how the way that I was going to die was I was going to do it.”
Referencing the lyric, “I wanna end me”, in her 2019 track, “bury a friend”, Eilish said she was talking about herself, but added: “It also rhymed.” After being asked why she thinks she didn’t take her own life, Eilish stated: “My mum.” King also spoke to the musician’s mother, Maggie Baird, who said that the family reduced Eilish’s gruelling tour schedule and helped her go to therapy.
As well as discussing her own struggles with depression, Eilish explained that she reaches out to fans at concerts when she notices self-harm scars on their arms. “I just grab them by the shoulders,” said the singer, “and I’m like, ‘please take care of yourself and be good to yourself’. Don’t take that extra step and hurt yourself further – you can’t take it back.”
Eilish is up for six awards at the 2020 Grammys, including best album for WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, song, and record of the year for “bad guy”, as well as Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance for “bad guy”, and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 (UK) and 116 123 (ROI). The US National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.