It’s not every day that you find yourself mistaken for the grandad of the youngest-ever recipient of the Big Four at the Grammys, but Terry George, a businessman from Leeds, found himself to be just that.
George was sitting behind Billie Eilish during the ceremony after he gained entry by winning a spot in a ballot to be a seat-filler – a person who fills the prime on-camera seats in the main auditorium whenever a major artist goes on stage, or to the bathroom.
“I felt part of the entourage,” George told the BBC. “I don’t know if (Eilish) was just overwhelmed with the whole emotion of it all, but she and her brother grabbed my hand and shook it when they came back down (from the stage).”
“Just being there, hearing the gasps and hugging people around them like their mum, I just felt quite caught up in it all. It was pretty incredible really.”
Eilish won big at this year’s Grammys, taking home five awards, including best new artist and song of the year. The 18-year-old also won album of the year for her debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go, which was recorded in a bedroom with her brother, Finneas. She replaces Taylor Swift as the youngest person ever to win the award.
George describes speaking to Billie at the ceremony: “She looked round to me and caught my eye, and I said, ‘What are you going to do if you win this next one?'”
“She was clenching her hands really tight and really gasping, and she said, ‘Oh, my goodness, I don’t know what I’m going to do, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’ You could hear the anticipation in her voice.”
He also revealed that many of the other attendees confused George as Eilish’s grandad: “People kept saying to me, ‘Are you her grandad?’” he said. “I thought, I’m not that old. Maybe I am actually! I just smiled. I thought it was kind of funny.”