Billie Eilish recently revealed that she isn’t familiar with the rock band Van Halen — but one member of the group is defending the 17-year-old singer.
The revelation came last week, when Eilish stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel, 52, quizzed the “Ocean Eyes” singer about things that were popular in 1984, when he was 17. Eilish was familiar with some pop culture icons more than others.
“You know who Madonna is?” Kimmel asked the Grammy nominee.
“I do know who Madonna is,” Eilish supplied.
“Can you name a Van Halen?” Kimmel then asked.
“Who?” was Eilish’s response, to laughter from the audience. “I’m gonna start crying,” Kimmel joked at her answer.
Kimmel continued to ask Eilish questions about some of the 1980s’ biggest celebrities and fads, with Eilish revealing that she does know who Cyndi Lauper is, but isn’t so familiar with Huey Lewis. The concept of a Cabbage Patch Kid also confounded the artist.
While some expressed shock at Eilish’s seeming lack of music history knowledge, fans quickly came to her defense — including none other than Wolfgang Van Halen, the band’s current bassist and the son of lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
“If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool,” Wolfgang wrote on Twitter on Monday, after the interview resurfaced. “If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too.”
The 28-year-old rocker added: “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.” Wolfgang shared the same message on Instagram later in the day.
Eilish has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year for her hit “bad guy,” as well as Best New Artist. Eilish tied with Lil Nas X for six nominations for the upcoming 2020 awards, while Lizzo leads this year’s nominations with eight total.
Van Halen has been nominated for three Grammy Awards over the years and won in 1991 for Best Hard Rock Performance. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
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