Billie Eilish made all kinds of history on Sunday night (March 27) at the 2022 Academy Awards when the James Bond ballad she wrote with her brothers, Finneas, “No Time to Die,” won best original song. Not only did she become the youngest artist to win three awards for the same song — she previously took home a Grammy and Golden Globe — but the songwriting duo also became the first siblings to win in this category since Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, who won the 1964 award for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins.
“I went from 14 to 20, that will do it,” Eilish told the press backstage in the Oscars media room after the win according to Deadline. “I was also a very young teenager. You know teenagers — it’s just growth and aging. I’m super happy,” she continued with a gleeful smile in response to a question about her rapid transformation from a “emo, sad-looking teenager” to someone who appears to be having a good time and enjoying the fruits of her labor.
“I feel like I’m just coming into being aware of what is good and around me. When you’re that young, it’s hard to understand how big of a deal things are around you, how important things are.” Eilish also explained that she had no idea what something like winning an Oscar — or writing a Bond song — meant in her teens. “I was a kid, and I didn’t know… I’m so thrilled that growing up has taught me to be more aware of the greatness around me,” she said while cradling her Oscar.
Brother Finneas noted that he reached out to Sam Smith and his songwriting partner Jimmy Napes for advice after their Bond song, “The Writing’s on the Wall,” took home the best original song Oscar in 2016, basically, “picking their brains about [what the process was like]… They were very encouraging and they gave really good advice, which was basically to make a song we’re really proud of.”
“No Time to Die” is the third Bond song to win an Oscar; the first that was written by American songwriters. The first two winners, “Skyfall” and “Writing’s on the Wall,” were both written by pairs of English writers.
Eilish, 20, is the second-youngest winner ever in the category, trailing only Markéta Irglová, who was four days shy of turning 20 when she won in February 2008 for co-writing “Falling Slowly” from Once. Eilish might have become the youngest winner ever in this category if COVID hadn’t happened and No Time to Die had come out on schedule in 2020. If that had happened, she might have won the award at the Oscars in their usual time slot in late February 2021, when she was 19 and two months.