In not-so-shocking but still entertaining news, pop superstar Billie Eilish, a person born in 2001, doesn't seem to know much about Van Halen, a band whose defining album was named (and came out in) 1984.
For a recent spot on his late-night talk show, comedian Jimmy Kimmel decided to present the 17-year-old singer with a series of references from 1984 (his 17th year alive) after declaring it one of the most important years for American history. After inquiring about Madonna, who Eilish clearly knows, Kimmel spouts off, "Can you name a Van Halen?" to which the young star leans forward with a confused look and sasses back, "Who?" While her general demeanor throughout the interview suggests she could just be giving Kimmel a hard time for his insistence on 1984's relevance, she's also very young to have been rocking out to "Hot For Teacher" when VH was still a commonly spoken household name.
True to form, boomers everywhere were immediately exasperated and clutched their pearls at the young singer's admission. Plenty of reasonable voices chimed in, though, including former Nine Inch Nails art director Rob Sheridan with a string of tweets on why it's perfectly fine that she's not a Van Halen fan, and even Eddie Van Halen's son Wolf, who implores folks to listen to Eilish despite her possible ignorance of his dad.
"If you haven't heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She's cool. If you haven't heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They're cool too," the younger Van Halen explains via Twitter. "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."
See below for the original tweet and Sheridan's, and keep scrolling to see some other righteously defensive takes on the whole debacle.
If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool. If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too.— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) December 2, 2019
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.
We worked extremely hard to kill hair metal in the 90s, thank you teens for giving it an unceremonious "ok boomer"— Rob Sheridan (@rob_sheridan) December 2, 2019
If you're surprised Billie Eilish has never heard of Van Halen, well then you might be a LOT more surprised by the shit Eddie Van Halen himself is oblivious to. (via @CKlosterman) https://t.co/4yeJMj2ngQ pic.twitter.com/HGmpCkxYal— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) December 2, 2019
If you're surprised Billie Eilish has never heard of Van Halen, I would love to ask you what music you were listening to as teenager from 40 years ago.— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) December 2, 2019
That's listening to music from the 1930s when you grew up in the '70s, and the 1940s if you grew up in the '80s.
if billie eilish was a dude no one would care that she didn't know who van halen was, but she's young and a woman and successful and wears baggy clothes and defies conventional beauty standards. its like punk rock never happened you idiots— Caryn Rose (@carynrose) December 2, 2019