It’s been a big week for Billie Eilish.
The Generation-Z icon has long been the subject of intrigue, but this fall—whether it’s because she didn’t know who Hilary Duff was or was unfamiliar with Van Halen or was playing games with late night talk show hosts—she’s been attracting even more attention than usual.
But if, somehow, you’re still skeptical of the musician’s talent and capability to steer her own career forward, she’s gone and proved her skills twice over in a single day. Not only has Eilish released a music video for “xanny,” a single she co-wrote (with her brother, Finneas O’Connell) for her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs like Xanax, she is also reportedly going to rake in a huge sum for an upcoming documentary about her life.
The video for “xanny” also marks Eilish’s directorial debut. Not many 17-year-old pop stars can say they’ve directed their own music video for a song they wrote, let alone one that promotes a somewhat positive message (despite the emo overtones in production). In the video, the Grammy nominee finds herself singing directly to the camera as hands emerge from off-screen to burn her face with cigarette butts. Eilish is almost unrecognizable, having switched up her signature neon, reverse-ombré to a plain, light-chestnut shad, and shifted from her typical oversized, patterned sets to a matching cream-colored turtleneck and pants. We have to assume her normie transformation at least involves some sort of wig.
In addition to releasing the video for “xanny,” Eilish headlined the Apple Music Awards (the first of its kind) this week, was named Apple Music’s artist of the year, and will be the subject of a documentary released on the Apple TV+ streaming platform. It was reported that she will receive a $25 million paycheck from the Apple TV+ exclusive once the deal goes through. R.J. Cutler already directed it with the Interscope Records seal of approval and a $1-2 million dollar budget. Apple Music has already premiered documentaries about Taylor Swift (The 1989 World Tour (Live)) and Ed Sheeran (Songwriter), but this one will be part of Apple TV+’s unscripted initiative (which also includes a forthcoming music industry documentary from Oprah Winfrey).
Who cares whether or not a teen knows who Van Halen is when she’s about to make $25 million off a documentary about her life and has already reached nearly a million views on her own directorial debut in the span of just a few hours?