Billie Eilish has set a number of records in scoring a Best Original Song Oscar for “No Time to Die,” including being the first person born in the 21st century to win an Academy Award.
At age 20, she’s not the youngest-ever songwriting winner, however. Czech-Icelandic singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová, who co-wrote “Falling Slowly” with Glen Hansard for the film “Once,” was four days away from turning 20 at the February 2008 ceremony.
If “No Time To Die” had come out as originally scheduled in 2020 and Eilish had been nominated and won, she would have been 19 years and two months if the Oscars had gone on as usual in February 2021. And she still would have been a few months younger than Irglová at the stripped-down ceremony that was eventually held in April.
Eilish and her 24-year-old brother Finneas have also become the first American songwriters to win for writing an original James Bond song. Previous winners Adele and Sam Smith are both British — and incidentally, were both 24 when they scored their wins for, respectively for “Skyfall” in 2012 and “The Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre” in 2016.
American-penned Bond songs previously nominated are “The Look of Love” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David from “Casino Royale,” “Nobody Does It Better” by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager from “The Spy Who Loved Me” and title track “For Your Eyes Only,” by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson.
Eilish and O’Connell are also the first sibling songwriting pair to win Best Original Song since the legendary team of Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, who won for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from “Mary Poppins” in 1965.
“No Time to Die” has been lapping up awards for more than a year, notching a Grammy win in March 2021 and a Golden Globe in January.
An incredulous Eilish showed off the Oscar, exclaiming, “Whoa. Oh my God. You guys! This is so unbelievable, I could scream!”
Finneas, meanwhile, quipped, “Last thing, we want to thank our parents who have always been our biggest inspirations and our heroes. We love you as parents and we love you as real people too. Thank you to the Academy. We promise not to lose these.”