From ‘Bad Guy’ to Bond: Billie Eilish becomes the youngest artist to record a James Bond movie theme

Billie Eilish (Photo: Associated Press)
Billie Eilish (Photo: Associated Press)

Billie Eilish scored her first No. 1 single with “Bad Guy,” but now the goth-pop star will be singing about an action-movie hero: Eilish, who just celebrated her 18th birthday last month, is officially making cinematic history as the youngest artist ever to record a James Bond movie theme. (The previous record was held by Sheena Easton, who was 22 when she released her theme for 1981’s For Your Eyes Only.) The song, which Eilish co-wrote with her 22-year-old brother and producer, Finneas O’Connell, will accompany the upcoming 25th Bond film, No Time to Die.

“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way. To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honor. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock,” Eilish gushed in a statement. O’Connell added, “Writing the theme song for a Bond film is something we’ve been dreaming about doing our entire lives. There is no more iconic pairing of music and cinema than the likes of Goldfinger and Live and Let Die. We feel so, so lucky to play a small role in such a legendary franchise. Long live 007.”

This latest achievement follows a breakthrough 2019 that saw Eilish becoming the youngest artist to ever be nominated in the “Big Four” Grammys categories — Record, Song, and Album of the Year, plus Best New Artist — in a single year. When her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, debuted in the top spot of the Billboard 200 in April last year, it was the biggest debut of the decade for any new artist, and it established Eilish as the first artist born in the 2000s to score a No. 1 album. The Forbes “30 Under 30” star was also Billboard’s Woman of the Year and Variety’s Hitmaker of the Year, and When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was named the top album of 2019 on Yahoo Entertainment’s staff picks list.

Now Eilish joins an elite list of 007 singers that includes Adele, Sam Smith, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Madonna, and Tina Turner. Only Adele’s “Skyfall” and Smith’s Spectre theme “Writing’s on the Wall” have won the Academy Award for Best Original Song; Carly Simon’s The Spy Who Loved Me ballad "Nobody Does It Better” is the only Bond song to ever receive a Grammy nomination as Song of the Year; and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill” is still the only Bond theme to go to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Will Eilish’s No Time to Die theme earn the young singer even more historic accolades and another chart-topping single? We’ll make those predictions once the song is out to coincide with the film’s April 2 theatrical release.

For now, Eilish is set to perform at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 26, where she is predicted to take home at least a couple trophies. She is up for a total of six Grammys, while O’Connell is nominated in five categories, including Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, for his work on When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

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