An Apparently Controversial Confession
To be fair, Eilish is only 17, and Van Halen's last major hit was 1995’s "Can’t Stop Lovin’ You," which came out well before Eilish was even born.
People Were Enraged By Her Lack Of Knowledge
Twitter absolutely lost it, gnashing their teeth over the fact that Eilish wasn't familiar with the "Panama" band.
"“Billie Eilish doesn’t know who Van Halen is. Get off my lawn!”
“I know u guys think that this is ok and I get it but…cmon girl it’s VAN HALEN.”
“My take: you should definitely know who Van Halen is even if you’re 17.”
People Came To Her Defense...
However, plenty of people stuck up for Eilish, pointing out that there wasn't really a reason for her to know the hair band, including Smash Mouth.
"We grew up listening to #VanHalen and we're old as fck so why would @billieeilish know who they are? #NoDiss"
One Twitter user made a really great point:
"I say this as a superfan: Van Halen has given Billie Eilish no reason to know who they are. They've done very little during her lifetime. Don't complain about other people's musical experience being different. Instead, share -- give people a reason to love what you love. 🎧"
... Including A Member Of Van Halen
However, the definitive answer came from Van Halen band member Wolfgang Van Halen. He is the son of founding member Eddie Van Halen and replaced original bassist Michael Anthony in 2006 when he was 15 years old. He had this to say about the Eilish controversy:
"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. 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."
That should settle that matter once and for all.