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Eddie Van Halen's son defends Billie Eilish after she admits she doesn't know Van Halen

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Billie Eilish, who just made Grammy history, irked boomers by seemingly not knowing who Van Halen is — but one of the founding member's kids is coming to her defense.

The "Bad Guy" singer, who is only 17, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel last month and was quizzed about the year 1984 when Kimmel was age 17. After naming Madonna, who Eilish knows, Kimmel asked, "Can you name a Van Halen?"

"Who?" she replied.

The moment went viral days later with some music fans flabbergasted Eilish, who was born in 2001, didn't know the rock band. The Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex, formed the group eventually known as Van Halen with bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth in 1972. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2007, when Eilish was 5 years old. Eddie Van Halen's son Wolf, who became the bassist for the band, told people to give her a break.

"Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us," he tweeted Monday. "Listen to what you want and don’t shame others for not knowing what you like."

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Rob Sheridan, the former art director for Nine Inch Nails, also weighed in.

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Former Deadspin columnist Drew Magary quipped, "If you're surprised Billie Eilish has never heard of Van Halen, well then you might be a LOT more surprised by the s*** Eddie Van Halen himself is oblivious to." The tweet linked to a Billboard article where Eddie Van Halen said he wasn't familiar with the work of Radiohead, Metallica or Guns N' Roses because he doesn't listen to music.

Many others came to Eilish's defense, too.

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Eilish is up for six Grammys in January and is the youngest artist to earn nominations in all four major categories – Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.

[Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Dec. 2, 2019 at 3:22 p.m. ET and has been updated to note the original bassist in Van Halen was Michael Anthony not Mark Stone.]

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