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Billie Eilish felt “really vulnerable” addressing abuse on latest album

"It’s really vulnerable to be putting yourself out there in that way," she said of the writing process.

By Hollie Geraghty

Billie Eilish poses for a press photo against a green background
Billie Eilish (Photo: Kelia Anne MacCluskey/ Press)

Billie Eilish said she felt “really vulnerable” writing about abuse on latest album Happier Than Ever.

The 20-year-old singer opened up about addressing an experience from her own life in a new interview with The Sunday Times, ahead of her performance at Glastonbury this week, where she will become the festival’s youngest ever headliner.

“It’s really vulnerable to be putting yourself out there in that way,” she said of the writing process. “Here’s all these secrets about me and here’s all these insecurities I have and here are all the things I keep to myself.”

Eilish sings that it “wasn’t my decision to be abused” on ‘Getting Older’. Other lyrics include: “For anybody asking, I promise I’ll be fine. I’ve had some trauma, did things I didn’t wanna; Was too afraid to tell ya, but now, I think it’s time.”

The singer did not describe her own experience, but said it was an episode that happened when she was younger.

“There’s a verse in ‘Your Power’ that is about my experience and that’s as specific as I’ll get,” she said.

“The rest of it is about so many other things I’ve witnessed – from all these different points of view.

“It [abuse] does change you. It makes you feel this responsibility and regret and embarrassment. You feel guilty. You feel like it is your fault and it’s because of you and you started it and this and that.

“And you’re, like, but wait, I didn’t, though, because I was just a kid.

She also said that abuse victims will “blame ourselves and usually the people abusing you blame you too when it’s nothing to do with you”.

“Especially when you’re young and your brain isn’t developed and you don’t know what is right or wrong,” she continued.

She added: “The worst part is it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter how vigilant your parents are.

“It doesn’t matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter about your judgement, it can just happen to you and you have no control over it.

“It’s crazy. And a lot of the time people who have that ill intention seem to be really charming on the outside, they can be charming to your family, they can make a really good impression on your friends. And they take advantage of that.”

Eilish is currently on the UK and European leg of Happier Than Ever, The World Tour, before she takes to the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury on Friday (June 24).