Pop Culture

Billie Eilish is Billboard's 2019 Woman of the Year

It's been a big year for the young musician and singer of 'Bad Guy', who won two AMAs last night.
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In case you didn't know, this is Billie Eilish's year. The young musician, who has been captivating a Gen-Z audience with her alt-pop sounds and nonconformist style for years, finally hit her mainstream big break in March with her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Now, with music's part of awards season having just gotten started, we just learned she will pick up a major honor before she even turns 18: Billboard has named Eilish its 2019 Woman of the Year.

Last year's Woman of the Year was Ariana Grande, who had truly defined 2018 pop culture as she released two albums and dropped the viral single "thank u, next," which was basically the most elaborate call-out of exes ever as she name-dropped four of them and created a video that referenced four of the most iconic '90s and early 2000s films.

Eilish has had the same kind of impact in 2019, multiplying her following with her killer voice and causing people to embrace spooky vibes literally all year. She freaked viewers out—though also intrigued them—with her video for "bury a friend," and embodied her own version of Big Pussy Energy with "bad guy," which actually ended up being the song that would unthrone the #1 streak of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road."

The musician has become a fashion favorite, too, without ever having to sacrifice her personal style—at a Chanel event earlier this year, she rocked a giant T-shirt (lime green to match her roots, obviously) with some sunglasses and logo jewelry. She also has worn plenty of Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton, collaborated with Takashi Murakami, and released a kids' clothing line (that last one is fitting, considering her young fanbase and their efforts to look like her). Eilish's journey to redefine what a pop star looks like (just by being herself) appears more powerful than ever, and her busy year makes her a perfect fit for the award.

The young talent will pick up her award at Billboard's Women in Music event on December 12. Joining her in the winners' circle will be Taylor Swift, who will take home the inaugural Woman of the Decade award. Swift also had a big night at the AMAs, as in addition to taking home her designate decade award there, she won five others, including Artist of the Year. With both artists' recent wins and upcoming honors, it's clear they each have both stan culture (most of the AMAs, with the exception of special awards like Artist of the Decade, are voting-based) and industry support in their favor. Here's to seeing how they evolve—and who joins them—in the years and decades to come.

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