Billie Eilish, the 18-year-old singing phenom, continued her meteoric rise with a spotlight Oscars rendition of Beatles song “Yesterday,” in a tribute to Hollywood celebs who died last year.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and acting icon Kirk Douglas led the list of those who have lost their lives.
Bryant, 41, died tragically in a helicopter crash last month. Douglas, screen legend from Hollywood’s golden era, passed away just a few days ago at the age of 103.
Eilish, backed by her brother Finneas O’Connell on piano, gave a performance that was well beyond her years in emotion.
“It’s not about me. This is about them and showing love. It’s not my thing. It really is true. I don’t want it to be about me. I want people to be watching the screen, watching the people,” she said.
Billie and her songwriting partner Finneas have also been tapped to write the theme song for the next James Bond movie. She suggested that the song has already been written when asked if she was going to debut it at the Oscars.
But ahead of the ceremony she confirmed otherwise. She said she wouldn’t be debuting her new James Bond song, insisting it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to play the theme for “No Time To Die.”
Instead, she chose a stripped back version of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday,” while images of stars including Rip Torn, Diahann Carroll, Robert Forster, Andre Previn, Doris Day, Peter Fonda, John Singleton and Peter Mayhew were projected onto the screen behind them.
Like most years, viewers immediately noticed that certain well-known actors had been snubbed.
Actors Luke Perry, Sid Haig and Cameron Boyce were noticeably missing from the televised tribute.
Director Steven Spielberg introduced the segment hailing the late stars as “legends and icons”.
“Our friends and fellow artists, all who have inspired and touched us,” he said.
She told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: “I can’t do that for the In Memoriam.
Eilish said Bryant’s appearance in the memoriam gave her “shivers.”
“It’s just sad. It’s like, I don’t know what else to say. Every time, when we were in rehearsal and they run kind of what’s going to be playing, every time I see his face, I’m like what? It’s so weird. It doesn’t make sense to me. I just got shivers, it’s horrifying.”
Eilish said she’s always loved the Beatles song, even though it was written more than 30 years before she was born.
Check out the video below.