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1 TRENDING TOPIC: BILLIE AND THE GATEKEEPERS

We recently had a conversation with a gatekeeper of a certain age about the new song from Darkroom/Interscope's Billie Eilish. “I don’t hear this one, do you?” this person, who shall remain nameless, confided. “I’m in the business—I can hear the hits. Do you think she still matters?”

Our replies to these two utterances were, in reverse order: Not only does she still matter, but she matters tremendously; she’s a Bob Dylan-level influence on her generation, the members of which hang on her every word, sound, gesture and photo shoot. And it does not matter in the least if you hear it or not. It’s not intended for you.

The first point above doesn’t need much elaboration—you are free to consult the requisite data metrics or talk to a human under the age of 25 for confirmation of Billie’s massive importance in music and pop culture generally. The fact that people of all ages, regardless of their interest in music, tend to know who she is should tell you something.

As to the second point, every artist of consequence to arrive on the scene—Dylan, Nirvana, Eminem, you name it—was met by scores of puzzled, gray-haired biz people who didn’t “hear it.” Eventually, of course, they heard it. They also stopped admitting that they ever said they didn’t hear it.

Just to be absolutely clear: Billie matters. She’s enormous and she’s not going away.

At an awards show during the Before Times, security was lax—which is why HITS Editor in Chief Leonard J. Beer was able to sneak in and photobomb Darkroom boss Justin Lubliner, Spotify Global Co-Head of Music Jeremy Erlich and Billie manager Danny Rukasin. The latter three agreed that this shan't be allowed to happen again.

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