Should Six-Time Grammy Nominee, 17-Year-Old Billie Eilish Know Who Van Halen Is?

During an appearance on the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' late-night talk show, Billie Eilish was quizzed on her knowledge of 1984 pop culture.

During the interview, Kimmel asked Eilish about the year he was 17 and the major figures of pop culture at the time. Asking if she knew who Madonna and Cindi Lauper were, what Cabbage Patch Kids were and what Mr T pitied, Kimmel also asked the 17-year-old to "name a member of Van Halen".

Unfortunately for the "Bad Guy" singer, she couldn't, replying, "Who? No, who is that?"

That has since erupted in a debate online with many slamming the two-time American Music Award winner and three-time MTV Video Music Award winner for her ignorance in musical history.



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The internet seems to be divided, with Eilish being either characterised as ignorant to the music industry for not being able to name any members of Van Halen -- with others jumping to her defence, slamming the question altogether.

Eilish was born in 2001, almost 30 years after Van Halen formed in the early '70s.

She also credits a range of influences to her music including The Beatles but also Justin Bieber, because -- again -- she's 17-years-old.



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There's also the idea that, as a young musician, Eilish is required to have a knowledge of all music that came before her -- despite describing her favourite genre as hip-hop, rather than the hard rock and metal Van Halen are known for.

While the internet tore itself apart with three clear camps emerging -- Billie Elish is fine to not know who Van Halen is, who is Billie Eilish and Van Halen sucks anyway -- Wolfgang Van Halen, son of Eddie, posted on Twitter urging fans to "go check out" Eilish.

This also falls into a new category of "asking Millenials how much they know about the past", like Seth Meyers' regular segment where he quizzes his 24-year-old writer on pop culture from former generations.

There's almost a yearning to put down new generations for not having an encyclopedic knowledge of touchstones that former generations may have as if to demean what they do know -- like how to change your iPhone text size or how to switch HDMI inputs in less than eight minutes.

This isn't the first time Eilish has come up against not knowing major pop culture icons. Maybe more pressing were the times she didn't know who Hilary Duff or The Spice Girls were.

Van Halen? That's excusable. Lizzie McGuire? That's a crime.

Featured image: ABC via YouTube / Getty Images.