Did Billie Eilish Throw Shade At Taylor Swift? Here's What She Really Said

Billie Eilish's March 2024 Billboard interview led many to believe she had bad blood with Taylor Swift. While the "Bad Guy" hitmaker discussed sustainability in the music industry, she pointed out that many artists were generating tons of waste by releasing multiple variants of one album to boost sales and, ultimately, their net worth. Eilish, on the other hand, consistently strives to be environmentally conscious and encourages her team members to follow in her footsteps. 

However, she felt that the more popular artists with the power to make a change didn't seem to have a care in the world as they continued to encourage the hyper-consumption Eilish desperately wanted to avoid. "It's so wasteful, and it's irritating to me that we're still at a point where you care that much about your numbers and you care that much about making money — and it's all your favorite artists doing that s***," the Grammy-winner quipped. Although she didn't name-drop anyone, fans quickly assumed that the "Happier Than Ever" singer was talking about Swift because she has often found herself in hot water for having multiple versions of her albums. 

According to Billboard, the world-conquering pop star's tenth album, "Midnights" came in over 20 variants. The "Cruel Summer" singer also frequently re-releases her own versions of past albums, with Variety reporting that "1989 (Taylor's Version)" had 11 physical copies. Users on X, formerly known as Twitter, weren't too happy about Eilish's interview and called her out for her shady comments. However, the outspoken pop star was quick to clarify what she meant. 

Did Eilish subtly shade Swift in her response too?

After receiving some backlash for her critiques about sustainability in the Billboard interview, Billie Eilish took to her Instagram Stories to clear the air. She started by stating that her comments weren't targeting a particular artist but rather the music industry at large. "When it comes to variants, so many artists release them, including ME! — which I clearly state in the article. The climate crisis is now and it's about all of us being part of the problem and trying to do better," Eilish noted, per Deadline. 

However, some fans believe that she was subtly shading Taylor Swift by writing "ME!" in her statement as it perfectly mimicked the title of her 2019 single, from the hit album "Lover." Others wrote off her stylization as a harmless joke that acknowledged how she agreed with the general sentiment that she wasn't entirely blameless. After the Billboard interview went live, X users dubbed the "Lost Cause" songstress a hypocrite for preaching about sustainability while putting out multiple versions of her albums. 

Some were particularly miffed at how Eilish released "signed" versions of her "Happier Than Ever" album, which didn't actually feature her signature but random paint splatters created by the singer-songwriter. However, her fans jumped to Eilish's defense, explaining that the move aligned with Eilish's previously stated intentions to offer her fans something more personal than an autograph. They also pointed out that her album variants were made with 100% recycled materials, which the Billboard article also confirmed. Still, some Swifties stood their ground, arguing that Eilish was still contributing to hyperconsumerism with her album variants regardless. 

The two artists have been supportive of each other

When Taylor Swift accepted Billboard's Woman of the Decade award in 2019, she gave a heartfelt shoutout to Billie Eilish. The "Blank Space" hitmaker included Eilish in the list of female newcomers in the industry whom she admired. Swift also reminisced about how she stressed the importance of nurturing young musicians in her 2014 Billboard Woman of the Year speech. In fact, while she gave that address, a young Eilish was busy creating the building blocks of her own career, which would eventually lead her to receive the Billboard Woman of the Year award herself in 2019. 

When the "Ocean Eyes" singer received the honor, she thanked both Swift and Billboard for looking out for younger artists. Earlier that same year, Swift was spotted cheering Eilish on as she won an American Music Award for Favorite Artist (Alternative Rock). The "Bury A Friend" hitmaker was equally supportive of Swift as she took the stage to give a stellar performance of her biggest hits. Eilish also went on to gush about Swift in her October 2023 Los Angeles Times interview. 

She enthused, "Beyoncé and Taylor [Swift] are untouchable superstars; the fact that they can put on a show that long, and it's filled with so many incredible moments, is really amazing."  However, Eilish was quick to note that stadiums weren't her preferred venue of choice because she wanted her audience to feel more connected with her. The two women also had a brief reunion at the 2024 Grammys so it's unlikely Swift will take Eilish's Billboard comments to heart.