The kids love Billie Eilish. On Wednesday night in Cupertino, California, hoards of teens took over the Steve Jobs Theater for a special performance by the seventeen year-old phenomenon and V121 cover star. The first-ever Apple Music Awards welcomed Eilish fans to celebrate the artist, who was being honored with three awards given out by the tech-conglomerate. Of the three, Eilish was awarded Global Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, which she shared with her brother Finneas. While Global Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year were chosen by Apple Music’s global editorial team, Album of the Year was awarded based on streaming data, meaning it was the most streamed album of 2019 with more than a billion streams on the platform.
The event marked the jumpstart of Apple Music Awards; however the tech-giant expressed this is not an awards show or a concert. This event was more specifically a celebration honoring Eilish, inviting the artist to bring her creative vision to life in an intimate setting. Prior to the show, Eilish expressed the rarity of creative freedom in a Q&A with Beats One radio host Zane Lowe saying, “The most satisfying thing is having people trusting me, not just trusting them,” adding, “People don’t trust teenagers or kids. They don’t believe they know what they want. I knew exactly what I wanted…I worked really hard on it.” As part of her vision, Eilish enlisted the help of set-maestro Es Devlin, bringing “the outside in.” The stage was covered in a canopy of trees, not unlike the surroundings of Apple Park, where everything is repurposed and sustainable. The performance, streamed on the Apple Music platform, also marked a first for Eilish–performing an entirely acoustic set.
As the evening served a real year-in-review for the platform, Eilish also detailed her whirlwind year with Lowe, explaining, “I was the most depressed I’d ever been.” Eilish further clarified that her feelings weren’t in response to her career, lamenting, “It took me a couple of months to feel ok again. I was patient with myself and my surroundings.”
Apple also awarded Lizzo with Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Lil Nas X with Song of the Year for “Old Town Road”.