Just ahead of her big weekend at the 2020 Grammy Awards, Billie Eilish revealed more lyrics that address her mental health. If you’ve ever heard the 17-year-old’s acclaimed track “Bury a Friend” off of the Grammy-nominated When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, then you might recognize the haunting line in question: “I wanna end me.” Turns out, that screeching hook was meant to be taken literally.
In an interview with CBS’s Gayle King, Billie got candid about her battles with depression and suicidal ideation. “I was so unhappy last year,” she said in the interview, which is part of “The Gayle King Grammy Special” airing this week. “I was so unhappy, and I was so joyless.” And that’s coming from the youngest artist ever nominated for the Grammys Big 4 categories. Naturally, the pressure was on.
“I don’t want to be too dark, but I genuinely didn’t think I would make it to 17,” Eilish said. She just turned 18 in December, yet the artist confesses to contemplating suicide while on tour in the past. “I think about this one time I was in Berlin and I was alone in my hotel. And I remember there was a window right there,” she added. “I remember crying because I was thinking about how the way that I was going to die was. I was going to do it.”
Eilish continued, explaining that these moments were referenced in “Bury a Friend” with the lyrics: “Today, I’m thinkin’ about the things that are deadly, the way I’m drinkin’ you down / Like I wanna drown, like I wanna end me.”
Thankfully, the young Los Angelino is recovering. And she wants fans of hers to experience the same stability, telling Gayle that she’d do anything to protect those struggling with their mental health. “I just grab them by the shoulders and I’m like, ‘Please take care of yourself and be good to yourself and be nice to yourself,’” she said. “Don’t take that extra step and hurt yourself further.’”
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.