Why Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey’s Coachella Performance Is A Full Circle Musical Moment

Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey’s duet performance on Friday night of Coachella 2024 wasn’t just a match made in alt-pop, indie girl heaven. It was a full-circle musical moment: the muse meeting its art, and the art inspiring the muse right back. 

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Of all the financial, social, and professional reasons for two artists to work together, Eilish and Del Rey’s seemed more profound than any pop collab in recent memory.

The Two Performers United Onstage To Perform Their Hits

During her headlining set at the Southern California music festival, Lana Del Rey brought out surprise guest Billie Eilish to perform two songs that kickstarted both of their careers. First, they performed a duet version of Eilish’s first hit single, “Ocean Eyes,” which was released with her debut EP in 2016.

Next, the pair performed Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die’ hit single, “Video Games,” released four years prior in 2014. The Coachella crowd erupted into applause when Eilish first walked out onstage, and the duets’ reception was equally positive. The admiration Eilish and Del Rey both had for each other was obvious onstage as they smiled and laughed together, marking an iconic moment in women’s musical history.

How Lana Del Rey Beget Billie Eilish

Despite their immense star power, the sheer celebrity of it all wasn’t what made Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey’s Coachella performance so special. This moment went deeper than the flashy glitz of the music festival. Eilish has Del Rey to thank for her prominent musical existence, both in terms of artistic expression and the industry itself.

That reality is certainly not lost on Eilish, either. In a conversation for Interview, the Eilish interviewed Del Rey ahead of the release of ‘Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.’ “You really paved the way for everyone,” Eilish told Del Rey. “People have been trying to look like you since you first started. You changed the way the music industry hears and sees music. You changed the way people sing.”  

Del Rey was quick to return the accolades. The “Born to Die” singer recalled hearing Eilish for the first time and thinking, “This is the girl. She isn’t just talented. You can tell she’s kind. It didn’t feel like you were aspiring to be anything. It’s crazy to have that magical quality.” Their conversation is full of high praise and the type of empathy only two artists existing on the outer fringes of their genre would possess. Even the interview is appropriately titled “Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish Fall in Love.”

How Billie Eilish Returned The Favor Years Later

In her Interview cover story, Del Rey shared a heartwarming moment when she was pondering a significant life decision while watching planes depart from Burbank Airport. The singer recalled receiving an unexpected text message from Eilish. Del Rey took the surprise message as a signal from the universe that she had made the right choice. “I needed to hear something completely different from someone else, and I got this awesome synchronicity that let me know I was in the right place at the right time.” 

The reciprocity didn’t stop after their Interview conversation. As their Coachella duets came to a close, Del Rey addressed the crowd: “That’s the voice of our generation, the voice of your generation. I’m so f***ing grateful she’s standing next to me right now singing my favorite song.” Eilish lightheartedly replied, “Get the f*** out of my face. [She] is the reason for half you b****es’ existence—including mine!” (via NBC News). 

Seeing connecting threads between musical artists of different decades is one thing. Witnessing those threads interweave for a surprise musical performance is another experience entirely, and we’re grateful that such a moment occurred on a balmy April night in southern California.

Image via X / YouTube Stream

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