by Michael Leppert
Two homeschooled musicians from Los Angeles scored The Grand Sweep at the Grammies last night. Singer/Songwrite, Billie Eillish, 18, along with her brother, Finneas, 22, who is her producer and best friend, were awarded 4 Grammies last night at Staples Center. The hardware was awarded for: New Artist of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Plus, Ms. Eilish is the youngest person to ever win New Artist at age 18, surpassing Taylor Swift, who won at age 20 and she is also the 2nd person in the 62-year history of the awards to have won the Big 4. Christopher Cross was the first such winner in 1980.
The two musicians were homeschooled by their parents, screenwriter/actress Maggie Baird and actor Patrick O’Connell, and were encouraged by their parents to pursue their interests – whatever they may be. Given the free time to hone their songwriting, performing and recording skills helped the duet climb to the heights of success quickly. To date, they have 13 platinum and 4 gold singles!
Finneas remarked that they just “make music in their bedroom” and are grateful for the Academy’s response and will continue to create as they always have.
Unlike many female performers of the current time, the young singer performed on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago and projected an endearing, vulnerable and sweet quality that made watching and hearing her very pleasing and without any sexual overtones or innuendo. The experience was uplifting and refreshing.
Homeschooling is more mainstream than ever before and with such public success as Eilish and O’Connell’s, no doubt the numbers of families considering homeschooling for their offspring will grow.