"I wasn't singling anyone out": Billie Eilish issues clarification about her statements against artists releasing multiple record variants

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Billie Eilish clarifies her remarks about record variants and other artists. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

Billie Eilish, the American singer and songwriter, recently responded to claims from Taylor Swift fans that she had called out the pop star in a Billboard interview. In her Instagram story on April 1, 2024, Eilish clarified that she was not "singling anyone out" and instead shedding light on "industry-wide systemic issues."

This came after the Bad Guy singer spoke about the “wasteful” ways in which the “biggest artists in the world” sell several vinyl variants, usually to secure their No. 1 entry. On March 28, 2024, during her interview with Billboard, the 22-year-old shed light on sustainability issues in the industry:

"I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable and do the best that I can and try to involve everybody in my team in being sustainable. Some of the biggest artists in the world making f*cking 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more."

Following the interview, Taylor Swift’s fans as well as other fandoms began to speculate that Billie's comments were about their idol. On Monday, Eilish responded to the same via a post on her Instagram story that read:

"Okay, so, it would be so awesome if people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I said in that Billboard article. I wasn’t singling anyone out, these are industry-wide systemic issues. When it comes to variants, so many artists release them — including ME! Which I clearly state in the article."

Billie Eilish responds to backlash after criticizing "wasteful" vinyl packaging

Billie Eilish had a sit-down with Billboard on Thursday, March 28, to talk about the climate crisis and what steps she has taken as an artist to promote sustainability. Last year, the singer helped launch and fund ­REVERB’s Music Decarbonization Project, which aims to eliminate carbon emissions created by the music industry.

Billie Eilish's mother, Maggie Baird was also present at the interview.

In 2020, Baird founded Support + Feed, which helps mitigate climate change and increase food security. One of the main functions of the foundation is the acceptance and accessibility of plant-based food, including at large-scale events like concerts.

While talking about sustainability and the environment, Billie Eilish told Billboard:

"We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging … which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money and gets them more… I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is. It is right in front of our faces and people are just getting away with it left and right."

Her words received a lot of backlash from fanbases for some of the biggest stars in the industry, including Taylor Swift, who is known for releasing re-recorded versions of her earlier works to earn back the rights to her songs/albums.

As soon as Eilish's comments from the Billboard interview spread online, many took to social media to allege that she too releases albums in different packaging, thus earning her backlash for her take on sustainability.

To clarify matters, Billie Eilish recently addressed the issue on her Instagram Stories, claiming she was not "singling anyone out" and admitting that she also releases variants of her work. She concluded the story by pointing out the urgency of the climate crisis:

"The climate crisis is now and it’s about all of us being part of the problem and trying to do better. Sheesh."

Billie Eilish has long been an advocate of sustainability and environmental concerns. She has been a vegan since she was 12. She partnered with her mother's organization, Support + Feed, for her 2022 Happier Than Ever tour in 2023. According to REVERB, a nonprofit, the singer saved 8.8 million gallons of water by serving plant-based meals for the artists and crew.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal