Billie Eilish addresses the intense scrutiny she faces online

Billie Eilish has questioned why she continues to receive criticism online despite trying “so hard to do good for the world and good for people”.

The 19-year-old Grammy winner, who released her second album Happier Than Ever to critical acclaim this week, has faced intense scrutiny from fans and parts of the media since rising to fame three years ago.

She discusses her whirlwind success story with Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo in a BBC One documentary titled Up Close, filmed in Eilish’s home of Los Angeles, and due to air on Saturday at 10.30pm.

BAFTA Film Awards 2021
Clara Amfo (Ian West/PA)

In the interview, Eilish says: “The people that even say the crazy stuff don’t even think you will see it. They would never say that to you in real life.

“What is the point of trying to do good if people are just going to keep saying that you are doing wrong?

“I try so hard to do good for the world and good for people.

“It’s like you can try to do everything right and still it is like one of those exposing celebs accounts goes, ‘Billie Eilish is getting backlash for whatever in the world’.

“Please tell me how that works?”

Last month, Eilish apologised after a video surfaced appearing to show her mouthing an anti-Asian slur featured in Tyler The Creator’s 2011 song Fish.

The Radio 1 special also sees Eilish address the important role her mother, actress Maggie Baird, has played in shielding her from the pressures of fame.

“You can only be so protected in this world,” she said.

“I can’t believe that there are people in my position without that protection because I don’t know how they do it. I really don’t.

“I don’t know how, especially young artists and especially young woman… I mean, not having a mum or a safety net around you. I am very privileged in that sense.

“I had people that believed in me.”

Eilish released her critically acclaimed debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, with her brother, Finneas O’Connell, in 2019.

The album went on to win numerous awards, including the Grammy for album of the year in 2020, making Eilish at 18 the youngest solo artist to win.

The singer-songwriter told how she and her brother started work on follow-up Happier Than Ever in secret.

She said: “We didn’t even have to make an album yet.

“We started making this album on our own without any deadlines, without even telling anyone. We were just like ‘shhh’.

“I have just got so much better at writing and so much better at singing. I felt so good. I felt so much more grown. I don’t know. It was such a good process.”

Billie Eilish: Up Close will be accompanied by Radio 1 Live Lounge: Billie Eilish Special on Radio 1’s iPlayer channel from Saturday July 31 11.15pm.