At 18, first-time voter Billie Eilish is the youngest music artist to appear at the Democratic National Convention, and she made the most of the platform, delivering a strong speech against President Donald Trump, advocating Joe Biden and imploring Americans to vote.
She was introduced by host Kerry Washington, who spoke of the voter-registration booths at Eilish’s concerts — which were present before the singer was old enough to vote — and her efforts to reduce the carbon footpring left by her tours.
Then, Eilish spoke as forcefully as any speaker during the convention.
“You don’t need me to tell you things are a mess — Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about,” she began. “We need leaders who will solve problems like climate change and covid — not deny them. Leaders who will fight against systemic racism and inequality.
“And that starts by voting for someone who understands how much is at stake; someone who is building a team that shares our values.
“It starts with voting against Donald Trump and for Joe Biden.
“Silence is not an option and we cannot sit this one out. We all have to vote like our lives and the world depend on it — because they do. The only way to be certain of our future is to make it ourselves. Please register; please vote.”
She then delivered the first public performance of her latest song, perhaps not coincidentally titled “My Future.” She was accompanied, as always, by her brother and musical collaborator Finneas, and a drummer.
Biden was quick to register his approval:
Watch the speech and the song below.
In a statement announcing her performance at the DNC, she wrote, “This election is the most important election of our lifetimes so far. It’s never been more important to vote.”
She is the youngest of the adventurous and eclectic roster of musical performers at the convention, which is more than half people of color, including Common, Jennifer Hudson, Latin recording artist Prince Royce and recent Variety cover star John Legend.
Also on board are Thursday night’s featured performers, the Chicks — who recently changed their name from the Dixie Chicks to avoid the Civil War-era connotations of the word “Dixie” — who were one of the top country acts in the world until singer Natalie Maines’ 2003 criticism of then-president George W. Bush essentially saw them banished from the country end of the business — and, performing on Monday night with Billy Porter, 75-year-old Stephen Stills, who wrote and originally sang the song they will perform together, Buffalo Springfield’s timeless 1967 anthem “For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound?).”