Kimmel starts quizzing her on the year 1984 (the year he was her age, 17), starting out by asking if she knows who Madonna is. She does.
Then he asks, "Can you name a Van Halen?" She simply responds, "Who?"
Kimmel then says, "I'm gonna start crying."
Now, a hilarious inter-generational battle has kicked off on Twitter, with hair metal fans lamenting the taste of youth these days and anyone under the age of 50 not caring that she doesn't know who Van Halen is.
See Eilish's full segment on Kimmel's show, as well as some of the varying responses to it below.
Even current Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (who is only 28 years old) has weighed in on the debate. And for what it's worth, he doesn't care if Eilish knows his band or not.
Billie Eilish didn't know who Van Halen was, I'm sobbing. pic.twitter.com/tX6xrs7cIE— Mack (@_Kenziepuff) November 29, 2019
Billie Eilish doesn't know who Van Halen is.— Damon Johnson (@DamonJOfficial) December 2, 2019
Get off my lawn!
wow 17 year old girl doesn't know of a band who's peak was nearly 40 years ago, that's crazy aha https://t.co/Gq2OEqTkJo— hi its griffin (@soggybread__) November 30, 2019
I say this as a superfan: Van Halen has given Billie Eilish no reason to know who they are. They've done very little during her lifetime.— Dan Amrich (@DanAmrich) December 2, 2019
Don't complain about other people's musical experience being different. Instead, share -- give people a reason to love what you love. 🎧
If you're surprised Billie Eilish has never heard of Van Halen, well then you might be a LOT more surprised by the shit Eddie Van Halen himself is oblivious to. (via @CKlosterman) https://t.co/4yeJMj2ngQ pic.twitter.com/HGmpCkxYal— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) December 2, 2019
We must prevent Billie Ellish from learning about Van Halen. Protect this rare and talented child.— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) December 2, 2019
getting mad at 17 year-old eddie van halen for not knowing all the words to the 1937 hit "It's De-Lovely"— matt lubchansky (@Lubchansky) December 2, 2019
quite literally: every single time i have ever posted an NPR article about a female musician or a pop artist, it's gotten at least one "who??? NEVER heard of them!!!" reply from some old white dude— danny nett (@dannynett) December 2, 2019
so the reason van halen is trending right now is just…… *chef's kiss*
Who cares if Bille Eilish, a teenage girl, doesn't know who Van Halen is. I'm a rock fan in his 30s and can only name one song by them lol 🤷♂️— Gav (@miracleofsound) December 2, 2019
Okay, this is what happens now:— Dan Kennedy (@DanKennedy_NYC) December 2, 2019
Billie Eilish covers a Van Halen song.
Van Halen covers a Billie Eilish song.
*I do a dad-moonwalk back to my entry level Tesla but not before telling cashier at CVS it's a great idea and reminding them that I used to work in the music "biz"*
she's probably only ever used Uber, it's fine that Billie Eilish doesn't know Van Hailin'— Daniel Halyburton (@hlybrtn) December 2, 2019
If you haven't heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She's cool. If you haven't heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They're cool too.— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) December 2, 2019
Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us. Listen to what you want and don't shame others for not knowing what you like.