Lily Allen says she cried when she saw Billie Eilish’s rider for Miss Me? guest appearance

British singer, author and podcast host said she was struck by how well Eilish was treated by her team, due to her own experiences of fame

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 13 June 2024 10:18 BST
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Lily Allen has explained her strong reaction after being sent the rider for pop star Billie Eilish, as part of her surprise appearance on Allen’s podcast Miss Me?

Allen co-hosts the show with her friend, TV presenter and radio personality Miquita Oliver.

In an episode that aired this week, the duo welcomed the 22-year-old “Bad Guy” singer as a rare special guest, as the podcast typically sees them discussing various topics one-on-one.

The follow-up episode involved Allen, 39, and Oliver, 40, debriefing on Eilish’s appearance, during which she opened up about how her friendships changed after she shot to global fame.

“She was very sweet, I thought, and very calm,” Allen said, going on to refer to Eilish’s entourage: “The energy around her, the same could not be said...”

Allen continued: “It was funny for me because I’ve never seen that side of it before. It was so weird. We talked about it a bit on the podcast last week but I really did cry when the rider came through, because I guess it was sort of triggering to be around somebody in a promo schedule.

“I’ve been there countless times in my life. It’s always been very stressful, but I had always felt quite unsupported in those situations for whatever reason, and so it was hard for me to see somebody being treated so well, I guess.. surrounded by people who really were looking out for her best interests and really did care.”

Miquita Oliver, Lily Allen and Billie Eilish
Miquita Oliver, Lily Allen and Billie Eilish (Sarah Louise Bennett)

Allen, who previously said she was shocked by the backlash to her antics as a young pop star in the Noughties, admitted she was taken aback after the podcast, as Eilish’s team “wanted to make sure she was being represented in the right way”.

“I felt like, with me it was a free-for-all,” she said. “Like, ‘Great! She’s said some sensational s***, let’s farm it out and who cares about what the consequences are for her.’ So, it’s nice to see that things have changed, or at least she is being looked after her.”

Allen said she felt “oddly protective” of Eilish, who is a fan of her breakout hit “Smile”, which conflicted with her duelling roles as “an ex-pop star” and a podcast host.

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Eilish revealed that she lost all of her friends when she shot to global fame, aged 17, upon the release of her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

“Literally all except one,” she said. “My best friend Zoe who I’ve been friends with since I was like two. She is still my girl.

“But she’s pretty much the only person that remained. I suddenly was famous and I couldn’t relate to anybody. It was tough. It was really hard.”

Billie Eilish says she realised she had no real friends when she looked around her at her 20th birthday party
Billie Eilish says she realised she had no real friends when she looked around her at her 20th birthday party (Getty Images for ABA)

Eilish also spoke about the moment she realised that the people she thought were her friends were, in fact, her employees.

“I remember looking around the room [at my birthday party] and it was only people that I employ,” she said. “And all 15 years or more older than me. And then, one of my best friends, who worked with me, quit. Out of the blue and didn’t talk to me. And it was the worst thing that happened to me.”

“I had this realisation that, oh no, I might be actually alone for real,” she said. “So since then I’ve become very distant in that way from people that I work with and I have a very weird relationship to being friendly with people that I work with, because I’m very freaked out by loss and I have a lot of abandonment problems.”

Eilish said she has since worked “really hard” on her friendships, from rekindling old ones to making new friends. “About exactly a year ago, I reconnected with a bunch of old friends and now, I have so many friends,” she said.

The singer is currently supporting the release of her third album, Hit Me Hard and Soft. Read The Independent’s review here.

Miss Me? is available every Monday and Thursday on BBC Sounds.

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