Everything pointed to a smooth launch for Billie Eilish’s “No Time To Die,” the title song to the latest James Bond film. Five days after the single version of the track arrived Feb. 13, 2020, Eilish performed it at the BRIT Awards with her brother, FINNEAS, with whom she wrote the song; Hans Zimmer, who composed the film’s score; and English rock legend Johnny Marr. “No Time To Die” became Eilish’s first No. 1 on the Official UK Singles chart on Feb. 27 (interrupting The Weeknd’s run in the top spot with “Blinding Lights”) and debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Feb. 29.
Academy Award speculation soon followed. Had the tune won best original song at the 93rd annual Oscars, originally planned for February 2021, Eilish — at 19 years and two months old — would have become the youngest winner ever in that category, surpassing Markéta Irglová, who was four days shy of turning 20 in February 2008 when she won for co-writing “Falling Slowly” from Once.
But COVID-19 hit and the Daniel Craig-starring film, first set for release in April 2020, was postponed, finally opening in the United States in October. Now, even if “No Time To Die” wins at the 94th ceremony on March 27, 2022, Eilish will be too old to break the record — but she and FINNEAS could still make Oscar history. Should the song win, they would become the first American songwriters to win for a Bond theme. English songwriting pairs composed both Bond songs that have won to date: “Skyfall” from the film of the same name (Adele and Paul Epworth) and “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre (Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes).
If “No Time To Die” is nominated and performances of such songs return to the main telecast after being relegated to a preshow this year, Eilish and FINNEAS will appear on the Oscar stage for the second time in three years. They performed The Beatles’ “Yesterday” during the in memoriam spot at the 92nd awards in February 2020 — right before everything went south.