In just a matter of hours, Billie Eilish will headline the 2022 Glastonbury Festival. And with two No. 1 albums, seven Grammys and more than 100 million Instagram followers to her name, it makes sense that she’ll be taking top billing alongside Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar — well, to everyone but her.
In a new interview with NME, the 20-year-old pop star opened up about the severe imposter syndrome she faces when it comes to taking on big shows with crowds of tens of thousands, which Glastonbury’s main stage will more than likely see. “I’m going to have to prove myself, which is part of doing festivals and part of headlining them all over the world,” she told the publication. “I have to prove it to myself, too. I often feel like I don’t deserve to be here right now doing this show and on this stage.”
“Any time in the last year I’ve headlined a festival, I’ve felt like, ‘Why would you choose me?’” she continued. “With that in mind, I’m going to go even harder to prove to myself that I can do it and not to half-ass it… I will be going out and full-assing it.”
“Half of me is like, ‘This is so stupid and so humiliating that I’m here, I shouldn’t be allowed to be up here or ready for this,’” she added. “And then the other side says, ‘No, you’re here; they chose you and they’re here for you.’ I have to convince myself that I’m not a huge loser and accidentally there… I find it very hard to process this life sometimes.”
Eilish also talked about the challenges of pulling off a show that’s regarded as successful by audiences as a female performer. “Women have to have a million back-up dancers and a million costume changes and their hair done, and crazy costumes and stage set-up,” she said. “I love male performers, but they barely have to do sh-t to have a show that people like, and women are expected to have the biggest show.
“I’m tired of feeling like we have to do that to feel adequate. If you want to do that, then that’s so great, but I remember thinking that I would never be able to headline anything because of those expectations.”