The breakthrough U.S. star bagged top spot on the 2019 list with “Bad Guy,” becoming the first female solo artist to do so, and, at 18, the youngest act ever to top the poll.
Also, Eilish did it in a record-breaking year, during which more than 3.2 million votes were cast.
“Bad Guy” beat out three homegrown singles, Flume’s “Rushing Back” featuring Vera Blue, Mallrat’s “Charlie” and Tones And I’s “Dance Monkey,” while Denzel Curry’s “Bulls on Parade” cover completed the top 5.
Eilish was stoked with the result. In an on-air chat Saturday with the public broadcaster, she said: “Thank you, guys, you did this. That’s insane. Thank you so much, it’s an honor. It’s so crazy to me. I love Australia, I miss you guys. I haven’t been there in a minute and I’m so excited to go back.”
Eilish was a force on the national sales charts and at the box office in Australia last year. He platinum-certified debut LP When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? made history in its first, chart-topping week when it blasted six tracks into the top 10 of the singles survey. One of those tracks was “Bad Guy,” which completed the chart double by ruling the ARIA Singles Chart back in April.
After playing 300-capacity rooms on her debut Australian tour in 2017, she returned to these parts in April and May for a five-date headlining jaunt, playing arenas. Each show was a sell-out.
“2019 had many musical success stories, but in the end the year belongs to Billie Eilish,” comments triple j’s Music Director Nick Findlay adds. “Her debut album didn’t just prove itself a worldwide heavyweight, its popularity steamrolled over everyone else, and it’s lead single ‘bad guy’ is the perfect summary to Billie’s success. It’s the antithesis to a traditional pop song, an undeniable earworm, and a hugely deserved, record breaking Hottest 100 No. 1.”
If she was tuning in, Eilish would have enjoyed the long countdown. She scored the most songs on the list, with five, followed by Australian acts G Flip and Lime Cordiale with four; and Tones And I, Flume, Thelma Plum, Tame Impala, Ruel and New Zealand’s BENEE with three each.
Meanwhile, Thelma Plum became the highest-ranking Indigenous artist in Hottest 100 history, with “Better In Blak” (at No. 9) eclipsing A.B. Original’s “January 26” (No. 16 in 2016).
Nu-metal legends Slipknot cut a slice of Hottest 100 history with the biggest gap between countdowns, as “Unsainted” came in at No. 86, some 19 years after their previous Hottest 100 entry, “Wait And Bleed,” which hit No. 75 back in 2000.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s youth radio network prides its annual poll as the world’s largest music democracy. This year a record 3,211,596 votes were tallied, up 16.4% from last year. A touch more than 45% of those votes were from listeners aged between 18-24, triple j’s target demographic.