Billie Eilish's Former Choir Instructor Hails Oscars Mention as 'Highest Praise

Billie Eilish surprises with heartfelt Oscar speech tribute.

by Zain ul Abedin
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Billie Eilish's Former Choir Instructor Hails Oscars Mention as 'Highest Praise
© Amy Sussman/Getty Images for IHG Hotels & Resorts

Billie Eilish's heartfelt tribute to her former choir teacher during her Oscar victory speech is stirring waves of admiration and pride within the music and education communities. At the tender age of 22, the acclaimed singer, alongside her brother Finneas, clinched the Best Original Song award for their soul-stirring piece "What Was I Made For?" from the blockbuster hit "Barbie" at the 2024 Oscars held on March 10.

Amidst the glittering ceremony, Eilish made sure to extend her gratitude to two influential figures from her past. In a moment that captured hearts, Eilish expressed her gratitude, stating, "Ms. Brigham, thanks for believing in me," a shout-out that echoed through the auditorium.

She didn't stop there, humorously acknowledging another educator, "Ms. T, you didn’t like me, but you were good at your job," showcasing her candid charm.

Eilish's Honors Mentor

The news of Eilish's homage quickly reached Mandy Brigham, the revered former choir instructor at the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, who had the privilege of nurturing Eilish's talent from as early as 2010.

Unaware of the live broadcast due to her attendance at the Indian Wells Open tennis matches, Brigham was soon flooded with messages that filled her with astonishment and joy. In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Brigham shared her disbelief and overwhelming pride upon learning of Eilish's recognition of her influence, deeming it "the ultimate compliment for a teacher." Brigham's role in Eilish's formative years underscores the lasting impact educators have on their students, a sentiment Eilish herself magnified through her public acknowledgment.

The Grammy-winning artist's genuine appreciation illuminates the importance of mentorship and encouragement in the creative journey. Furthermore, Eilish and Finneas did not miss the opportunity to laud "Barbie" director Greta Gerwig for her visionary leadership, attributing their song's inception and success to the film's inspirational narrative.

Their statement following the Academy Award nomination earlier in January reflected profound gratitude towards the cinematic and musical fraternity, including Lucky Chap Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures, for enabling their artistic expressions to flourish.

Billie Eilish's Oscar win and her thoughtful shout-outs serve as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between artists and their mentors. It's a narrative that not only highlights her meteoric rise in the music industry but also celebrates the foundational support systems that contribute to such success.

As Eilish's star continues to ascend, her moments of gratitude remind us of the humility and roots that ground her spectacular journey.

Billie Eilish
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