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Billie Eilish reveals horrifying details of what led to 12 hours of 'agonizing' pain after latest album shoot

Hit Me Hard and Soft comes out on May 17th

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
April 24, 2024
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Billie Eilish is not one to take her job lightly and is seemingly ready to push all kinds of limits when she wants to get the shot, as evidenced by her newest interview.

The star, 22, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone's latest issue, fresh off her performance at Coachella, her Barbie Oscar win, and the announcement for her newest album, Hit Me Hard and Soft.

The singer told the magazine that it was the cover shoot for the latter record, however, that affected her harder than anything else she'd ever done and opened up about some of the more uncomfortable details.

For the cover shoot for her third album, she headed to a soundstage in California, where she and her team found a pool where she could submerge herself under a large wooden door, creating the cover art.

However, the experience proved to be extremely difficult, even requiring Billie to wear a large anchor-like weight to help her dive underwater for two minutes at a time again and again. "I was basically waterboarding myself for six hours straight," she said after. "If I'm not suffering somehow, I don't feel good about what I'm doing."

The scene was described as a tense one, with her mom Maggie Baird nervously sitting by the pool as her daughter dunked herself over and over, all of this less than two days after winning the Grammy for Song of the Year for "What Was I Made For?"

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Billie Eilish performs onstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)© Getty Images
Billie went in depth on the difficult cover shoot for "Hit Me Hard and Soft"

Billie said: "If there's one thing about me, it is I will put myself through hell and back for the shot. I've always been like that, and I will continue to be like that. A lot of my artwork is painful physically in a lot of ways, and I love it. Oh, my God, I live for it."

MORE: Billie Eilish shares glimpse into special Oscars after-party moment

The shoot lasted for six hours before getting the perfect cover, but the recovery period at her parents' house proved to be tough. "It was just white snot blowing out [my nose], as if my insides were made of white goo," she described.

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She described washing her ears out three times, first with hydrogen peroxide, then alcohol, then warm water, finding bruises all over her body because of the weight, unable to walk and unable to talk. She tried easing the pain by taking a warm bath and eating spicy food, and even recalled a mild hallucination.

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"I saw these string lights, and each light had a circular orb around each light, a full aura," she remembered of her parents' backyard. "I felt like I was high and drunk, and I hadn't slept in days. I was like, 'Mom, what do those look like to you? Are you seeing that?' She was like, 'What the hell are you talking about?'" She soon went to bed and remained asleep for nine hours straight.

Billie Eilish at the People's Choice Awards held at Barker Hangar on February 18, 2024 in Santa Monica, California.© Getty Images
"I've never been in so much pain in my life. All for the shot. That's what they say about childbirth."

However, through all the pain and suffering, she emphasized how proud she was for getting the perfect shot. "I've never suffered that much post-shoot."

MORE: Billie Eilish stuns in a swimsuit in pool night throwback photo

"I've never been in so much pain in my life. All for the shot. That's what they say about childbirth. It was like 12 hours of horrible, agonizing pain for a lifetime of a great album cover. You know what I'm saying?"

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Hit Me Hard and Soft, Billie's third studio album, comes out on May 17th.

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