Fact check: Billie Eilish did not say she wanted to be poor so she could relate to fans

·3 min read

The claim: Billie Eilish said she wanted to be poor so she could relate to most of her fans

Ahead of Billie Elish's new studio album, "Happier Than Ever," some have taken to social media to claim the singer said she wanted to be poor so she could relate to her fans.

Eilish, 19, has amassed a large fan base over the past few years and became well-known for her debut single, "Ocean Eyes." She has been the target of Illuminati conspiracy theories before, and now of a fabricated story.

"In a new interview, Billie stated that she cried when she got rich and 'wanted to be poor so I can relate to most of my fans,'" reads the screenshot of a tweet shared to Facebook on July 27.

Accompanying the text is another screenshot of a purported article that claims Eilish said, "I still want to be broke and poor, it looks really fun and cute."

The tweet has a time stamp of 9:45 p.m. on July 26 and was shared by the account "Billie Eilish Updates."

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USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.

Claim originated from parody account

The Twitter page that shared the claim is a parody account, but screenshots of the tweet shared to social media made it look as if the interview was authentic.

The account "Billie Eilish Updates" has since been suspended, but a July 28 archive of the page shows its bio said, "Your best source on 7x Grammy Winner, Billie Eilish. NOT Affiliated with anything related to Billie Eilish. Parody Account."

The post is an example of what could be called "stolen satire," where stories written as satire and presented that way originally are captured via screenshot and reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.

In response to a Twitter user who flagged the tweet, Eilish's 23-year-old brother, Finneas, wrote, "Fake obviously. Honestly I just wish they'd label this account satire like the onion or something. I have no problem with a joke as long as people know it's a joke."

On July 24, he tweeted that the account was "posting relentless lies about Billie" and asked users to report and block the parody account.

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USA TODAY contacted a representative for Eilish for additional comment.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, the claim that Eilish said she wanted to be poor so she could relate to most of her fans is FALSE. The claim originated on a satire Twitter account and was then shared to social media without any sort of disclaimer. Her brother tweeted that the article is fake.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim about Billie Elish started as satire

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