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Billie Eilish Slams Artists Who Sell '40 Different Vinyl' Variants to Boost Album Sales: 'It's So Wasteful'

"I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable," said Eilish of the common music industry practice

<p>VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty </p> Billie Eilish


Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish would like to see certain artists change their approaches to album sales.

In a new Billboard interview focused on environmental sustainability alongside her mother, Maggie Baird, the Grammy winner slammed artists who sell excessive numbers of exclusive vinyl variants in order to get fans to purchase multiple copies of the same album and rack up larger sales figures.

While Eilish, 22, has participated in the same practice, physical copies of her Happier Than Ever album were sold on 100% recycled black vinyl, recycled scraps were used for colored variants, and each record was encased in shrink-wrap made of sugarcane.


Related: How Billie Eilish & Mom Maggie Baird Are Helping the Hungry, Local Restaurants 'and' the Planet on Tour

<p>Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Support + Feed</p> Maggie Baird and Billie Eilish in Los Angeles in October 2023

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Support + Feed

Maggie Baird and Billie Eilish in Los Angeles in October 2023

"We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging," said Eilish, 22, "which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money."

Baird, 65, then interjected: "Well, it counts toward No. 1 albums."

Eilish continued, "I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is. It is right in front of our faces and people are just getting away with it left and right. I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable and do the best that I can and try to involve everybody in my team in being sustainable — and then it’s some of the biggest artists in the world making f---ing 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more."

Related: Taylor Swift Announces Final Version of The Tortured Poets Department During Eras Tour Stop in Singapore

<p>Lester Cohen/Getty Images </p> Billie Eilish in Los Angeles in February 2024

Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Billie Eilish in Los Angeles in February 2024

The "Bad Guy" hitmaker added, "It’s so wasteful, and it’s irritating to me that we’re still at a point where you care that much about your numbers and you care that much about making money — and it’s all your favorite artists doing that s---."

Her mother pointed out that the issue is "systemic," since Billboard could enact "limits" for how many versions of an album can be sold. "I would love to see limits, like no more than four colors," she said. "Or some kind of rules, because you can’t fault an artist for playing the No. 1 game."

<p>Michael Buckner/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty</p> Billie Eilish in Los Angeles in January 2024

Michael Buckner/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty

Billie Eilish in Los Angeles in January 2024

Eilish then likened the practice to a dystopian way of thinking. "I was watching The Hunger Games and it made me think about it, because it’s like, we’re all going to do it because [it’s] the only way to play the game," she said. "It’s just accentuating this already kind of messed up way of this industry working."

The act of selling several different vinyl variants is hardly specific to any artist. Recent albums including Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday 2 and Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter are each sold with various collectible album covers and available in multiple colored vinyl formats. Upcoming albums including Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department and Dua Lipa's Radical Optimism are also available for purchase on vinyl in numerous colors.

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