Bellyache (Billie Eilish song)

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Bellyache (Official Single Cover) by Billie Eilish.png
Single by Billie Eilish
from the EP Don't Smile at Me
ReleasedFebruary 24, 2017 (2017-02-24)
FormatDigital download
Producer(s)Finneas O'Connell
Billie Eilish singles chronology
"Ocean Eyes"
Music video
"Bellyache" on YouTube

"Bellyache" (stylized in all lowercase) is a song by American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. The song was released on February 24, 2017, through Darkroom and Interscope Records. It was written by Eilish and Finneas O'Connell, with production by O'Connell. "Bellyache" is a midtempo electropop song. Lyrically, the song is written about a psychopathic murderer, and was inspired by Tyler, the Creator's song, "Garbage".

The song was certified gold by the RIAA.

Background and composition[edit]

"Bellyache" is a midtempo electropop[1] song with R&B, hip hop, Latin, and deep house influences.[2][3][4] According to sheet music published at by Universal Music Publishing Group, the song is composed in the key of E minor, at a moderate tempo of 100 beats per minute and a vocal range of E3 to B4.[5] The song's verses feature an acoustic guitar,[6] while the chorus is mainly synth-based.

According to Eilish, the song's lyrics were written from an entirely fictional perspective[7] about a psychopath who kills those close to her, including her friends and lover, but feels remorseful about it. She said that, more generally, the song is about "the concept of guilt".[3] In an interview with Teen Vogue, Eilish stated that "Garbage" by Tyler, the Creator was the biggest inspiration for the song. The song's lyrics also reference the film V for Vendetta.

Critical reception[edit]

"Bellyache" received mostly positive reviews from critics. Mike Wass of Idolator called it a "sinister synth-anthem that positively seethes fury and frustration".[8] Billboard's Jason Lipshutz said "she wrapped the macabre lyrics around a delectable pre-chorus hook and a steady acoustic pattern that eventually gives way to a sizzling drum machine."[7] Estelle Tang of Elle labeled it a "banger about bad decisions".[9] Pigeons and Planes's Jacob Moore stated that the song "shows off an intriguing edge, which is in large part due to the fact that this is a song about murder".[10]

Music video[edit]

Eilish pulls a red wagon down an empty road in the music video.

The music video, directed by Miles and AJ, was released on March 22, 2017.[11] In it, Eilish, dressed in an "all-yellow ensemble",[12] walks down a long, empty desert road, dragging a red wagon filled with bags, which she eventually reveals to be full of cash, and carrying a yellow flower. Throughout the video, she throws dollar bills in the air and dances along the highway. The video ends with her being stopped by a police officer eating a donut and twirling a baton as she drops the flower on the ground.[13][14]

The song's video has over 250 million views on YouTube as of August 2019.

Critical reception[edit]

Idolator's Mike Wass claimed "she looks suitably pissed off, but there's dark humor at play here in the juxtaposition of bright colors and pitch-black emotions. I particularly like the little dance break."[8] Jacob Moore of Pigeons & Planes said that the video is "bright, mischievous, and captivating."[10]


In May 2019, the rock band Juice recorded a cover of "Bellyache".[15] The band said Eilish inspired them, and called her and O'Connell "honest innovators".[16] Also in May 2019, Sigrid performed a live rendition of "Bellyache" for Sveriges Radio P3.[17] Of the song, Sigrid wrote on Twitter, "what a tune!"[18]


Chart (2018–19) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[19] 66
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[20] 65
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 39
Portugal (AFP)[22] 69
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[23] 89
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[24] 85
South Korea (Gaon)[25] 197
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 79
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[28] 3


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[29] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[30] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[32] Gold 500,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various February 24, 2017 Digital download


  1. ^ Elizabeth, De. "Here's Why 15-Year-Old Billie Ellish is THE Next Big Thing". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ Garvey, Meaghan. "Who's Billie Eilish?". The FADER. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b Eve Barlow (February 24, 2017). "Billie Eilish's 'Bellyache' Is Totally Psycho and Perfectly Pop - Noisey". Noisey. Retrieved April 8, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |magazine= (help)
  4. ^ Weiss, Haley (27 February 2017). "Discovery: Billie Eilish". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  5. ^ O'Connell, Billie; O'Connell, Finneas; Eilish, Billie (16 November 2018). "bellyache". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  6. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Billie Eilish Releases New Single 'Bellyache' Today". Broadway World. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b Jason Lipshutz (March 23, 2017). "Billie Eilish Is Pop's Most Impressive 15-Year-Old - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |magazine= (help)
  8. ^ a b Mike Wass (March 22, 2017). "Billie Eilish Seethes In 'bellyache' Video - Idolator". Idolator. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Estelle Tang (March 23, 2017). "Watch Billie Eilish 'bellyache' Video". Elle. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Jacob Moore (March 22, 2017). "Billie Eilish is a 15-Year-Old Singer on Track For Pop Stardom - Pigeons and Planes". Pigeons and Planes. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "Billie Eilish - bellyache - YouTube". YouTube. March 22, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Tang, Estelle (23 March 2017). "15-Year-Old Singer Billie Eilish Has a Dreamy New Music Video". ELLE. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  13. ^ Russell, Erica. "Billie Eilish Is On the Run in 'Bellyache': Watch". PopCrush. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  14. ^ Sydney Gore (March 23, 2017). "Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell Will Give You A 'bellyache' With Her New Video - NYLON". Nylon. Retrieved April 8, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ "JUICE Premiere Cover of BILLIE EILISH's "Bellyache"". Music Mayhem Magazine. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  16. ^ Berard, Oleva (9 May 2019). "EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE - Juice Releases Groovy Cover Of". CelebMix. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  17. ^ Roth, Madeline. "Watch Sigrid Beautifully Cover A Billie Eilish Deep Cut: 'What A Tune'". MTV News. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  18. ^ Skinner, Tom (21 May 2019). "Watch Sigrid's stripped-back cover of Billie Eilish's 'bellyache'". NME. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  19. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #511". auspOp. February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  20. ^ "Billie Eilish Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  22. ^ " – Billie Eilish – Bellyache". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  24. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201848 into search. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  25. ^ "Digital Chart – Week 23 of 2019". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  26. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 8, 22 februari 2019". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Billie Eilish Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #522". auspOp. April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  30. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bellyache". Music Canada.
  31. ^ "British single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bellyache". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 20, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Bellyache in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  32. ^ "American single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bellyache". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 14, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  33. ^ Worldwide digital release of "Bellyache":

External links[edit]