Billie Eilish’s Old Choir Teacher Says Oscars Speech Shout-Out Was ‘The Ultimate Compliment’

Mandy Brigham taught the Grammy winner before the fame when she was just 8 years old

<p>Lionel Hahn/Getty</p> Billie Eilish

Lionel Hahn/Getty

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish is making her former choir teacher proud!

When the 22-year-old singer and her brother Finneas won Best Original Song for “What Was I Made For?” from Barbie at the 2024 Oscars on March 10, there was one person Eilish couldn’t leave out of her thank you's.

“Ms. Brigham, thanks for believing in me,” the “Ocean Eyes” hitmaker said before the crowd.

She added, “Ms. T, you didn’t like me, but you were good at your job.”

<p>PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images</p> Finneas O'Connell and Billie Eilish, 2024 Oscars

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Finneas O'Connell and Billie Eilish, 2024 Oscars

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During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mandy Brigham admitted that she wasn't watching the annual awards show at the time of the announcement, but that she soon got the message.

“I was at the tennis matches at the Indian Wells Open. And then I started to get text messages. More text messages than I’ve ever received in my life,” the now-retired instructor said in the interview published Thursday.

The influential instructor taught the Grammy winner at the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus starting in 2010 when Eilish was 8 years old.

<p>Jamie Pham</p> Los Angeles Children’s Chorus

Jamie Pham

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus

Once she heard about the mention, she was “flabbergasted,” to say the least.

“I never expected anything like that would ever happen to me,” she told THR.

She also told the outlet how much it meant to her that Eilish remembered her impact all those years later.

Related: Billie Eilish Moves Barbie Cast to Tears — and Earns a Standing Ovation — with Oscars 2024 Performance

“That’s the ultimate compliment for a teacher,” she added.

THR did not locate the “Ms. T” Eilish mentioned for comment.

During Eilish’s time on stage for her Best Original Song win with her sibling, the “Bad Guy” singer also thanked Barbie director Greta Gerwig.

"I'm so grateful for this song and this movie and the way that it made me feel, and this goes out to everyone who was affected by the movie and how incredible it is,” she said.

<p>Warner Bros. </p> Margot Robbie, 'Barbie'

Warner Bros.

Margot Robbie, 'Barbie'

She and Finneas also expressed their gratitude when they earned their Academy Award nomination in January.

“We are so incredibly honored to receive a nomination for ‘What Was I Made For?’” the pair said in a joint statement at the time. “As lifelong fans of film, music in film and the Academy Awards, this means everything to us. We are so grateful to the Academy, its members, and to be recognized alongside so many songwriters that we respect and admire.”

They also gave their ​​"deepest" thanks to “Gerwig and Noah Baumbach for their genius vision and execution, the entire Barbie cast and crew,” Lucky Chap Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures.

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