Eilish, who continues to be, improbably, a teenager, gave a rendition of the classic 1965 song that showed off her smoky voice and emotional range as a performer.
Just two weeks after sweeping the Grammys—she was the second person to ever win the “Big Four” categories and the youngest-ever winner of Album of the Year and Record of the Year—the 18-year-old loaned her surreal talent to a segment of the awards show that’s painfully anticipated every year. The Oscars 2020 “In Memoriam” segment was particularly poignant in light of the recent deaths of Kobe Bryant and Kirk Douglas. The performance also highlighted the careers of director Agnes Varda and actress and singer Doris Day.
Eilish—who has to be the first teen girl pop star to have the Google autocomplete “…cries black tears?”—performed with her brother and collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, who accompanied her on piano. Earlier that day, she shared that the song has a special significance for her. “Honored to be performing during the In memoriam segment for the Oscars tonight covering a song I’ve always loved,” she wrote in an Instagram Story on Sunday, just hours before the awards show.
Eilish drew eyes (sans black tears) throughout the awards show, when—true to her Gen-Z status—she made instantly meme-able facial expressions during both Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudoph’s comedy musical number, and during Eminem’s performance of “Lose Yourself.” (Haters, please remember we’re talking about someone who is not yet of legal drinking age here.) But her “Yesterday” performance proved what her fans already know—whether you love her or feel strangely reminded of your mortality by her—she’s talented, and she’s here to stay.
Jenny Singer is a staff writer at Glamour. You can follow her pop culture rants on Twitter.