Temecula teen Olivia Rodrigo has shot to the top of the Hot 100 in record time. Here’s the lowdown on pop music’s rapidly rising new star.
Who is she?
Rodrigo is an 18-year-old singer, songwriter, and actress who grew up in Temecula and rose to fame as a Disney TV star. She released her first single, “drivers license,” a sob-inducing, lowercase-letter-only ballad, on January 8, 2021. Fans are convinced it’s about Joshua Bassett, her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar and rumored ex. On April 1, Rodrigo released another single, “deja vu,” and announced that her first album will be out on May 21.
Why is “drivers license” such a big deal?
The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Rodrigo one of the youngest artists to ever top it. (Other teens who reached No. 1: a then-17-year-old Billie Eilish with “Bad Guy” in 2019, and a then-16-year-old Lorde with “Royals” in 2013.) It’s already been certified double platinum, and it broke Spotify’s record for most streams in a single day for a non-holiday tune after it was streamed a whopping 15 million times in a 24-hour period on January 11.
So she’s the new Billie Eilish?
Kinda, though she’s drawing more comparisons to Taylor Swift, thanks, in part, to the seemingly autobiographical nature of the hit track. Rodrigo is a self-proclaimed Swiftie and said she “just about died” when Tay-Tay praised “drivers license” on Instagram.
Can anyone over 18 really relate to a teenage Disney+ star’s breakup anthem?
Yes. Rodrigo has touched on something that resonates with anyone who can’t get over the one who got away—and she has a beautiful voice to boot. The song is such a phenomenon that it inspired a Saturday Night Live sketch in February in which a gaggle of blue-collar bros, among them Regé-Jean Page, played it on a dive-bar jukebox and bawled about their own breakups.
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