by Naina Biswas ’23
Published Feb. 14th, 2021
The year just started, but it has already done wonders for Olivia Rodrigo. On January 8th, the 17-year-old dropped her debut single, “drivers license.” It didn’t take long for the song to become a big hit as it went viral over social media platforms like Tiktok, Twitter, and Instagram.
Many people, specifically teenagers like Rodrigo, can relate to the song’s lyrics. With subjects like driving through the suburbs while crying, feeling insecure, and repeatedly telling one’s friends about missing an ex, the song perfectly encapsulates teenage heartbreak. Olivia herself called the song a “time capsule” of a six-month period she experienced last year.
Though this may be the first time many have heard her name, Olivia is not new to the entertainment industry. Up until now, her career has predominantly been in acting. In 2015, she made her acting debut in the film, “An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success,” where she took on the lead role of Grace Thomas. Rodrigo then acted alongside Madison Hu, Ethan Whacker, and Jake Paul in the Disney Channel show, “Bizaardvark.”
Currently, she plays Nini Salazer-Roberts on the Disney+ show, “High School Musical: The Musicial: The Series.” On the show, Rodrigo is able to showcase her talents as a singer-songwriter. She wrote and performed the series’s most popular song, “All I Want,” which was so successful that in April of 2020, it was certified gold in the United States.
Rodrigo’s outstanding musical presence on the series was the perfect segue to her uprising music career. It’s been just over a month since the release of “driver’s license” and already, Rodrigo has broken a myriad of records. On January 11th, she made Spotify history for the most streams in a day for a non-holiday song. By the end of that week, the song landed the record for most streams for a song in a week on Spotify.
Rodrigo’s song also hit number one on iTunes and Apple Music charts. “driver’s license” has also been dominating the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, peaking at number one and holding the number one spot for four weeks and counting.
The singer has also received support from other musical artists such as Niall Horan, Cardi B, and Halsey. Even Olivia’s idol Taylor Swift shared her support for the song via Instagram, commenting, “I say that’s my baby and I’m proud.”
Although she has only released one song, the future looks incredibly bright for Olivia. With her television presence, numerous records, and new celebrity connections, it goes without a doubt that Rodrigo’s next body of music will be a huge success as well.