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Olivia Rodrigo: A world star overnight at 17
Olivia Rodrigo: A world star overnight at 17
olivia rodrigo
olivia rodrigo

Her debut single "Drivers License", released earlier this year, has over a billion streams. 1,028,176,886 to be precise. And all of that on Spotify. Five of this summer most heard songs worldwide come from her. How did the immense success of the young woman come about? And who is she anyway?

From Disney girl to world star

That Disney has a knack for to recognize and promote young talents, is known. Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Zendaya or Zac Efron are just a few names in a seemingly endless list. Stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling also gained their first experience at Disney in the 90s TV series "Mickey Mouse Club".

Now Rodrigo can join this list: This is what it was like before her breakthrough with "Drivers License" not a complete stranger- Especially the younger generation should be familiar with it from Disney series such as "Bizaardvark" and "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series", a spin-off of the original.

She grew up in Murietta, California and received home schooling from her parents after elementary school. She came into contact with showbiz at an early age: at the age of seven, she began to play the piano, when she was twelve she wrote her own songs. She gained her first acting experience in school theater productions until she finally landed her first leading role in a children's film at the age of nine - later she moved with her family to Los Angeles after she got a role in "Bizaardvark".

"Drivers License" breaks all records

In "Drivers License" she captures all the confusing feelings that come with Lovesickness and heartbreakaccompanied. "I drove aimlessly through my neighborhood and heard sad music that brought those emotions up," Rodrigo told Vogue about how the song came about. Rodrigo had just got her driver's license at this point - that first big piece of freedom for a young person. "When I got home, I sat at the piano. I love songs that feel like a journal entry […] so I took the lyrics from my journal and continued from there. It was a painless process."

When she released her debut single on January 8th of this year, Rodrigo had no idea how much the song would go through the roof. He reached first place worldwideon Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes and according to the US music magazine Billboard in the first week alone 76.1 million Times streamed - the highest total since Cardi B’s "WAP" was released. In addition, "Drivers License" topped the Billboard Hot 100, the world's most important charts, for eight weeks.

The young artist broke several records, and TikTok did the rest to catapult Olivia Rodrigo into the hearts of Gen Z and the rest of the world. "I've always had a good feeling about him, but I definitely didn't expect him to hit the charts like that and break all those records. It's surreal " tells Rodrigo about her huge success.

Two more singles, "Deja Vu" and "Good 4 U", were released in April and May, followed by their debut album "Sour" at the end of May. Proof that "Drivers License" was definitely not a one-hit wonder. "Good 4 U" became the next TikTok trend and eleven songs from "Sour" made it again on the Billboard Hot 100. Rodrigo is the first female artist and the fourth overall to have eleven or more songs in the top 30 (!) Of the Hot 100 at the same time.

"The crazy thing is that so many people I've looked up to for years reach out to me and become my companions."

Olivia Rodrigo's style

Joe Coscarelli of the New York Times credits the song's extreme success to a perfect mix Quality, Gossip, and Marketing to. No question about it, Rodrigo is extremely talented. Apart from that, the 18-year-old perfectly matches the current zeitgeist.

Everything, her music videos, her fashion style and also her Instagram feed fit seamlessly into the current one prevailing mega-trendcalled Y2K, which means "Year 2000". It's about reliving the 2000s with modern spin and a touch of 90s nostalgia. The vibe is reminiscent of that to a large extent Paris Hilton era: Low waist pants, angled patterns, lots of bling-bling and a deliberately trashy way of editing images. Colorful clips or heart earrings become less childlike due to the obligatory lascivious look.

Real lovesickness

As Rodrigo himself says, the song is peppered with autobiographical elements. He is honest, soulful, and of course an incredible number of people can relate to it. Fans also speculated like crazy about who "Drivers License" is about.

Allegedly it is about her "High School Musical" co-star Joshua Bassett. In the series they become a couple and apparently they are supposed to have been more than friends in real life as well. Rodrigo says only this much: "I completely understand why people are curious about the details of the song, but for me it is not important who and what the song is about. People jump on the song because it's so honest, raw and emotional. "However, the hot discussions on the subject on social media have definitely not hurt the popularity of the song or Rodrigo's.

joshua bassett, olivia rodrigo, high school musical, tiktok, disney,
joshua bassett, olivia rodrigo, high school musical, tiktok, disney,

Celebrity fans

Meanwhile, many other music stars, including Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and ex-director Niall Horan, are among her fans. Swift even commented on her on Instagram shortly after the release of "Drivers License". "I screamed, when i saw this! […] She's an absolute genius and it means a lot to me to have her blessing, "she told Vogue.

Selena Gomez also took on the young singer. “I met Selena and she was so nice. She talked to me a lot about mental health,”Rodrigo told Variety. Gomez has been with me again and again in the past fight mental health problems. She advised Rodrigo to always put your mental health first.

She is friends with Billie Eilish. "The crazy thing is that so many people see me looked up for years have, shake hands with me and become companions."

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