By Sam Ryan
Olivia Rodrigo went from playing the lead on Disney Channel’s, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world. Olivia Rodrigo began acting back in 2015, starring in commercials here and there, then scoring larger roles on Disney Channel. Little did she know that when she released her first single, her world would change forever.
After signing with Geffen and Interscope Records in 2020, Olivia released her debut single, “Drivers License” in 2021. Saying the single was a success is a massive understatement. According to Spotify, “Drivers License” broke Spotify’s record for most daily streams ever for a non-holiday song with over 15.7 million global streams on its release day. The song broke the record for a second time when it had over 17 million global streams the next day.
It went on to break another Spotify record for the first song in history to hit 80 million streams in seven days. The song debuted at number one on Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one in many other countries. The single broke various records and even created records that didn’t even exist. This became one of the best- selling and most played songs of the year, soaring Rodrigo’s career.
The week the song was released, Rodrigo stated in an interview, “It’s been the absolute craziest week of my life… my entire life just, like, shifted in an instant”.
Rodrigo went on to release two more singles, “Deja vu” and “Good 4 U”, which both debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking another record for making her the first artist to have not two, but three releases in the top 10.
Olivia’s songs compared to the early Taylor Swift genre; very relatable to younger listeners who are navigating finding themselves and navigating getting over a heartbreak. Rodrigo’s lyrics really dig deep into how you may be feeling but have trouble bringing to the surface. Almost everyone who listens to the star’s song can relate in one way or another.
Rodrigo released her album, Sour, in June 2021. The album, as expected, topped charts globally and earned her seven nominations at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. Sour became the third best-selling album of 2021 and became Spotify’s most streamed album globally.
Rodrigo won the awards for Best New artist, Best Pop Vocal Album for Sour, and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Drivers License”.
Rodrigo’s career is just beginning. She announced her world tour including stops in the United States, Canada and Europe, and the site immediately crashed as tickets sold out in seconds and are being resold for thousands of dollars.
Fans are doing, and paying, just about anything to be able to see her monumental album live and experience the songs in person.
Rodrigo cites her idol and inspiration as being Taylor Swift, which her music shows. Both Swift and Rodrigo take the emotions that many can’t find the words to explain and put them into their lyrics. Their lyrics tell their fans that it is okay to feel this raw, unsettling emotion of not knowing how to feel, or what not to feel- just feel it.
Rodrigo will go down in musical history for the rest of time. Myself, and millions of others are grateful for the lyrics that have changed the lives of many.