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Olivia Rodrigo Breaks Records With Drivers License

Released on January 8th, 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo has since been breaking records with her debut song “Drivers License.” The High School Musical: The Musical The Series (HSMTMTS) star debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with this song and has spent three weeks there so far. The track also broke the record for the fastest song in history to reach 200 million Spotify streams.

In addition to chart success, Rodrigo has also earned the praises of big stars such as Cardi B, Halsey and Taylor Swift, who Rodrigo is a huge fan of. Swift commented, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud,” under Rodrigo’s post that showed her song on the iTunes chart next to two of Swift’s.

“Drivers License” quickly gained popularity thanks to TikTok, with fans lip-syncing along to the song’s bridge and dissecting the storyline behind the tune. The track is an angsty teen ballad reminiscent of the musical stylings of Lorde and Taylor Swift. It tackles Rodrigo’s bittersweet feelings after getting her driver’s license and reminiscing about the past plans she had once made with her ex.

The song is rumoured to be about Rodrigo’s HSMTMTS co-star, Joshua Bassett. Rodrigo and Bassett were rumoured to be dating sometime during the filming of the first season of the show but the timeline remains unclear as they never actually confirmed their relationship. 

Now, Bassett is allegedly dating pop star Sabrina Carpenter, who many listeners speculate to be the “blonde girl” that Rodrigo references in the song’s second verse. As a result, listeners have created theories trying to piece together the alleged love triangle between the young stars. 

Recently, Bassett released a song titled “Lie Lie Lie,” claiming that the song was written about someone close to him who talked badly about him behind his back, but fans were quick to point out that the lyrics could be interpreted to be about a relationship gone wrong. 

Carpenter added fuel to this fire when she released her song “Skin” on January 22nd. While Carpenter spends the duration of the song defending her relationship, insisting that others cannot get under her skin, the lyric, “maybe blonde was the only rhyme” seemed to be a direct response to Rodrigo’s song. 

Despite the drama, Rodrigo’s success is notable for many reasons. Being just 17-years-old, Rodrigo is a young pop star with promising talent and potentially the latest addition to the new wave of Gen Z pop artists taking over the industry. “Drivers License” is also Rodrigo’s first release as an artist. Her previous release, “All I Want,” although an original song, was put out as part of the HSMTMTS soundtrack. 

If Rodrigo’s success continues, she could potentially fill the space for a big Asian pop star in the music industry. Rodrigo, being half-Filipino, is the first big Filipino star to make waves in the American music industry since Jake Zyrus with “Pyramid” featuring Iyaz in 2010. 

In an interview with NME, Rodrigo teased upcoming music saying that she has plans to put out another song soon and a project sometime afterwards. Whether Rodrigo can replicate the success of her debut single with her upcoming releases is hard to tell at this point in time, but it is safe to say that “Drivers License” has put her name on the map and has opened doors to support her future endeavors.

Pop culture enthusiast.
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