Olivia Rodrigo, an American singer-songwriter who created history at the Grammys 2022 by winning three trophies for Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance (for ‘Drivers License,’ and Best Pop Vocal Album (for her debut album ‘Sour,’ aspired to be an Olympic gymnast as a child. Years later, the 19-year-old Los Angeles girl selected Time magazine’s ‘Entertainer of the Year’ in 2021 has skipped, jumped, and landed on the podium on music’s grandest stage.
From Disney to the very top
Rodrigo starred as a guitarist in the Disney Channel comedy Bizaardvark and was cast in the 2019 Disney series ‘High School Musical,’ for which she created the song ‘All I Want.’ It charted at number 90 in the United States, and Rodrigo drew more attention than previous Disney-created talents like Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez could on their debuts.
The singer-songwriter made a concerted effort to break out from the Disney factory mold and forge her own personality. She shared her cuts on Instagram, where she cultivated a devoted fan base. She covered Taylor Swift songs, one of which, ‘Cruel Summer,’ was shared by Swift herself. Rodrigo then created ‘Deja Vu,’ which charted alongside tracks from Swift’s ‘Evermore’ album.
Rodrigo’s formal first song, Drivers License, was released in 2021. It was a powerful portrayal of adolescent anguish that resonated with young people all across the world. It broke Spotify records and quickly rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song was dubbed the “Runaway Hit of 2021” by Billboard, and The New York Times described Jeremy Erlich, Spotify’s co-head of music, as stating it had “a ton of X-factor that made [it] the ideal storm.” Rodrigo’s debut album, ‘Sour,’ was published in the middle of the year and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart for five weeks.
More than just a teen idol
Rodrigo visited the White House in July 2021 to see President Joe Biden and encouraged America’s youngsters to be vaccinated before any other pop icon. Rodrigo expanded her role as a public service ambassador by becoming a Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media institute speaker and panelist.