Idol of Gen Z, Olivia Rodrigo has transcribed into song, since 2021, the ills of a young generation in search of meaning. Singer-songwriter, musician and actress, the 20-year-old American star has established herself as the new hope of pop-rock who accumulates listening records. Number reveals 5 things to know about the singer who will unveil her second album, titled Gutson September 8.
1. D-tubeRivers License by Olivia Rodrigo went viral thanks to TikTok
TikTok does wonders. Just a few seconds taken from a track, used in a short video, can launch a young artist’s career. We remember in particular Lil Nas X with Old Town Road (2019) and gayle with abcdefu (2022) which have become veritable viral phenomena. But, it is also the case of the Californian Olivia Rodrigonow 20, who was acclaimed with this app in 2021. As she unveils the poignant Driver License that year, the very young generations active on social networks instantly took hold of this track which explored the themes of lost love and emotional pain in adolescence.
In one week, 650,000 videos were published with an excerpt from the title co-written by Olivia Rodrigo and American producer Dan Nigro (Caroline Polachek, Kylie Minogue). For its part, the clip reached more than 30 million views in 7 days (today, it has more than 460 million views), while the single debuted in first place on the Hot 100 ranking in the United States. The career of the American singer-songwriter, musician and actress took a radical turn, evolving from a promising newcomer to an unmissable pop sensation.
2. Sour, Olivia Rodrigo’s excellent debut album, broke all records
Only 5 months after the release of the song Driver LicenseOlivia Rodrigo reveals sour in May 2021. This first album composed of 12 tracks, including the gleaming Good 4 U (2021) and the excellent Already seen (2021), will also be successful. Indeed, this opus breaks the record for the largest number of streaming listens, over a week, in the history of Spotify. The songs of sour were listened to no less than 385 million times in the first 7 days. It also topped the charts in many countries. At the end of 2021, sour was the second best-selling album of the year, behind 30 of the British singer Adele. To date, there have been 17 million sales worldwide, including 133,000 copies sold in France. The reasons for Olivia Rodrigo’s success? An aesthetic influenced by the 2000s, fully in tune with the times, catchy melodies, lyrics that speak of complicated love stories and polished clips, to the tunes of small films, often made by the photographer petra collins.
And the triumphant reception of the first album risks repeating itself with the release, on September 8, 2023, of the second opus entitled Guts. The proof is: the first single titled Vampire (2023) is already debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. This new project seems to be as successful as the first, as evidenced by Olivia Rodrigo’s new very rock single, Bad Idea Right?. Olivia Rodrigo said in a statement about Guts : “For me, this album is about the pain of growing up and trying to figure out who I am now. I feel like I grew 10 years between my 18 and 20 years. It was an intense period of change. I think it’s part of the natural process when you mature and I hope this album reflects that.”.
3. Olivia Rodrigo won three Grammys in 2022 (and broke one)
It is rare for a young artist to make so much noise with only a few singles and a single album in her pocket. Qualified as “industry plant”(artist supported since his debut by a major label but appearing as an independent talent), Olivia Rodrigo shines as a true idol of Generation Z. A status reinforced by the Time in 2021 who elects him “artist of the year”. All these signals did not go under the radar of music professionals because a year later the singer, only aged 19, was invited to the 64th ceremony of the Grammy Awards. Nominated in seven categories, she won three awards: “best new artist”, “best sung pop album” and “best pop solo performance”.
If she made an impression during the ceremony, the artist also caused a stir during the official photograph accompanied by her trophies. Indeed, enthusiastic and proud, the American lets a Grammy slip out of her hands, which shatters on the ground in front of an audience of dumbfounded photographers. For the record, in 2010, Taylor Swift had also broken one of his Grammy Awards in the same way. Is this a telltale sign of a career as flamboyant as that of Taylor Swift?
4. Olivia Rodrigo took her first steps at Disney
Disney Channel is an inexhaustible pool of talent: Miley Cyrus, Zendaya Or Selena Gomez are proof of that. Currently, the American television channel belonging to the Walt Disney Company continues to select the new faces of the entertainment world. If Olivia Rodrigo expresses herself today through singing, she was spotted by the firm with Mickey’s ears, a few years earlier. In 2016, the public discovered her, full of life, when she played the character of Paige Olvera in the sitcom Frankie and Paige (Bizaardvark). After three successful seasons, the child star lands the role of Nini Salazar-Roberts in High School Musical: The Musical, the series. Broadcast on Disney +, this reboot of the famous films High School Musical, allows Olivia Rodrigo to show off her singing talents. With this project, she gained a reputation that opened many doors for her.
5. Olivia Rodrigo is an avid Taylor Swift fan.
Like many Americans, Olivia Rodrigo is an avid Taylor Swift fan. If she has already confessed to having listened to Lorde, Pearl Jam, No Doubt or Green Day, it is above all Taylor Swift whom she admires. She even claimed to the media to be “his biggest fan in the world”. This love turns out to be reciprocal because the interpreter of Bad Blood (2014) publicly praised Olivia Rodrigo for the virality of her track Drto License. Indeed, on an Instagram post the young singer was delighted that her title “is as successful as a song by Taylor Swift”, which challenged the American superstar who replied: “I saw that, sweetie, and I’m very proud.” Olivia Rodrigo will even declare that Taylor Swift is the reason why she writes songs. Although the tabloids have been having fun for some time talking about a friendly breakup, the two stars seem to like each other enormously.
Guts (2023) by Olivia Rodrigo, available September 8.