We have 5 things you need to know about Olivia Rodrigo, the 17-year-old behind the hit song “Drivers License”!
If you have been on the Internet at all the past couple of weeks, then the song “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo is sure to ring a bell and maybe bring a few tears to your eyes. “Drivers License” is Rodrigo’s official debut single and has already become an international sensation, charting No.1 on Apple Music’s Global Top 100, iTunes, and Spotify Global Top 50. Rodrigo even made Spotify history, breaking the record for most streams in one day for a non-holiday song and then breaking her own record a day later with over 17 million global streams. It is safe to say that “Drivers License” has completely taken over the pop world and has left the entire Internet in a weepy mess (in the best way possible). So who is the genius behind the song that we cry ourselves to sleep to every night? Here are five things to know about 17-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo.
1) She’s Filipino-American.
Rodrigo was born in the US and grew up in Marietta, California. Her mother is American and of Irish and German descent, and her father is Filipino-American. In an interview with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Rodrigo shared, “My great-grandfather immigrated here from the Philippines when he was just a teenager. He’s my grandma’s dad, and my grandpa is also Filipino as well. My dad grew up in a house where they were always making Filipino food, his grandpa always spoke Tagalog. All of those traditions have trickled down to our generation. Every Thanksgiving, we have lumpia and things like that.” She revealed that she hopes to one day visit the Philippines stating, “I have never been to the Philippines, but I really, really want to. We still have extended family there, but I’ve never met them. That’s on my bucket list, definitely.”
2) She’s an actress.
Rodrigo is not only a singer but a seasoned actress. Most recently, she starred in the Disney+ hit series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS). The show follows a high school drama club as they prepare for the opening night of their production of “High School Musical: The Musical.” Rodrigo portrays Nina “Nini” Salazar-Roberts, a junior who plays Gabriella Montez in the play.
However, this is not Rodrigo’s first time working with Disney. Starting in 2016, Rodrigo played Paige Olvera in the series Bizaardvark for three seasons. A year prior, she starred in the movie “Grace Stirs Up Success,” playing Grace Thomas.
At only 17 years old, Rodrigo has a No.1, record-breaking song and 3 lead roles under her belt – she is absolutely crushing it!
3) She is the singer-songwriter behind the hit “All I Want.”
Rodrigo not only starred in HSMTMTS but also wrote many of her character’s songs, including one of the show’s most popular originals, “All I Want.” The song was streamed more than 196 million times on Spotify, became a viral TikTok sound, and peaked at No. 90 on the Billboard Hot 100. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Rodrigo reveals, “We [Gen-Z] have a particular insight on the world that sometimes adults don’t have … If you have a bunch of old white guys in a room trying to write a song for a teenage girl, their experience is never going to be the same as a teenage girl living in 2020.”
Rodrigo also co-wrote the song “Just For A Moment” with her co-star and on-screen lover Joshua Bassett, in which their characters expose their feelings for one another.
4) She is a huge fan of Taylor Swift.
Rodrigo is a huge fan of Taylor Swift, telling Zane Lowe in an Apple Music Interview that she is the “biggest Swiftie in the whole world.” So when Swift commented, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud” under her picture, Rodrigo “just about died.” The singer shared, “I was dead asleep, and my friend called me on the phone, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s 6 a.m. Can I call you back in two hours?’ And he’s like, ‘No. Absolutely not. Check your Instagram right now.’ And in the grogginess of my sleep, I checked my phone, and she commented on my photo, and I just about died … just about died. Literally, I’ve looked up to her as long as I can remember, so it was so sweet of her to do that.”
Rodrigo was so touched by the comment that she posted a picture of it to her Instagram with the caption, “what is breathing.”
However, this is not the first time that the young singer-songwriter caught Swift’s attention. In April 2020, Swift praised Rodrigo’s cover of her song “Cruel Summer” for MTV’s Alone Together Jam Session and reposted the video writing “THE TALENT” and “Love This!!! Thanks for this beautiful performance, @olivia.rodrigo @mtv.”
Rodrigo told Lowe that she was so excited, stating, “I screamed my head off.” Rodgrio also showed her appreciation on Instagram by posting a picture of herself lying on the ground with the caption, “TAYLOR SWIFT IS THE REASON I WRITE SONGS, AND SHE POSTED ME ON HER STORY AND TOLD ME I WAS TALENTED??? WHEN IS ASHTON KUTCHER GONNA JUMP OUT OF A BUSH WITH A CAMERA CREW!!!!???!??! I AM GONNA FRAME THIS SCREENSHOT AND HANG IT ABOVE MY FIRSTBORN’S CRIB.”
It is safe to say that Rodrigo lives up to her self-proclaimed title of “the world’s biggest Swiftie.” I hope, for both Rodrigo and us, that these two lyrical geniuses one day collaborate and bless our ears with new music.
5) Her work outside of Hollywood.
Apart from writing record-breaking songs and starring in hit television shows, Rodrigo also serves as an institute speaker and panelist for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a non-profit that advocates for gender equality in media. Rodrigo is also involved with the She Can STEM campaign, which encourages girls to enter the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
At only 17, Olivia Rodrigo has amassed quite an impressive resume, and we are positive that her success will only continue to grow. We hope that she will release new music soon, but for now, we will just continue listening to “Drivers License” on repeat!