Olivia Rodrigo's Journey To Fame
You get home from work, settle down into your couch, pick up your phone, and begin scrolling through TikTok. Video after video, an endless stream of girls crying to a song about a Driver’s License floods your feed. You don’t recognize this girl or song and immediately question if you’re that out of the loop. You’re old, but not that old, as you grew up in the world of Cheetah Girls, Hannah Montana, and Wizards of Waverly Place.
The newest star to take over Tik Tok is Olivia Rodrigo. Similar to most rising young stars, Olivia's claim to fame started with Disney. However, you might be asking how she so quickly rose to mainstream fame because of this. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the journey on how 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo started becoming a household name.
Tracing The Roots
Olivia Rodrigo was born February 20, 2003, in Temecula, California, and is of Filipino descent on her father’s side and German and Irish on her mother’s side. At. At the age of 6, Rodrigo began taking acting and singing classes through in theater productions at Lisa J. Mails Elementary School and Dorothy McElhnney Middle School. After participating in school plays and appearing in an Old Navy commercial at the age of 12, Olivia Rodrigo was cast as the lead in An American Girl: Grace Stirs up Success.
Disney Takes Over
Like most successful child stars, Disney was the root of Olivia's fame. Not long after her in 2016, Olivia was cast as Paige in the Disney Channel series Bazaardvark. The show involves two young vloggers whose videos went viral and followed them on their journey with other creators on the fictional platform, "Vuuugle." Another familiar name from this show is the “controversial” Jake Paul, who co-starred in a few beginning episodes. According to Disney, this show was a success, and it ran for three seasons, serving as the leading platform for Olivia’s rise to fame.
Making Her Name
After showcasing her talent on Bazaardvark, Disney knew that they had a star. Disney then cast the talented singer and actress to star in High school Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+. Unfamiliar with the concept, many people had their doubts and were afraid that it would be a reboot version of the originals. However, Olivia Rodrigo and the cast quickly proved everyone wrong. What started off as a questionable venture became a show popular with every tween and teen (myself included). This show follows a high school drama program as they perform their rendition of High School Musical, incorporating their own life aspects and drama. This warm-hearted series will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions.
Let The Music Speak
While Disney gave most of their actors a shot to fame in the music industry, many failed due to their creative ability. After seeing what Olivia could do, they knew that she had potential and offered her a chance early on to write the song “All I Want” for the series. Coming from the heart, Olivia’s single ended up onto the Billboard hot 100 without much promotion. After the love and adoration of Olivia and this song, she then wrote “Just for a Moment" with her co-star Joshua Bassett.
Making History With Driver's License
While Disney gave most of their actors a shot to fame in the music industry, many failed due to their creative ability. After seeing what Olivia could do, they knew that she had potential and offered her a chance early on to write the song “All I Want” for the series. Coming from the heart, Olivia’s single ended up onto the Billboard hot 100 without much promotion. After the massive success with this song, Olivia and her HSMTMTS co-star, Joshua Bassett, wrote and recorded "Just for a Moment," which also topped the charts.
While "Just for a Moment" and "All I Want" were massively successful (especially for someone as young as Olivia), they were nowhere near as successful as her mega-hit, "Driver's License." The single, released in early 2021, was written, coincidentally, about her relationship with Joshua Bassett. The pop ballad quickly garnered massive acclaim online, with clips of the song blowing up on Tik Tok. Music fans everywhere were using the audio to sing and dance and reminisce about lost loves, without even knowing who the singer was. The single, reminiscent of Taylor Swift and Lorde's most famous songs, broke the Spotify record for most one-day streams for a non-holiday song, boasting over 15 million global streams on its fourth day of release.
Shortly after the success of all of her singles, Olivia went on to write her newest single, “Déjà Vu,” along with songwriter Dan Nigro. On the latest episode of The Breakdown, Olivia mentioned that when writing this song, “[We] didn’t want to do the safe thing and put out another heartbreak ballad,” Rodrigo says. “We wanted to show that I’m a versatile songwriter and a versatile artist. I can make heartbreak songs, but I can also make cool alternative pop songs. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into the ‘heartbreak ballad girl’ thing.” Once this song was released, to the surprise of no one, “Déjà Vu” debuted at 34 on the streaming charts making her “the first artists in streaming history to have their very first two single but within the top five." It also landed the #8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chats.
What's Her Next Step?
GET EXCITED! We can’t possibly get enough of Olivia Rodrigo, so what’s next? Fortunately enough, on April 19, the 18-year-old singer and actress announced that she would release her debut album on May 21. Her album is titled Sour and is an 11-track project that will feature Rodrigo’s hit single “Driver's License” alongside her follow-up song “Déjà vu.” The other tracks included are “Brutal,” “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,’ “Happier,” and “Hope Ur OK,” along with many more! For those of you who can’t wait to hear her, head on over to Disney+ and watch the second season of High school Musical: The Musical: The Series, which will premiere on May 14.
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