Since the turn of the year, no artist has gained more recognition than Disney star Olivia Rodrigo. Taking the lead in the sleeper hit, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Rodrigo’s performance has led her to pursue a serious career in the music industry, where she has been making the waves.
Her composition and performance of the song I Am More in the series caught the attention of music executives, leading her to sign a record deal. By January, she made her debut with “Drivers License.” With how stagnant the music industry had become, Rodrigo immediately bagged the number 1 spot on the Billboard chart. In three days, “Drivers License” reached new heights, breaking Spotify’s record for the most streams in a single day, with a record 15.17 million.
Upon its release, Drivers License went viral on TikTok. The song’s sudden popularity can be attributed to its timeless appeal as it tells a high school love story that ends tragically, something that the youth can relate to and bring nostalgia to the older generation. Drivers License gained further traction when speculations arose that it was intended for her partner and co-star after he allegedly started seeing another actress. While never confirming the allegations, Rodrigo has let her song do all the talking.
In a time when hits falter as quickly as they rise, Olivia Rodrigo’s debut song proves to be an anomaly, accumulating one billion streams worldwide. She quickly followed it with the release of her debut album Sour on May 21. The album includes “Drivers License,” “Deja Vu,” and “Good 4 U.” The album received praises from critics and artists, including Rodrigo’s idol, Taylor Swift, who had nothing but positive words for the budding musician. In addition, other figures in the music industry like Travis Barker, Yungblud, and Kelly Clarkson have praised Rodrigo’s debut album. Rodrigo would later premiere her concert film, Sour Prom, on June 29.
Sour Prom was streamed online with high anticipation from Rodrigo’s fans. However, drama arose when Courtney Love accused the young artist of plagiarizing the cover art of Hole’s “Live Through This” for Rodrigo’s concert film. The resemblance is not hard to miss with a purple background, a bouquet of roses, and a prom queen with smeared makeup. However, Olivia Rodrigo has debunked the claims.
The concert film premiered via live stream on YouTube. It began with a limo driving up to a suburban street to pick up Olivia Rodrigo, setting the scene for her songs. Throughout the drive, the singer performs some of her hit songs before arriving at the party. Stepping into the dance floor, Rodrigo unravels into the upbeat track, “Brutal,” shifting the scene to mirror moments from the horror film Carrie. Her classmates then circle the singer as she breaks into a slow song, reflecting on her loneliness on the dance floor surrounded by couples. Rodrigo then breaks into a high-energy song with people mobbing her, symbolizing the pressure to lead an aesthetic life on Instagram.
With the gym turning into a hot and sweaty setting, Rodrigo makes her way into a dark room filled with photographs that develop into memories. Producing a guitar from nearby, the singer strums to “Enough for You,” a soulful introspection of a relationship that left her feeling less than the other women her ex loved before. After the song, she grabs a nearby suit jacket and puts it over her dress as she wanders back into the dance and through the parking lot. The opening chords to “Drivers License” play out as a crowd welcomes Rodrigo on the football field.
The show concludes with a marching band-accompanied rendition of “Good 4 U,” ending the show on a brighter note and giving many high-schoolers the ending that they were deprived of the past year.