photo via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drivers_License_(song) under creative commons license
Just within the second week of 2021, Olivia Rodrigo has broken records with her brand-new single, drivers license. From being number one on the Billboard Hot 100 to TikTok’s adaptation of the song, her success is undeniable. The heartbreak anthem has resonated with so many people across the globe. Rodrigo’s immediate rise to stardom left the world in shock. Within the first days of release, she easily managed to break Spotify’s record for most streams in one day–Originally held by Ariana Grande. At this point, anyone can think whatever they please, but “drivers license” has skyrocketed into popularity.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Rodrigo is formerly known as a Disney Channel/Disney+ actress. She played multiple parts in multiple shows. After playing her character “Paige” on Disney’s Bizaardvark, She earned the role of “Nini” on a new Disney series. Her show is called “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” The series quickly became popular in 2019. The constant drama between several of the characters left the watchers addicted. This show also produced a lot of banger music from the cast, like All I Want, Wondering, and plenty more. She played the insanely talented girlfriend of “Richard Bowen” (Ricky, played by Joshua Bassett), and immediately became a fan favorite.
Rodrigo and Bassett, a couple?
Rodrigo still kept in touch with most of her co-stars, after the first season of the show. Joshua Basset, who played alongside Rodrigo as her on-and-off boyfriend in the series, were speculated by fans to be in a relationship with Olivia. Neither of the pair had actually spoken openly about the rumor, but the fan base claimed it was quite obvious the two were dating. Using certain clips off of their Instagram stories to prove, the rumor somehow seemed legit.
That was, until May 2020, When fans noticed they had stopped interacting with each other so much with zero explanation. Not only this, but they discovered new evidence of Bassett catering to other girls. One of them happened to be another Disney personality and actress, Sabrina Carpenter. Fans didn’t take this too seriously until Rodrigo teased an unreleased song by the title White Flowers. Fans immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was about Bassett. Just a break in the story here, but it amazes me how much fans can get from a few posts and likes. This was never actually confirmed, just speculated.
A Single that Took the World by Storm
The theory between these two eventually died down within the rest of 2020. Not many heard much about the drama, but as 2020 turned into 2021, there was a spike in gossip. All because Rodrigo, in the midst of the new year, dropped the revolutionary single known as drivers license. The tune, which is broken and melancholy, had every teen in tears as it slowly devoured the music industry.
How the Fans See it
Not only was the public fanning over the song, but it also got everybody talking. About the song, and about it’s backstory. It was almost inevitable for fans to think the song was not about Bassett. Featuring lyrics like “Today I drove through the suburbs/Cuz’ how could I ever love someone else?” and “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me,” Fans found it so obvious. Plus, just to prove their point more, the lyrics stating; “You’re probably with that blonde girl/who always made me doubt,” Clearly pointed fingers at Sabrina Carpenter, Bassett’s new ‘girl buddy.’
Rodrigo was silent on the matter. However, her fan base was absolutely obliterated. Not only that, but her song touched so many outside her circle, making it an immediate hit.
Possible Response by Bassett?
Bassett, though, later came out with another single titled Lie Lie Lie. Fans weren’t expecting it, but some saw it as a response to Rodrigo’s success. This song has seen the lesser half of the drama in my opinion. Mostly because not many really believe it’s about Rodrigo, But we’ll never know for sure.
Skin: The Attack
Meanwhile, Bassett made it blatantly obvious that he Carpenter were constantly together. From TikTok’s to paparazzi snapshots, fans immediately speculated that they were “A thing.” And, as ‘drivers license’ was on its way to stardom, Carpenter put a break in the tracks.
She, also being a skilled singer/songwriter, dropped a song titled “Skin.” The public went absolutely insane. I almost immediately realized that more than half of the song was a blatant attack on Rodrigo. Carpenter responded to the drama, saying the song wasn’t about a specific person, but I find that hard to believe. Featuring lyrics like “Maybe you didn’t mean it/Maybe blonde was the only rhyme,” and “Don’t drive yourself insane,” fans saw right through her lyrics.
The Sight of an Audience Member
I understand why Carpenter thought it was necessary to respond to the drama. I see what the public is doing to her after that release—and it’s not pretty. But, in all seriousness, she had it coming. There was only at least one or two lines I could find that didn’t correspond to Rodrigo. If she’s just going to drop something like that, she better be ready for the backlash.
Not only that, but the obvious fact: ‘drivers license’ isn’t even about Carpenter! It’s a desolate break-up anthem targeted at an ex-boyfriend. The only correspondence to Carpenter is her “blonde girl” lyric. Which, quite frankly, isn’t even an insult to her. Therefore, in my eyes, Carpenter had no right to come after Rodrigo like that. Even IF the song wasn’t completely about her, Carpenter took Rodrigo’s already broken heart, and stomped on it.
Today in the World of Drama
But, of course, that’s just my opinion. Right now, the two fandoms between Rodrigo and Carpenter are at war, and understanding it is monstrosity. Plus, Bassett and Carpenter are planned to drop a new song titled “We Both Know.” Carpenter’s vocals will be feature. So, the drama continues.
But even with the backlash, even with the drama, Rodrigo is still killing it at the top. Billboards number one, late night performing shows, you name it. She almost has it all at this point. Rodrigo continues to grow rapidly, even when Carpenter and company attempt to strip her of her stardom.