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How Did Olivia Rodrigo Get Famous?

Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of brett jordan Via Flckr.
Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of brett jordan Via Flckr.

It seemed as if 18-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo came out of nowhere, leaving many people asking, “how did Olivia Rodrigo get famous?”

Olivia released her first album titled, Sour, in the summer of 2021 and has quickly become one of the most discussed singers and performers in the music business.

As the year comes to an end, it’s time we look back at the incredible year Olivia Rodrigo had. 

Leading up to Sour

Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Via Flckr.
Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Via Flickr.

Olivia Rodrigo didn’t have the most active career before exploding into fame this year.

Before any recognition, the LA native played a guitarist in the Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark. She was cast in 2019 for Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Then, in 2020, Rodrigo signed a deal with Interscope / Geffen Records. She made sure to negotiate to secure the ownership of her music.

The first most notable highlight of her unforgettable year was the release of her first song, “Drivers License,” co-written by producer Dan Nigro, on January 8. 

Three days later, the single broke Spotify’s record for most streams for a non-holiday song in one day with over 15 million Spotify plays. 

It broke another Spotify record for the first song in history to hit 80 million streams in 7 days.

Following this, Rodrigo dropped two additional singles, “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U.”

Before the release of Sour, Rodrigo had already landed three songs on Billboard’s Top 10 list.

The Album of the Year

Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of brett jordan Via Flckr.
Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of brett Jordan Via Flickr.

On May 21, 2021, Rodrigo released her debut album Sour to critical acclaim.

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and spent five weeks there. 

This would become the longest-reigning number-one album by a female artist in 2021. 

Critics quickly have dubbed her the voice of Gen-Z’s new music, along with artists such as Billie Eilish. 

The album’s success would lead the singer to announce a 2022 Sour Tour with support from Gracie Abrams, Holly Humberstone, and Baby Queen.

The tour kicks off on April 2 in San Francisco and will run through the United States and Europe until early July. 

Awards and Accolades

Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Via Flckr.
Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Via Flickr.

With the amount of attention Sour received, it comes as no surprise the pop star received countless awards and accolades. 

For starters, the album peaked at number one in just about every country, including the United States, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, and many more. 

“Drivers License,” “Deja Vu,” and “Good 4 U” have all gone multi-platinum since their releases. 

Sour served as a staple in every music-related award show this year. 

Rodrigo has earned several Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year for Sour, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for “Drivers License.” 

Other organizations to recognize her work include the American Music Awards with seven nominations, the MTV Video Music Awards with six nominations, and the People’s Choice Awards with five nominations.  

On top of all of that, Time Magazine named the singer-songwriter the Entertainer of the Year. 

Fans will have to wait until the end of January to see if the young singer wins any Grammy Awards. 

Rodrigo Outside of Music

Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Via Flckr.
Olivia Rodrigo. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Television Via Flickr.

Music wasn’t the only area in which Olivia Rodrigo strived. 

During the summer, Rodrigo was invited to the White House to encourage vaccinations among the younger generation. 

She recorded videos about the importance of getting vaccinated, including answering questions the youth have regarding the vaccination. 

This played a significant role in the push for vaccinations across the country. 

Finally, Rodrigo became an institute speaker and panelist for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Olivia Rodrigo had one of the biggest years anyone has seen in recent history, especially for a young artist.

2022 will see her go on her first massive tour and, hopefully, some more music.

Written by Joey Reams

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