Olivia Rodrigo

American singer and actress (born 2003)

Olivia Isabel Rodrigo (born February 20, 2003) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She first became well known for her roles on the Disney television shows Bizaardvark (2016–2019) and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (2019–2022).

Olivia Rodrigo
Rodrigo in May 2024
Born
Olivia Isabel Rodrigo

(2003-02-20) February 20, 2003 (age 21)
Occupations
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active2015–present
WorksDiscography
AwardsFull list
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Labels
Websiteoliviarodrigo.com
Signature

Rodrigo signed with Geffen Records in 2020. She then released her first song "Drivers License" in 2021 which made her popular. She released her first studio album Sour that was released that same year. The album won her three Grammy Awards. A Disney+ documentary, Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Home 2 U was released in 2022. In 2023, Rodrigo released her second studio album, Guts, which was popular and had good reviews from critics.

Rodrigo has had three Billboard Hot 100 number-one songs and two Billboard 200 number-one albums. She has also won an American Music Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards. Time named her the 2021 Entertainer of the Year and Billboard named her Woman of the Year in 2022.

Her music has been seen as "emotional" power ballads with her music focused on ending relationships, mental health, and sadness.[1] Her music has been popular with critics, journalists, and her fans. Slate called her "Gen-Z's most [talented] new artist".[2] Several other media sources have called her Gen Z's best artists and the musical voice of this generation.[3][4]

Rodrigo also focuses on fundraisers for women's education and health.[5] She gives out money to charities that help find cures for rare diseases, support abortion and education programs.[6][7]

Early life

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Olivia Isabel Rodrigo was born on February 20, 2003 in Murrieta, California.[8][9][10] Her parents are Jennifer, a school teacher, and Chris, a family therapist.[11][12] She grew up in Temecula, California.[13] Rodrigo was born half-deaf in her left ear.[14] Rodrigo is Filipino American.[15][16] Her mother also has German and Irish ancestry.[11][17] She said that her paternal great-grandfather emigrated from the Philippines to the United States when he was a teenager.[15][18] She grew up listening to her parents' favorite alternative rock music, such as the bands No Doubt, Pearl Jam, the White Stripes, and Green Day.[4]

Rodrigo went to Lisa J. Mails Elementary School in Murrieta.[19] She was part of a musical theater group after her classes ended.[19] She later went to Dorothy McElhinney Middle School in Murrieta for a year, until she moved to Los Angeles.[19] She moved there after her television career began in 2016.[19] She was homeschooled from then until her graduation in 2021.[11][20]

Early career

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Rodrigo said that Taylor Swift is the reason why she wanted to sing[4]

At age five, her parents signed her up for singing lessons with Jennifer Dustman.[21] She would sign up Rodrigo in many local singing competitions.[21] Dustman told Rodrigo's parents to put her in acting lessons.[22][21][23] She began taking piano lessons at age 9.[23][21] Rodrigo first became interested in songwriting after listening to country music songs by Taylor Swift,[4] and was playing guitar by age 12.[23]

As a child, she first appeared in an Old Navy commercial.[24][25]

In 2015, at age twelve, Rodrigo had her first acting role.[26] She played Grace Thomas in direct-to-video movie An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success.[26] She was cast in Disney Channel's Bizaardvark in 2016.[19] She played Paige Olvera, a guitarist, on the show.[27] She played the role for three seasons.[27][28][29][30] In 2017, she appeared in an episode of New Girl.[31]

In February 2019, she was cast in the starring role of Nini Salazar-Roberts on the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which premiered in November of that year.[32] Many critics and fans liked her role and acting.[33][34] For the series, Rodrigo wrote and sang "All I Want", which was released in November 2019.[35][36] She left the show at the end of its third season to focus on her music career.[37] In 2020, she was a musical guest for The Disney Family Singalong.[38]

Musical career

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Rodrigo signed with Geffen Records in 2020.[39] She wanted a record deal that gave her ownership of the masters of her music.[11] On January 8, 2021, she released her first song, "Drivers License". She co-wrote it with producer Dan Nigro.[40][41][42] A week after its release, "Drivers License" became popular,[43] and it broke several records on Spotify.[44] It also broke the record for the most streams ever in a day for a non-holiday song with over 15.7 million global streams on January 11 and over 17 million global streams the next day.[45][46] It then broke another Spotify record for the first song in history to hit 80 million streams in seven days.[47] The song came out at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[48] It also reached number-one in many countries.[49][50] When her first song became number one, Rodrigo said: "It's been the absolute craziest week of my life ... My entire life just, like, [changed] in an instant."[51]

 
Rodrigo in July 2021

On April 1, 2021, Rodrigo released another song, "Deja Vu".[52] It came out at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.[52] This made her the first artist to have their first two songs in the top 10 of the Hot 100.[53] Her third song, "Good 4 U", came out on May 14, 2021.[54] It became her second song to reach number one on the Hot 100.[54][55] Rodrigo release her first studio album, Sour, on May 21, 2021.[56] It got good reviews.[56] In a review by Slate, the critic said that the album's first three songs helped create Rodrigo's "early status as Gen-Z's most [talented] new artist".[2] According to Clash, Rodrigo is seen as one of Generation Z's best artists.[3] Variety called her "the voice of her generation" in its cover story of Rodrigo.[4] Sour came out at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. It spent five weeks at number one. This was the longest time at number one for an album by a female artist in 2021.[57]

In June 2021, Rodrigo released Sour Prom, a prom-themed concert movie on YouTube.[58] Three days later, Time named her Entertainer of the Year.[59] In an Instagram post on December 24, 2021, Rodrigo uploaded a short video of a Christmas song called "The Bels". She wrote and recorded it when she was five years old.[60][61] By the end of the year, Billboard said that Rodrigo ended the year with the most songs sold.[62] She had eight songs on the year-end Global 200 chart, including "Drivers License" at number four, "Good 4 U" at number nine, and "Deja Vu" at number 27.[63] In the United States and the United Kingdom, Sour was the third and fourth bestselling album of 2021.[64][65] Sour and "Drivers License" were also Spotify's most streamed album and song in the world.[66] To promote Sour, Rodrigo began her first tour, the Sour Tour. It ran from April to July 2022.[67]

Disney+ released a documentary movie about Rodrigo titled Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Home 2 U.[68] It is about the making of Sour.[68] It was released on March 25, 2022.[68] Rodrigo was nominated seven times at the 64th Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year for Sour, and Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Drivers License".[69] She won the awards for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album for Sour, and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Drivers License".[70] In 2022, while creating her next album Guts, Rodrigo went to a poetry class at the University of Southern California.[71] She used one of her homework assignments to write the song "Lacy".[71]

 
Rodrigo's Sour Tour in Toronto in 2022

On August 16, 2023, Rodrigo became the youngest artist to receive the BRIT Billion Award. She won this award for having over one billion digital streams in the United Kingdom.[72] She was the 19th artist to receive a BRIT Billion Award.[72] Rodrigo's second album, Guts was released on September 8, 2023, and was at the top the Billboard 200.[73] She said that the album was about growing up and learning about herself.[73] When she was writing the album, Rodrigo said she felt as if she had grown "ten years" between the ages of 18 and 20.[73] Guts was very popular with the critics; BBC News called it the most critically popular album of 2023.[74] The album's main song, "Vampire", was released on June 30.[75] It became Rodrigo's third song to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100.[75] This made her the first artist ever to have songs from her first two albums at No. 1 on the Hot 100.[75][76][77] The album's second song, "Bad Idea Right?", was released on August 11, 2023.[78] It reached the top 10 in the United States and United Kingdom.[79][80]

On October 9, 2023, Rodrigo sang songs from Guts at a special concert for American Express in Los Angeles.[81] All the money made from ticket sales went to her Fund 4 Good nonprofit organization.[81] She released an EP titled Guts: The Secret Tracks and it became one of the top sellers during Record Store Day.[82] On November 3, Rodrigo released the song "Can't Catch Me Now" for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.[83] That same year, she was a musical guest for Saturday Night Live for a second time.[84] She was a musical guest before in 2021.[84]

 
Rodrigo singing in October 2023

To support her album Guts, Rodrigo began her second tour, the Guts World Tour. The tour will run from February to August 2024 in North America, United Kingdom and Europe.[85] On March 20, 2024, Rodrigo announced that she would release a 'deluxe version' of Guts with five new songs at her tour stop in Chicago.[86] She released Guts (Spilled) and the song "Obsessed" on March 22, 2024.[87]

On April 13, 2024, Rodrigo made a special guest appearance at No Doubt's Coachella show, where she sang with them.[88]

Artistry

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Influences

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Rodrigo says Taylor Swift and Lorde are her main musical inspirations.[89] She called herself Swift's biggest fan "in the whole world".[90] Rodrigo later gave musical credits to Swift on her song "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back" and "Deja Vu".[91] In 2022, she called The White Stripes band member Jack White her "hero of all heroes".[92] She also said she was inspired by Alanis Morissette, Kacey Musgraves,[93] Fiona Apple, St. Vincent,[94] Cardi B,[95] Gwen Stefani,[96] Avril Lavigne,[97] and Lana Del Rey.[98]

Vocal range

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Rodrigo has a three-octave soprano vocal range.[99][100] Media sources and journalists have called her a pop artist.[101][102] Her songs have been seen as pop rock,[103] teen pop,[104] and indie pop styles,[105] as well as similar to 1990s alternative rock.[102] Rodrigo said that she wants to be a songwriter and not "the biggest pop star that ever lived".[11] Her music has also been seen as "emotional" power ballads with her music focused in ending relationships, mental health, and sadness.[1]

Activism and philanthropy

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From 2017 to 2018, Rodrigo and her Bizaardvark co-star Madison Hu worked together on Instagram. They asked their fans to spread kindness to fight against cyberbullying.[106][107][108] Rodrigo and Hu worked together again with the non-profit organization My Friend's Place to help homeless youth find shelter, food, work, education, and healthcare.[109] The event raised over $740,000 for local homeless youth.[110] She also supported awareness for women studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.[111][112][113]

 
Rodrigo with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in July 2021

In February 2021, Rodrigo sold merchandise called "Spicy Pisces T-shirts", on her website. All the money she raised went to organizations that support young girls' education and scholarships.[114][115] In June 2021, she sold some of her clothes and items from her music videos, with the money going to charitable organizations.[116][117][118] Rodrigo donated some of her Sour Tour ticket sales to an organization that supports female survivors of war by helping them build their lives again.[119]

On July 13, 2021, Rodrigo helped the Joe Biden administration to promote COVID-19 vaccinations among young people in the United States.[120] She met with President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Anthony Fauci, to talk about her efforts.[120][121][122] CNN said that Rodrigo would record videos about the importance of young people getting vaccinated.[120]

After the United States Supreme Court removed the abortion protections of Roe v. Wade, Rodrigo sang "Fuck You", with British singer Lily Allen, at Glastonbury Festival.[123] She sang the song for the associate justices who voted to remove abortion access.[124]

On November 20, 2022, Rodrigo worked with Billie Eilish, John Legend and Tom Holland to raise money to find a cure for epidermolysis bullosa and other rare diseases.[125][126][127][128] In December 2022, Rodrigo, along with Chris Stapleton and Selena Gomez, donated some personal items to support musical education and talent programs in the United States.[129][130] In January 2023, Rodrigo donated more personal items to the MusiCares Foundation Charity Relief Auction to help musicians who are not making enough money to live.[6][131]

Rodrigo created a charity fund called Fund 4 Good to support reproductive healthcare of women, in October 2023.[7][132] Some of the money raised during her Guts World Tour will go to the fund, and it will support the National Network of Abortion Funds.[133] On March 12, 2024, Condoms and Plan B pills were given out at Rodrigo's concert in St. Louis, where abortion is illegal under state law.[134] For the European part of the Tour in May 2024, Rodrigo gave money to the Women Against Violence Europe organization, to help stop women and their children from being victims of violence.[135]

Awards and honors

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Rodrigo accepting the iHeartRadio Music Awards in April 2024

Rodrigo has won many awards during her career, including three Grammy Awards,[136] seven Billboard Music Awards,[137] four MTV Video Music Awards,[138] four iHeartRadio Music Awards,[139] and a Juno Award.[140] She was also nominated for two People's Choice Awards,[141] an American Music Award,[142] and a Brit Award.[143]

Rodrigo was on the 2021 edition of Time magazine's 100 Next list.[144] She was named Time's Entertainer of the Year for 2021.[145] Billboard also called her their Woman of the Year in 2022.[146] The magazine included her on its yearly 21 Under 21 list in 2021 and 2022.[147][148]

Rodrigo was also named on lists such as the Bloomberg 50 and Forbes 30 Under 30 in the music category.[149][150] She was also given the "Songwriter of the Year" award by Variety in 2021.[151]

Albums

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Movies

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Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2015 An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success Grace Thomas Direct-to-video movie [152]
2021 Sour Prom Herself Concert movie [153]
2022 Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Home 2 U Documentary movie [154]

Television

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Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016–2019 Bizaardvark Paige Olvera Main role [155]
2017 New Girl Terrinea Episode: "Young Adult" [31]
2019–2022 High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Nini Salazar-Roberts Main role (seasons 1–2); recurring (season 3) [156][157]
2019 High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Special Herself / Nini Salazar-Roberts Documentary special [158]
2020 The Disney Family Singalong Herself Television special [38]
High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special Herself / Nini Salazar-Roberts Holiday special [159]
2021, 2023 Saturday Night Live Herself Musical guest; 2 episodes [84]

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