Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Drivers License” debuted number one this week on the Billboard Hot 100, earned 76.1 million U.S. streams in the week ending Jan. 14, according to MRC Data, and sits atop the iTunes, Amazon and Spotify charts. The current number one song in the world started as a viral Gen Z jam on TikTok and spiraled to the top as fans became invested in the story behind Olivia’s apparent heartbreak. Now, the young singer is responding to the rumors that “Drivers License” details her split from High School Musical: The Musical costar Joshua Bassett, and his subsequent romance with Sabrina Carpenter.
“I totally understand people’s curiosity with the specifics of who the song’s about and what it’s about,” Olivia acknowledged to Billboard, “but to me, that’s really the least important part of the song.” She continued, “It’s resonating with people because of how emotional it is and I think everything else is not important.” Still, the 17-year-old understands how “vulnerable and raw” the song is and why people have connected to it so quickly, adding she was “so terrified to put it out because of some of the things I said. It was like, my deepest insecurities in a four-minute song.”
“To see it do really well—to have this really painful moment in my life, and turn it into something beautiful that can maybe help people through a tough time that they’re having, like I was having a tough time—it’s just so empowering,” Olivia explained. “And I feel grateful that I got to do that.”
The article detailed that the HSMTM star has witnessed much of the success of “Drivers License” from the confines her home due to the ongoing pandemic. “I have all of these amazing opportunities now,” she said. “and so many people that I look up to have reached out and expressed their love for the song, which is absolutely surreal. But I truly am just the same 17-year-old girl, doing statistics homework in my bedroom.”
However, different than most 17-year-old students, Olivia is receiving cakes from Halsey, shout outs from Cardi B, praise from Taylor Swift and more love from some of the best in the biz. “I’ve gotten texts from people who are going on walks, and they’ll be walking past a house that is just blasting ‘Drivers License,’” she said. “Or they’ll be driving and pull up next to a car at a stop light, and the other car will be playing ‘Drivers License.’ You can see all the numbers and all the No. 1 charts, but to see people in their day-to-day lives listening to this song, having it resonate with them? That’s been insane.”