Olivia Rodrigo is a rising star from the Disney Plus series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series who has gained a lot of popularity for her singing ability in the show. Her newest song, “Driver’s License,” has made that popularity and renown triple.
The song is catchy, unique and expertly interwove some car sounds into the track. It also speaks to young women who have or are going through tough break-ups, becoming their unofficial anthem.
According to The New York Times, “It’s a canny inheritor of Taylor Swift, Lorde and Alessia Cara, among others.”
Taylor Swift has showed great support of Rodrigo, as “Driver’s License” is a co-sign of Swift and appears below the songs in her album Evermore. Swift also declared her love of Rodrigo on Instagram going as far as quoting her own mother, posting “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.”
Swift is not the only one to show their interest in Rodrigo’s song. TikTok blew up in response to this release. TikTok users’ For You pages were filled with parodies and impressions deriving from “Driver’s License.” Some of the videos that riddled TikTok were people rewriting the song to fit different perspectives surrounding the song’s topic. There were people who took on the persona of the car, the driving instructor, the best friend of Rodrigo, God’s perspective, and many others as well. This trend gave Rodrigo some unparalleled publicity and has greatly supported her song despite the mocking that some videos contain.
“Driver’s License” has created a major celebrity gossip opportunity as it implies that there is a love triangle between herself, Joshua Bassett her co-star of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and Sabrina Carpenter. Though Bassett, the person Rodrigo allegedly sings about, not so coincidentally announced his newest song, “Lie Lie Lie” an hour after Rodrigo announced hers. Then around a week later Carpenter announced a surprise new song of her own.
Between these three songs, their music videos and the lyrics there are some hints that these artists are all talking about each other. In “Driver’s License,” Rodrigo yells at her ex through the lyric, “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me.” According to Vulture, fans believe that this is referring to “Common Sense” and “Anyone Else,” both songs written and sung by Bassett.
Rodrigo also mentions a blonde girl who is “so much older than [her],” popularly thought to be Carpenter as she is four years older than Rodrigo. This claim is further supported by the fact that Carpenter and Bassett have been seen together a lot recently and are rumored to have started dating after Rodrigo and Bassett broke up. Then in response to Rodrigo’s lyric, Carpenter wrote her own lyric “maybe you didn’t mean it/ maybe blonde was the only rhyme” in her surprise new song “Skin.”
Despite the overwhelming evidence that there is some major tension between these three stars, many believe that this all has been an elaborate public relations stunt. Even though Rodrigo and Bassett allegedly broke up sometime in August, the releases of their new songs were suspiciously close together.
According to Vulture, Rodrigo announced the release of “Driver’s License” on Jan. 4 and then a short hour later Bassett announced his song “Lie Lie Lie.” It is hard to see this as a coincidence especially since the two songs are clearly talking about each other. To further this connection, Carpenter’s song was released a week after Bassett’s as a surprise track for her fans.
“Driver’s License” is now at the number one spot on Billboard’s Top 100 list with over 284 million streams on Spotify, and it continues to climb without any sign of stopping.