Olivia Rodrigo’s express rise to stardom in year

Isabella Parish

Photo courtesy of flickr

Child actor success stories do not come around often.. That is the opposite of what happened with Olivia Rodrigo. Rodrigo went from an American Girl Doll movie star to an international pop sensation in five years. 

Rodrigo’s career started small with Old Navy commercials, then in 2015 she starred in “An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success.”. The next role Rodrigo took was a Disney Channel original show called “Bizaardvark” which ran for three seasons. The show started out successful but after the third season, the show just did not return for a fourth season and Disney never discussed why.  

After that role she starred in the Disney Channel original show that is exclusively on Disney Plus, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and the show started to pick up a huge following at the end of 2019. From the show Rodrigo released an original song “All I Want” which ended up on the Billboard Hot 100. This song was not released as a single, just through the show so for it to chart on Billboard Hot 100 set the tone for what Rodrigo could do.

Rodrigo released her first single “drivers license” in January of 2021 and it took the world by a storm. The radio was constantly playing “drivers license” and it debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The song also had 76.1 million, on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. The song stayed in the No. 1 slot for eight consecutive weeks which made it the longest number-one hit for a debut single. This was the beginning of Rodrigo’s rise to fame and success. 

Her debut album “SOUR” came out in May of 2021 and it sold 295,000 units in just the first week. With “SOUR” Rodrigo broke countless records, one of them being the most top songs in the top 10 at one time by a woman. 

The previous record holder was Rodrigo’s idol Taylor Swift. Rodrigo set a new standard for debut albums and singles. Every single she put out did well and then her album also did not disappoint. She also created a whole experience around her album.

She had a collection with Sour Patch Kids to promote the album and created an immersive concert video experience called Sour Prom. In this Youtube video she performed most of her album like a live music video. Rodrigo also put out music videos for all three of her singles and then an additional video.

Rodrigo also released more merch than most artists do. She had hats, shirts, sweaters, shorts, jewelry and more. The merchandise she created was also extremely fashionable and on-trend which led to more sales.

The success she had did not stop there. Her show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” released a second season, Rodrigo was invited to the White House to promote the vaccine and attended the 2021 Met Gala. And Rodrigo is also doing all of this at only 18 years old. 

On Wednesday October 13 Rodrigo appeared on the cover of the magazine “Rolling Stones” with musical icon Alanis Morissette. Morissette and Rodrigo have many commonalities throughout their careers. The two both started in television and had insanely popular debut albums. 

Morissette is not the only  artist who recognized Rodrigo’s success. Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and countless other stars praised Rodrigo after the release of “drivers license” and “SOUR”. 

Swift hand wrote a sentimental letter to Rodrigo offering her advice in the industry and in life. The letter contained advice on how Rodrigo should “make your own luck in the world.” Halsey sent Rodrigo a cake to congratulate her on the song. Niall Horan called the song “beautifully written” on his Instagram story and said “this song is the real deal.”

This past September, Rodrigo performed live for the first time at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Rodrigo has also performed at a few award shows including the MTV Music Awards in September and The Brit Awards in May. With her Disney Channel show Rodrigo has been unable to plan or at least announce a tour. She is committed to the show until at least Spring of 2022.

Because of the pandemic Rodrigo was forced to take an unconventional track to becoming a popstar because of the pandemic. Rodrigo has become royalty in the music industry in less than a year. Her success has not slowed down and as time goes on I can only see becoming more popular.