When we bid goodbye to 2020 and welcomed in 2021, none of us expected the upcoming year of pop culture to be dominated by a Disney star in a Disney love triangle.

But within days, the Olivia Rodrigo train had left the station – and it’s showed no sign of slowing down ever since.

If you haven’t heard the name Olivia Rodrigo yet, you’ve heard the voice.

She’s been on the radio and in every Spotify playlist since the release of ‘drivers license’ on January 8, singing about how she misses her ex and drives past his house, just because. The song has been unescapable, so thankfully, it’s really bloody good.

It’s been a long time since a star has made such a splash in pop music, so quickly. Even Billie Eilish took years to release an album. Rodrigo’s speedy success is reminiscent of another teenager; then-16-year-old Lorde with ‘Royals’ in 2013.

With two just-as-good follow-up singles, and the release of her (already critically acclaimed) debut album, Sour, earlier in May, Rodrigo has cemented herself as a major player in less than six months.

Pre-‘drivers license’, 18-year-old Rodrigo was mostly known within Disney circles.

She starred in the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark from 2016 to 2019, before being cast as the lead, Nini, in Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Plenty have made the transition from Disney to mainstream popstar before Rodrigo, but she’s doing a few things differently.

Firstly, it takes less than 40 seconds into her album before you hear an f-bomb. As much as she may have wanted to, 18-year-old Miley Cyrus could never. Rodrigo is signed with Interscope and Geffen Records, rather than Disney’s subsidiary Hollywood Records, giving her more freedom in her image and sound.

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