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Olivia Rodrigo, a multi-Grammy Award-winner at 19, is sweet, not sour, on stardom as her debut tour continues

George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

If someone tells me one more time: 'Enjoy your youth,' I'm gonna cry — Olivia Rodrigo, "Brutal" (2021)

Teen angst has long been a catalyst for stirring music that captures the anxieties and self-doubts of a generation, as the lyrics to "Brutal" so readily attest.

For Olivia Rodrigo, who turned 19 on Feb. 20 and won three Grammy Awards on April 3, teen angst has also been a catalyst for stardom beyond her wildest dreams.

A Filipino American born and raised in Southern California, Rodrigo's swift rise to musical fame is a matter of record.

Her chart-topping debut album, "Sour," was released last May. It came out just three months after her debut single, the all-lower-case "drivers license," broke Spotify's record for the most streams in one day for a non-holiday song. That's a record Rodrigo broke the following day.

Ultimately, "drivers license" also broke the global record as the most requested song in one day, ever, on Alexa. It became Spotify's most streamed song of 2021, while "Sour" became Spotify's most streamed album of last year. She has more than 20 million Instagram followers.

 

It's not surprising, then, that Rodrigo's recently launched debut concert tour sold out from coast to coast in an instant. Ditto in Europe, where she'll perform in multiple countries in June and July.

But what's most notable about this former Disney-Channel-star-turned-international-music-phenom isn't her eye-popping sales figures. It's her ability to vividly convey feelings of insecurity — about life and love, hopes and fears, the pressures of being a teenager grappling with everyday issues — at a time when much of the world seems on the brink of imploding.

Capturing the zeitgeist

Over the past 17 months, Rodrigo has captured the zeitgeist for her generation like no one since Billie Eilish, now 21, who was a five-time winner at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

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©2022 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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