How Olivia Rodrigo made Grammy historical past

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American singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, who made historical past at Grammys 2022 by snapping up three trophies within the classes of Greatest New Artist, Greatest Pop Solo Efficiency (for Drivers License) and Greatest Pop Vocal Album (for her debut album Bitter), needed to be an Olympic gymnast as a baby. However along with her mother and father being skeptical about her cartwheels, little did they know that she would skip, leap and land on the rostrum for the second alternative on her profession checklist, that of turning into a musician. And the 18-year-old actually got here out of nowhere, proving her credentials over the past two years. In a way, she embodies the quintessential American underdog story, an LA lady, with stars in her eyes, who climbed the ladder of fame and took all people alongside on the experience. And with Time Journal naming the singer-songwriter the “Entertainer of the 12 months,” the Grammys have been a foregone conclusion.

olivia rodrigo Olivia Rodrigo performs at this yr’s Grammys. (Picture: AP)

Rodrigo’s rocket run

Rodrigo performed a guitarist in Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark and was forged in 2019 for the Disney sequence Excessive College Musical, the place she wrote the track “All I Need.” It figured at quantity 90 within the US charts. With this, she grabbed extra eyeballs than even the extra profitable Disney-created stars like Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, who couldn’t fairly sway the temper of the nation on their debut.

The singer-songwriter didn’t let that early success get to her as she consciously tried to interrupt out of the Disney manufacturing unit mould and craft her personal id. She would put up her cuts on Instagram and quietly nurture a loyal listener base. She would typically do some cowl variations of Taylor Swift’s songs, considered one of which, “Merciless Summer season,” really prompted Swift to go away a remark and share on her web page. This endorsement did the trick for Rodrigo. Impressed by this, she wrote the track, “Deja Vu”, which trended alongside Swift’s songs from the album “Evermore.”

That’s what led to “Drivers License,” Rodrigo’s correct début single, in 2021, a sturdy rendition of stripling angst, which caught on with younger folks globally. It smashed all data on Spotify, and went to primary on the Billboard Scorching 100 in every week. In truth, Billboard known as it the “Runaway Hit of 2021” whereas New York Occasions quoted Jeremy Erlich, the co-head of music at Spotify, as describing the track “a ton of X-factor that made this the proper storm.” The California teen launched her debut album, Bitter, in the midst of the yr and have become a family title nearly in a single day. The album debuted at primary on the Billboard 200 chart and spent 5 weeks there. This is able to develop into the longest-reigning number-one album by a feminine artiste in 2021.

Even earlier than the Grammy honours, Rodrigo had sealed her place as a chart-topper in lots of international locations.

Greater than a teenage icon

She capitalised on this with some good social messaging when in July 2021, she visited the White Home to fulfill President Joe Biden and inspired America’s youth to get vaccinated earlier than another pop icon might. Build up on her function as a public service ambassador, Rodrigo grew to become an institute speaker and panelist for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

The key of Rodrigo’s attraction

Rodrigo might have come out of Disney’s sweet floss dream manufacturing unit however she charted her personal path with true grit, voicing the angst, battle and wrestle of American youngsters. In that sense, she has emerged as a teen balladeer. Her multi-culturalism — her father is a Filipino-American and her mom has a German and Irish ancestry — helped.

She is a straightforward wordsmith, delivering her message with gut-wrenching pointedness with out the mush. And he or she retains her strategy easy and direct, with out the distraction of an excessive amount of instrumentation. However she is cautious that her stressed or determined breath is picked up by the microphone to determine an intimacy with the listener. This makes the teenager defiance that rather more acceptable. And it’s this emotional core which could make her songs final for much longer than a few of the extra widespread hits within the pop style. In addition to, she tackles the problem of stripling break-ups with seriousness, not as a juvenile ceremony of passage, however as a technique of rising up, choosing up the items and forging forward.

Second, she harnessed social media, launching “Drivers License” on TikTok and constructed a digital constituency .

Third, Rodrigo is sincere about her inspirations, admitting that her compositions have been rooted within the felt second. For instance, she wrote “Drivers License” after a drive, throughout which she claims to have been crying and listening to considered one of her favourite songwriters, 21-year-old Gracie Abrams. This acknowledgment of peerage is uncommon in an business that breeds on hostile competitors.

Fourth, Rodrigo is a great packager, who doesn’t actually say something new however has an interesting honesty that resonates with the occasions.



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