How Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” Became the First Runaway Hit of 2021

Olivia Rodrigo in 2019. Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9126553cd)

If we had to pick a single song that defined the beginning of 2021, it would definitely be Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”. The 17-year-old Disney star knocked it out of the park with her debut single and easily topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but how did a song by a relative newcomer manage to find such a huge success?

Personal Drama

Even if you didn’t know who Olivia Rodrigo is about a week ago, by this point in time you’ve probably learned all about the rumored love triangle between her, Joshua Bassett, and Sabrina Carpenter which reportedly inspired this song.

TikTok Hit

Rodrigo’s personal drama inspired countless memes about “Drivers License”, but this song also owes its popularity to several TikTok challenges it was featured in since its release.

Celebrity Shout-Outs

Celebrities love “Drivers License” as much as the rest of the world. Since her breakout song hit the shelves, Rodrigo got praise from Taylor Swift, received a cake from Halsey, and had both Niall Horan and Harry Styles reach out to her.

Just That Good?

At the end of the day, “Drivers License” is one of those songs that actually owe their popularity to their quality. It was met with critical acclaim, drew comparisons to the music of Lorde and Taylor Swift, and resonated with everyone who heard it because it’s raw, emotional, and heartbreaking.