Olivia Rodrigo gained another No. 1 in her domination of the charts with her smash debut single "drivers license" this week, as the surprise hit reached No. 1 on Pop Airplay in just seven weeks. To put that in perspective, that’s the shortest ascent to the top since Ed Sheeran’s world-conquering "Shape Of You" in 2017, and the fastest to No. 1 for a female lead artist’s debut in nearly 20 years, since Blu Cantrell’s "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" shot to the top of the chart in the summer of 2001.
It’s another feather in the cap for Rodrigo, and another big victory for Interscope Geffen A&M president of promotion Brenda Romano, who earns the title of Billboard’s Executive of the Week. (Geffen Records released "drivers license," and Interscope handles its radio promotion.) In addition to promoting "drivers license" to its standout peak -- the song is also Geffen’s first Pop Airplay No. 1 since 2007 -- Romano and her team have broken records with Billie Eilish, who last month became the solo artist with the most No. 1s on Alternative Airplay in the chart’s history ("Therefore I Am" also sits at No. 5 on Pop Airplay this week), and crossed Machine Gun Kelly from the rap charts to the rock and pop charts, where his blackbear collaboration "My Ex’s Best Friend" remains at its No. 11 peak on Pop Airplay this week.
Here, Romano talks about the breakout success for Rodrigo's debut, the strategy for Eilish's rollout and Interscope Geffen A&M's long track record of breaking new artists at radio.