Six days after releasing “Drivers License,” Olivia Rodrigo sounds like she’s still trying to catch her breath. “It’s been the weirdest week of my whole life,” she tells Billboard during a call on Jan. 14, her voice giddily jumping before gulping for air. “My entire life changed this week, and also, everything is exactly the same.”
One week prior, Rodrigo was a promising teen singer-songwriter who had just announced a deal with Geffen Records, and was about to attempt the well-worn journey from tween-friendly Disney stardom to an adult music career with her debut single for the label. Now, with “Drivers License” -- a blistering post-breakup power ballad designed to provoke tears, scream-alongs or both -- debuting at No. 1 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100, Rodrigo has created an unwitting, unprecedented phenomenon.
“I have all of these amazing opportunities now,” Rodrigo says, “and so many people that I look up to have reached out and expressed their love for the song, which is absolutely surreal. But I truly am just the same 17-year-old girl, doing statistics homework in my bedroom.”