Billboard‘s 2022 Women in Music event began on Wednesday night (Mar. 2) with Woman of the Year Olivia Rodrigo taking the stage for a blistering pre-filmed performance of her second Sour single, the seething “Deja Vu.”
Playing to an empty SoFi stadium, a pink-clad Rodrigo sang the 2021 smash directly into the camera with typically unguarded intimacy and directness. Providing her support was a four-piece, all-female band, who were each wearing all-white outfits, and offered an alternately sweet and grungy rendition of the post-breakup anthem.
Later in the show, Olivia was presented Woman of the Year by Sheryl Crow. “I was shooting pool with my 11-year-old last night, and he was singing ‘Good 4 U’ at the top of his lungs, and then he was singing ‘Drivers License,” she recalled during her introduction. “I was like, ‘OK, little 11-year-old boy.'” She went on to praise what a great example Rodrigo is setting for her generation. “When I came up, women were struggling to be the architects of their own careers,” she said. “So when I see someone like our Woman of the Year Olivia Rodrigo having such incredible success at such an early age, I am blown away.”
After thanking Crow — “I am such a massive fan of you and your songwriting,” she gushed — and congratulating the other honorees on the night, Rodrigo talked about her love of songwriting, and how it’s “always been everything” for her. “It’s not always easy being a young woman in the music industry, but I’ve found so much strength from the female songwriters who have come before me and paved the way and opened doors for so many young women like me.”
She closed by offering a message to the aspiring female songwriters who might be watching. “I wanna say to all the young girls out there who are writing songs every day, in their journals, on their bedroom floors — I am constantly moved by your vulnerability and your creativity and bravery,” she said. “And I promise everyone here today is working to make this world and this industry a better place for you.”
After debuting in the top 10 a couple months earlier, “Deja Vu” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2021 — becoming her third top 5 hit off her debut album Sour. Rodrigo was announced as Billboard‘s Woman of the Year in February, making her the 15th different artist to receive the honor.