Olivia Rodrigo is the youngest artist - 20-year-old - to debut atop Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

When Rodrigo awoke on a January 2021 morning to news that her first single, the octave-climbing weeper '' Drivers License,'' had rocketed to No 1, she knew '' nothing would ever be the same,'' she said.

One day she was a Disney actress with powerhouse pipes, the next she was a the promising new voice of her generation - all while she was still a high school senior living with her parents and largely under Covid restrictions.

'' SOUR,'' the album Rodrigo released that May with writing credits on all 11 songs, went four times platinum ; two of its tracks, the bona fide phenomenon 

'' Drivers License '' and the sarcastic kiss-off '' Good 4 U,'' crossed the threshold six times over.

She was feted by Ala Rodrigo nis Morissette and Gwen Stefani,and sang duets with Billy Joel and Avril Lavigne. Cardi B gushed about her on Twitter. Halsey sent a cake. At the 2022 Grammys, three of her seven nominations turned into wins, including best new artist.

Embarking on her maiden tour? Watching tabloids diagram her dating history? None of that was easy. But crafting the follow-up to a smash debut is music's most daunting crucible, and Rodrigo felt the pressure to make a diamond.

Ultimately, she turned to advice she'd received from an idol, Jack White. '' He wrote me this letter the first time I met him that said, '' Your only job is to write music that you would want to hear on the radio,'' she recounted over her go-to dinner salad and fries.

She paused. '' I mean, writing songs that you would like to hear on the radio is in fact very hard.''

Songs are only a fraction of the equation. Young women in pop face a dizzying array of pressures : to look a certain way, to compete against one another, to be role models, to project acceptable emotions.

So it's notable that Rodrigo has largely opted out. On ''Guts,'' due to Sept 8 on Geffen, she is simply a rock star.

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Caryn Ganz.


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