- Olivia Rodrigo recently spoke to Variety about the reaction to “Drivers License,” her debut single.
- Many fans thought it was about Joshua Bassett, and “that blond girl” referred to Sabrina Carpenter.
- “I really resent that narrative that was being tossed around,” Rodrigo said.
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“I put it out not knowing that it would get that reaction, so it was really strange [when] it did,” Rodrigo said. “I just remember [everyone being] so weird and speculative about stuff they had no idea about.”
She echoed this sentiment in another recent cover story for Clash magazine: “I remember when ‘Drivers License’ came out, and all of these major news publications were speculating about my 17-year-old love life, and I was like, ‘What? That’s weird. I hate that.'”
After the breakup ballad rocketed to No. 1 in January, many theorized it was inspired by Joshua Bassett, Rodrigo’s on-screen boyfriend in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” The costars were believed to be a real-life couple for some time, though neither of them has confirmed this.
At the time of the song’s release, Bassett had recently stepped out with Sabrina Carpenter, another Disney star who’s four years older than Rodrigo.
This led fans to believe Carpenter inspired the heartbreaking lyric, “And you’re probably with that blond girl / Who always made me doubt / She’s so much older than me / She’s everything I’m insecure about.” Some even sent Carpenter “hate” online.
However, as other fans have noted, these lyrics are focused on Rodrigo’s insecurities rather than anything negative about the “blond girl” specifically.
“I don’t really subscribe to hating other women because of boys,” Rodrigo told Variety. “I think that’s so stupid, and I really resent that narrative that was being tossed around.”
Now 18, Rodrigo has repeatedly declined to identify any real-life influences for her debut album, “Sour,” which deals largely with themes of heartbreak and betrayal. But she has said that her songwriting tends to be intensely personal, and that “Drivers License” is based on a true story.
“I definitely talked about my deepest, darkest secrets and insecurities on ‘Sour’ – which is sort of strange to be like, ‘Here, you guys can have this. Anyone who wants to listen to it can listen to it,'” Rodrigo told Variety. “But it’s really empowering when it comes out, and it’s been really awesome for me to see people resonate with that vulnerability and relate to it.”