American singer Olivia Rodrigo is Time Magazine’s Entertainer of the Year
American singer Olivia Rodrigo is Time Magazine’s Entertainer of the Year
Photo: Time magazine

American singer and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo skyrocketed to mainstream popularity after the release of her first single 'Driver's License' in January, 2021 and there's been no stopping her since. She bagged seven Grammy nominations, became one of the most streamed artists on Spotify — and now TIME magazine has named her 2021's Entertainer of the Year.

To honour Rodrigo as Entertainer of the Year, TIME magazine traced her journey as a singer, songwriter and actor from very the beginning. As a Filipino American, Rodrigo was the only child of a therapist, and a teacher in California, born to them in 2003. She started writing songs, taking voice lessons and auditioning for acting jobs in primary school. At age 12, she landed a role as a a vlogger on Disney’s Bizaardvark for which "she learned to play the guitar and took the family to LA". In 2019, Rodrigo made it onto High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a reboot of the hit movies that starred Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.

High School Musical the series gave the then 16-year-old a chance to show her talent as a singer and songwriter. The song 'All I want' which featured on season one of the show was sung and written by Rodrigo

According to TIME, she signed with Geffen Records "which had emphasised her skill as a songwriter", as opposed to Disney's Hollywood Records, given how she was a popular Disney star by then. Hollywood Records is known for launching the careers of singers such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.

Under Geffen Records, Rodrigo released her debut album Sour in May. Soon she bagged seven nominations at the American Music Awards in October and won the award for New Artist of the Year. Her Grammy nominations put her in the running for best album, best new artist, record of the year and song of the year for her single 'Drivers License'. The Grammys nominations for best new artist also include Pakistan's very own Arooj Aftab

“Songwriting is the thing I take most seriously in my life,” Rodrigo told TIME. “It’s the most personally gratifying too.” Although she will return for a third season of the High School Musical series, music is still her priority.

TIME highlighted how their Entertainer of the Year was invited by the White House July to encourage young people to get vaccinated alongside US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The magazine also made it a point to remind its readers that Rodrigo, despite being catapulted to tremendous worldwide stardom in less than a year, was only 18-years old and just beginning her life.

"She moved into her own place this year, but her parents are still a big part of her routine (she hasn’t quite figured out the whole grocery shopping and laundry thing yet)," read the story. "She knew the shape of her world was forever changed right after she released 'Drivers License' — she shelved her fantasy of attending Columbia University— but she isn’t forcing anything. "I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t any pressure," she said. "But I sometimes remember: this happened 10 months ago. You don’t have to have it all figured out yet."

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