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Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ is the biggest song in the world

Olivia Rodrigo’s new single “drivers license” peaked the top of multiple charts and accumulated over 76 million streams within the first week of its release. Photo by Billboard

By Olivia Krumpe

Staff Writer


Unless someone has been living under a rock over the past few weeks, the world has become familiar with Olivia Rodrigo’s new single, “drivers license.” 

After its Jan. 8 release, “drivers license” soared to the top of the charts on streaming services, at one point being the No. 1 song on Apple Music’s Top 100: Global, Spotify’s Global Top 50 and the iTunes Store. 

On Jan. 19, Billboard announced the song officially debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making 17-year-old Rodrigo the youngest artist to have a No. 1 song. It was also No. 1 on both Billboard Global charts, earning the title of the biggest song in the world that week. According to Slate, it had 76.1 million U.S. streams, gained 38,000 downloads and had 8.1 million radio airplay audience
impressions in the first week.

Although it’s her No. 1 song on Billboard, this is not the first time Rodrigo has reached the Hot 100 chart. In January 2020, Rodrigo’s song “All I Want” peaked at #90. “All I Want” is a song Rodrigo wrote and sang on Disney+ original series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” which she also starred in. Both Rodrigo and Daniel Nigro co-wrote “driver’s license.”   

Between its release and the official Billboard chart debut, the powerful heartbreak pop ballad broke record after record. 

On Jan. 11, the song set the record for the most streams of a non-holiday song on Spotify in one day and proceeded to break its own record on Jan. 12 with over 11.5 million streams. It now holds the title for the most streams in a single day in U.S. Spotify history, with 6.145 million streams. 

On Jan. 14, Amazon Music announced that “drivers license” was the most requested song on Alexa in one day. They also announced the song was globally the biggest first-week debut on the music streaming service.

Rodrigo’s song broke weekly records on Spotify, as well. With 30.433 million streams in the U.S., it became the biggest weekly debut for a song, also making Rodrigo the first female artist to have a song break 30 million streams on U.S. Spotify in its first week.

On Jan. 16, “drivers license” became the first song to reach 100 million streams in the history of the platform. 

Many celebrities shared their praise for Disney star’s song, most notably, Rodrigo’s idol, Taylor Swift. In the past, the 17 year old has been very vocal about her love for the 10-time Grammy singer-songwriter.

On the day of the “drivers license”
release, Rodrigo posted on Instagram a screenshot of the U.S. iTunes chart with her single at No. 3 and Swift’s “it’s time to go (bonus track)” and “right where you left me (bonus track)” at No. 1 and 2, respectively. 

“Next to Taylor on the U.S. iTunes chart,” she wrote in the caption. “I’m in a puddle of tears.” 

Swift commented back, “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud.” 

The comment is now one of the most liked comments on Instagram with over 590,000 likes. 

Rodrigo reacted to her interaction with a TikTok of her lip-synching a 2007 Swift quote of “I can’t even believe this, and this is definitely the highlight of my senior year” in front of a screenshot of the comment.

The young singer has also received advice from another big singer-songwriter in the industry, Niall Horan.

In an interview with “Big Top 40,” Rodrigo shared that she was a “die-hard” fan of One Direction, the band in which Horan rose to fame, when she was younger. Along with posting her song on his Instagram story, Horan reached out to her. 

“We’ve actually been texting, and he’s giving me advice on all of the craziness of the music industry,” said Rodrigo.

Although it is only her first release, it seems as though the music industry may have another rising star on their hands in Rodrigo. She is currently filming the second season of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” However, there are hopes to hear new music from her soon.