Olivia Rodrigo wins best new artist at 2022 Grammys

Olivia Rodrigo was named best new artist at the 64th Grammy Awards on Sunday night, punctuating a rapid ascent to pop stardom that began in early 2021 when her song “Drivers License” became an instant cultural phenomenon.

A stately and dramatic piano ballad about a young woman sobbing as she motors through the suburbs in the wake of a painful breakup, “Drivers License” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks last year and helped propel Rodrigo’s full-length debut, “Sour ,” to a No. 1 bow of its own. The 19-year-old singer wasnominated for seven Grammy Awards, including album, record and song of the year — making her second teenager in two years to score nods in the Grammys’ four major categories after Billie Eilish, who was then 18, in 2020.

Earlier on Sunday, she won the award for pop solo performance for “Drivers License.”

Rodrigo, who grew up in Temecula and whose mom is white and dad Filipino American, first found success as an actor in a series of Disney shows, including “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” In 2018 she wrote a song for the show, the plaintive “All I Want,” that went viral on TikTok and led to a deal with Geffen Records.

“I’ve only ever seen myself as a songwriter,” she told The Times last year. “I remember the first time an article said, ‘Olivia Rodrigo is the next big pop star’ — I was like, There are so many things that go along with ‘pop star’ that I never thought I’d be. But I’ll take it.”

“Sour,” which Rodrigo wrote and produced primarily with Dan Nigro — an exception to the creation-by-committee that defines much of modern pop — spawned a second chart-topping single in the punky “Good 4 U.” After fans made YouTube videos pointing out the similarities between “Good 4 U” and Paramore’s 2007 hit “Misery Business,” Rodrigo retroactively credited Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Joshua Farro as co-writers.

Asked about the experience, she told The Times, “I think it’s disappointing in general to see people discredit young women’s abilities and talents. All music is inspired by other music, and I think it would be so cool if a girl 15 years from now wants to write a song inspired by something I made. That’s the whole point of creativity.”

Rodrigo is set to launch her first concert tour on Tuesday in Portland, Ore. Her competition for best new artist at the Grammys included Finneas, the Kid Laroi, Saweetie, Baby Keem and Japanese Breakfast, among other acts.

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