Even though she has already starred in the lead role on several television shows on the Disney Channel, it was only in 2020 when Olivia Rodrigo rose to worldwide fame due to her range and talent in singing and her hit single: Drivers License!

Filipinos are known to be great singers (except for the author of this article), so do not be surprised to learn that Olivia has Filipino blood running through her veins. Most of the time, when Filipino contestants in international singing contests say they are from the Philippines, judges always have one reaction: “I am not surprised!”

Olivia was born in Murrieta, California, in 2003 to Sophia, an American with German and Irish ancestry, and to Ronald, a Filipino-American whose grandfather migrated to the United States of America (USA) from the Philippines. According to Olivia, Filipino traditions are still being followed by their family and traditional Filipino cuisine!

(Credits to @travel254today)

Olivia signed with Interscope Records and Geffen Records in 2020, and in the succeeding year of 2021, she released her debut single, “Drivers License,” the song she says that changed her life. Not only is it personally life-changing for Olivia, but also for the whole music industry. The song received the most streams, unlike any other song in a single day, broke Spotify’s record twice for the most daily streams of a non-holiday song, and managed to reach 100 million streams the fastest in the history of Spotify.

(Credits to Papelpop)

Four months after the record-breaking release of her debut single, Olivia then released her debut album “Sour,” and it became the number one album all across the Earth with no surprise. Songs such as “traitor,” “deja vu,” and “Good 4 U,” were just some of the tracks in the album that became an instant hit when they were released. With all the records that Olivia broke, alongside the millions of streams her song has, she is now considered this Generation’s most versatile new artist and even the voice of her Generation. Also, just recently, in the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, Olivia managed to win three awards for Best New Artist: Sour, Best Pop Solo Performance: drivers license, and Best Pop Vocal Album: Sour. Besides the awards that she won, she was also nominated for four other Grammy awards.

(Credits to BBC)

Despite being born in California, Olivia is proud to be a Filipino unlike any other. According to an interview with Good Morning America, she says that she “feels so proud to be a part of the Filipino community.” It just shows that distance from the Philippines is not a hindrance to becoming proud of being a Filipino. No matter where we are in the world, no matter how far we have come, one must not forget where we came from.

As Olivia continues to take the world by storm, it would not be a surprise if her music will be played repeatedly in the decades to come. While the author’s talent or lack thereof in singing contradicts the “all filipinos good singers” saying, Olivia is its perfect embodiment.

Written by Lawrenze Empleo

Christian Lawrenze Empleo is currently a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise, and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba.

Christyn Jewel G. Badillo

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