A teenager won the Grammy for Record of the Year for the last two years in a row: Billie Eilish for “Bad Guy” (2020) and “Everything I Wanted” (2021). Now the under-20 set could make it three in a row as 18-year-old newcomer Olivia Rodrigo is already a leading contender at the 2022 awards for her breakthrough hit “Drivers License.” Watch the music video above.
“Drivers License” was released on January 8 and debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. That in and of itself isn’t unusual anymore. Debuting at the top used to be rare, but now it happens all the time thanks in large part to the rise of streaming making it easier for fans to listen to new songs on repeat as soon as they’re released. What makes “Drivers License” special is that it held on to the number-one spot for eight weeks, making it one of only seven songs ever to spend that long at number-one from the moment it debuted on the chart.
And it’s bound to be accessible to Grammy voters since it’s a sentimental pop breakup ballad like past winners “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele and “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. Its style was also influenced by Grammy champs Taylor Swift and Lorde (Swift even gave the song her seal of approval). It had such an immediate influence on pop culture that it was even the subject of a viral “Saturday Night Live” sketch.
So it’s a lock at the Grammys, right? Well, it is the front-runner for both Record and Song of the Year according to the early predictions of Gold Derby users so far, but the recording academy is notoriously fickle, especially the nomination review committees that decide the top categories. Last year we thought The Weeknd‘s phenomenon “Blinding Lights” would win Record and Song of the Year, but then it wasn’t even nominated for either — or in any other category for that matter. You can never take anything for granted at the Grammys, so time will tell if Rodrigo will get the nod or end up driving alone past their street.
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