Wait, what now??
Driver’s License singer Olivia Rodrigo has become a pop sensation over the past few months, but apparently that was something she never expected — for a pretty sad reason.
The 18-year-old phenom got emotional in a new feature for V Magazine on Thursday as she opened up about what it’s like to be “the first major Filipina-American popstar,” as the mag refers to her.
Guest interviewer Bowen Yang from Saturday Night Live specifically asked her about being an Asian artist, even saying she was doing “something very radical.” The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star agreed it was “incredible to think about.”
Speaking about the reaction to her success, she gushed:
“I sometimes get DMs from little girls being like, ‘I’ve never seen someone who looked like me in your position.’ And I’m literally going to cry, like, just thinking about it.”
That’s wonderful. Truly.
There has one hundred percent been a lack of the presence of Asian American women in pop music. Bruno Mars is the only Filipino pop star we can think of off hand, certainly in the past decade or so. During a time when AAPI Hate is at a rise (click HERE to learn more), we’re so glad kids around the world can look up to Ms. Rodrigo.
She went on to add:
“I feel like I grew up never seeing that. Also it was always like, “Pop star,” that’s a white girl.”
It is so sad to think that a world where a girl grew up thinking that was the case wasn’t far in the past. That being said, it’s also sad to think of a world where you’re apparently not exposed to superstar acts like Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, and Selena Quintanilla — just to name a few off the top of our head!!
There’s always been a disproportionately small amount of Asian American representation in the pop world, but even though we have Madonna and Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson, we’ve also had a helluva lot of non-white women SLAY-ING it. Nowhere near enough, but we’d be remiss not to praise them! The pop world would be nothing without them!
Heck, Olivia is just 18 years old; Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Christina Aguilera have all been famous her entire life!
Honestly, we were a little surprised an artist steeped enough in music history to be accused of ripping off Hole and Elvis Costello wasn’t well aware of these brilliant non-white pop stars, but we suppose off-the-cuff remarks do happen.
She deserves to feel proud of her success; we mean, she’s already an enormous inspiration to little boys and girls across the globe! (Not to mention a lot of grown ones here in Los Angeles.) You just can’t blame us for NOT passing up a chance to name ALL the greats of pop music! Ha!
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