As "Traitor" follows "Drivers License," "Good 4 U" and "Deja Vu," Rodrigo is the first artist with four Pop Airplay top 10s from a first LP since Lady Gaga over a decade ago. Olivia Rodrigo's "Traitor" ascends to the top 10 of Billboard's Pop Airplay chart (dated Oct. 9), granting the singer-songwriter entry into an elite group of acts that have notched at least four top 10s on the tally from a debut album.
The ballad, up from No. 12 to No. 10, follows her breakthrough smash "Drivers License," which spent five weeks at No. 1 beginning in March; "Good 4 U," which reigned for six weeks starting in July; and "Deja Vu," which rose to No. 2 in August.
All four tracks are from Rodrigo's debut LP Sour, which has logged its first 19 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart in the top five and earned 2.35 million equivalent album units to-date, according to MRC Data.
"Olivia is unstoppable at this point," Erik Bradley, music director at Audacy-owned KNOU Los Angeles and assistant program director/music director at WBBM-FM Chicago, both of which report to the Pop Airplay chart, told Billboard in July.
Beginning with her smash hit single, "Drivers License," 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo is on a run that few singer-songwriters can even dream about, with her very first album, "Sour," debuting at #1 earlier this year. Correspondent Tracy Smith talks with Rodrigo about writing songs of heartbreak, and the value of therapy.
In an interview just a few months later, Rodrigo reflected, "When it first came out, my therapist called me and she was like, ‘Girl, I’ve been married for 10 years, I’m 40, but this song makes me cry.’”
And now, in a segment that aired Oct. 10 on CBS Sunday Morning -- just as Mental Health Awareness Week culminated -- Rodrigo is continuing to speak candidly about going to therapy.
"I hadn't really started going 'til I was like 16," she told correspondent Tracy Smith, "and that was a really big, life-changing moment. I've learned so much about myself."
Rodrigo, who recently addressed how fame can affect mental health, acknowledged that there's "sometimes a stigma around it, too ... Sometimes people are like, 'Oh, you don't need that. You have so much. Your life is so great. What are your problems?'"
"I think that's definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people, too -- kind of trivialize what they're going through just because, you know, 'Ah, they're fine, they're just kids. They'll get through it,'" she added. "But it feels so real when you're in it. It's so valid."
Among her many chart accomplishments since dropping "Drivers License" at the start of 2021, Rodrigo most recently joined an elite music club, as she became the first artist to have four Pop Airplay top 10s from a debut album since Lady Gaga over a decade ago. "Drivers License," "Good 4 U," "Deja Vu" and "Traitor" all ascended to the top 10 of the chart this year. All four songs are on Rodrigo's chart-topping Sour album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and took that position for a total of five nonconsecutive weeks.
The "Good 4 U" singer, 18, revealed that she's been seeing a therapist for the past two years as a way of prioritizing her mental health, and that it's made all the difference.
"I hadn't really started going until I was 16, and that was a really big, life-changing moment, and I've learned so much about myself," she said on CBS Sunday Morning.
Rodrigo, whose father is a therapist, said she recognized that there was often a stigma associated with seeking help for mental health struggles, but that pushing past that — and the unwarranted opinions from the peanut gallery — was of the utmost importance.
"Sometimes people are like, 'Oh, you don't need that, you have so much, your life is so great, what are your problems?'" she said. "I think that's definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people, too, is kind of trivialize what they're going through just because they're like, 'Eh, they're fine, they're just kids, they'll get through it.' But it feels so real when you're in it, and it's so valid, and just because it's not an adult problem or you don't have to pay taxes yet or whatever doesn't mean it doesn't hurt."
"A lot of people think, listening to my music, that I'm a really sad, depressed person and that couldn't be farther from the truth," she said. "Definitely not at all crying on my bedroom floor all the time. But it's fun to write about stuff like that — like if I was just writing about how I was happy, going to get my iced latte every morning, nobody would listen to it, it wouldn't be interesting."
Rodrigo has previously been open about the ways in which she values her mental health, telling Vogue Singapore last month that she was taking her rise to fame "one step at a time."
"It can be really tough on your mental health," she said. "I'm grateful for the people who like me for me, and keep me separated from all the noise and tabloids or what people are saying about me on social media. That's always been a top priority."
Rolling Stone is rolling out their annual Musicians on Musicians issue this week. Yesterday they revealed the first of four cover stories featuring Madonna and Maluma (not a piece I was eager to read because they’ve known each other for years and we’ve already heard them talk about each other), but today we get a much more exciting pairing: Olivia Rodrigo and Alanis Morissette.
Let’s start with the cover. It has what I consider to be the old school, iconic Rolling Stone aesthetic, which is musicians standing in a white portrait studio, starring directly into the lens. It’s intimate and cool and feels so damn rockstar. Avril Lavigne got a similarly styled cover in 2003. Tina Turner gave us one of my favourite Rolling Stone covers ever in 1984 with a more Tina version. Alanis herself got the same aesthetic when she covered the mag solo a few months after releasing Jagged Little Pill in 1995. Back then the words “Angry White Female” were written across the cover, which feels so cringe all these years later. Now she’s joined by the young woman carrying the torch for angsty pop-rock female vocalists.
Olivia and Alanis had never met before this conversation, which they had while cameras were rolling. What you get from the video that you don’t get from the print article is Olivia’s laughter — legitimate and otherwise. I think some of it is nervous laughter and fake giggles. But we can’t hold that against her. She’s an 18-year-old, fresh off the Disney lot sitting across from a music icon. Plus, she’s a fan! Olivia talks about being inspired by hearing Alanis in the car when she was young and mentions seeing Jagged Little Pill on Broadway before lockdown. Honestly, the nervous laughter adds to the endearing dynamic.
But there is an immediate warmth between them and I wonder how much of themselves they see in each other. Olivia notes how they both started as child actors and how they both had massively successful debut albums. Is Olivia seeing herself in 30 years? Or at least seeing where her trajectory could possibly take her? They bond over the art of songwriting and how they approach putting their personal experiences into their lyrics. You can feel there’s a respect Alanis has for Olivia. There’s a graciousness in being allowed to pick the brain of a young songwriter. If this was a conversation between Olivia and say… Madonna… we wouldn’t see this exchange of energy. We likely wouldn’t even see Madonna agree to the conversation.
Alanis was a trailblazer in the music industry and unfortunately the music industry hasn’t let that trail she created become well-travelled. I think moments like this and artists like Olivia allow her to reflect on her own legacy, unlike Madonna who seems to want to hold onto the torch or gatekeep who gets the torch next. Alanis is happy to watch the torch from the sidelines and this conversation with Olivia gives me the impression she finds joy in watching talented young women pick it up and (hopefully) carry it further.