Nearly one year later, the drama surrounding “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo (released January 8, 2021) is being looked at through a different lens. Joshua Bassett has just released some new music of his own that may shed new light on his side of the story.
Here’s everything you need to know about the song “Drivers License” and the drama behind the official breakup hit of 2021.
In case those names mentioned above mean nothing to you, Olivia Rodrigo, 18, stars in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+ alongside Joshua Bassett, 20. And just like the original High School Musical cast, the onscreen pair was rumored to be dating in real life. They even wrote music together that was used in the show.
However, Bassett had also been “spotted” with Sabrina Carpenter, 22, who first rose to fame on Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World (man, everything is a reboot these days).
What supposedly happened?
Per People, this led fans to believe that Bassett had split with Rodrigo for Carpenter. The timing isn’t super clear here, since people have basically pieced it together and made inferences from what’s posted on Instagram, and no one involved has commented on it. (So let that tell you to take this all with a grain of salt.) Bassett and Carpenter went as Sharkboy and Lavagirl for Halloween, which could be a couple costume in the romantic sense or the friendship sense, but they were definitely “together” in some way.
How is that part of “Drivers License”?
In the lyrics of the song, Rodrigo sings about getting her license “just like we always talked about,” which fans think is a reference to Bassett, as a resurfaced video indicates he helped her learn to drive. A few lines later Rodrigo references a “blonde girl” who is “older” and made her feel insecure, possibly Carpenter. Then again, back in July, Rodrigo posted a video of herself working on the song in which the line references a “brunette.” So the change to “blonde” could be totally benign.
What’s the Taylor Swift connection?
Rodrigo has been a fan of Swift’s for years, and TayTay recently congratulated her on her success after “Drivers License” started breaking serious records and topping the charts. Swift was known to write diaristic songs when she was Rodrigo’s age and even revisited the teenage love triangle theme (albeit a fictional one) on her Folklore album.
What are people saying?
Oh, anything and everything. It’s become a huge trend on TikTok to explore the various points of view presented in the song, as well as to theorize about the real-life drama that could have inspired it. The good news is that Bassett praised the song on Instagram, and everyone seemed to be on mostly good terms, even if feelings were hurt at some point.
But then Joshua Bassett released his own song…
Bassett released the track “Lie, Lie, Lie” on January 14, following the popularity of “Drivers License.” Fans had particular feelings about him using a car in the artwork for the track, which many felt was a direct reference to Rodrigo’s record-breaking song.
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