Olivia Rodrigo Feels She Has a ‘Responsibility’ to Warn Song Subjects After Joshua Bassett ‘Drivers License’ Fallout

Olivia Rodrigo is taking the lessons she learned from Sour with her as she gears up to release Guts, her sophomore album arriving Friday (Sept. 8). And yes, that includes how she handles her past and present relationships in scenarios where her songs spark public intrigue in her personal life, i.e., the response that erupted over her rumored ex-boyfriend Joshua Bassett a couple years ago.


Speaking to Phoebe Bridgers in a candid piece with Interview magazine published Tuesday (Sept. 5), the 20-year-old star revealed she now feels a “responsibility” to send her songs to their subjects before releasing them to the world, touching on the “overwhelming” public response to “Drivers License” in 2021. In that case, fans were quick back then to pin Bassett — Rodrigo’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar — as the unfavorable ex-boyfriend she describes in her heartbroken lyrics.

“I feel like last time, there was so much weird media s–t and I had no idea how to deal with any of it,” she reflected. “Literally, it was the first song out of the gate and all of that s–t happened. I felt so ill-equipped.”

Bassett has since been open about feeling blindsided by the song as well as the hate he received from listeners, at one point revealing he was hospitalized due to a near-fatal case of septic shock caused by stress following the release of “Drivers License.” Sabrina Carpenter, whom fans also targeted after connecting her to the song, has also been vocal in her music about the backlash she received due to speculation that she “stole” Bassett from Rodrigo.

“That was an overwhelming experience, but now I definitely feel a responsibility [to give a heads up],” Rodrigo added to Bridgers. “I just try not to think about it during the writing process.”

The revelation follows the release of two singles from Guts — “Vampire” and “Bad Idea Right?” — both of which have already been examined by fans wondering which of Rodrigo’s rumored ex-boyfriends might’ve inspired the tracks. The trend is sure to follow come Friday, when the rest of Guts‘ 12 tracks are unveiled.

The “Deja Vu” singer also congratulated Bridgers on finishing her run as an opener on Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, calling Swift’s global trek “the tour of all tours.” The compliment comes amid fan speculation that Rodrigo has fallen out with Swift following some past crediting drama over the former’s single “Deja Vu,” something Rodrigo has seemed to avoid addressing in other recent interviews.

Powered by Billboard.

Related Articles

Back to top button