SOUR Strikes a Chord Worldwide

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Olivia Rodrigo’s breakup, breakout album shatters world records.

With her album SOUR earning platinum status or higher across seven different countries, 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo has officially earned her title as one of the biggest pop stars of the year. Rodrigo began her ascent to stardom in January with her debut single “drivers license,” which explored her devastating heartbreak. In addition to blowing up on TikTok, the song also became the first one in 2021 to reach one billion streams worldwide. 

Given the extraordinary success of “driver’s license,” Rodrigo and her team made a lofty goal: rather than follow up her song with an EP, Rodrigo would produce a full-blown album. Over the course of several weeks, in which Rodrigo clocked in 13 hours of work a day, SOUR was born. 

As of now, SOUR is the third best-selling album of the year, and has received acclaim from plenty of music critics. Regarded as “nuanced and often exceptional” by New York Times pop music pundit Jon Caramanica and a “stunning portrait of adolescence” by journalist Kate Solomon, SOUR has made quite the impression on critics and casual listeners alike.

Much of SOUR’s ability to resonate so intensely with fans across the globe stems from its unconventional medley of genres. By toying with affectionate ballads, grunge rock, bedroom pop, and more, Rodrigo appeals to music tastes far and wide. 

Moreover, Rodrigo fervently channels her emotions and experiences into her songwriting, crafting worlds that leave listeners—even those who have yet to experience heartbreak—feeling just as betrayed, angry, jealous, and lovesick as she once was. 

When asked in an interview on the Sunday Morning Show about the breakup that led to her breakout album, Rodrigo explained, “I just think that sometimes pain and heartbreak [are] so productive…those moments are the most formative in your life. So I’m grateful to anyone who has brought me pain because I’m doing so much better because of it.”