Did Olivia write the song about Joshua? (Picture: Rex)
Over the years, we’ve had many a real life feud played out in the charts.
Taylor Swift took jabs at Katy Perry on Bad Blood. Ashlee Simpson was claimed to have been calling out Lindsay Lohan on Boyfriend. Frankee claimed she was Eamon’s ex when she responded to I Don’t Want You Back with FURB. (Simpler times.)
And now, 2021 has got its own alleged love triangle – the new Nick Jonas/Miley Cyrus/Selena Gomez, or the new Hilary Duff/Aaron Carter/Lindsay Lohan, if you will – playing out in the charts.
Olivia Rodrigo has claimed herself the biggest hit of the year so far – and a UK number one – with her debut original single Drivers License, a heartbreak banger that is the perfect angsty accompaniment to your first teenage break-up.
‘I just can’t imagine / How you could be so okay now that I’m gone / Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me / ‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street,’ the 17-year-old sings, providing the ideal lyrics to wail during your own wallowing session.
While it’s no doubt that it is a tune, Drivers License has been such a success not just because of Olivia’s vocals and songwriting, but because of the alleged real-life drama simmering behind the scenes.
For those of you not down with the current Disney generation, Olivia is best known for playing Nini Salazar-Roberts on the brilliantly named High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. On the show, Nini is dating Ricky Bowen, who is played by Joshua Bassett. Their characters were playing Troy and Gabriella (originally played by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, who were also dating in real life) in their school musical, so sang a lot of duets and had a whole lot of chemistry.
So, like all TV couples, Olivia and Joshua, 20, were rumoured to be dating in real life – that is, until back in August 2020, when Olivia posted a TikTok captioned ‘And that’s on failed relationships’, featuring All I Want from the HSMTMTS soundtrack, which she wrote and sang on the show about Joshua’s character, Ricky.
So far, so dramatic.
Joshua is rumoured to be dating Sabrina (Picture: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
But then enters Sabrina Carpenter, who played Maya Hart on the Disney series Girl Meets World. Just after Joshua’s alleged split from Olivia, he was seen hanging out with Sabrina, 21, as well as her sister.
The pair have appeared on each other’s TikToks, most recently reenacting scenes as Sharkboy and Lavagirl, and now there’s rumours that Joshua and Sabrina are a couple.
Fast forward to Drivers License. People think that Olivia penned the song about Joshua, thanks to a few telltale lyrics.
Olivia sings: ‘And you’re probably with that blonde girl / Who always made me doubt / She’s so much older than me / She’s everything I’m insecure about.’
Sabrina, at 21, is four years older than Olivia and yep, she’s blonde.
Meanwhile, fans believe that the ‘Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me’ line could also be in reference to one of Joshua’s songs, Common Sense or Anyone Else.
The situation got stickier as an hour after Olivia announced the release of Drivers License, Joshua announced the upcoming release of his single Lie Lie Lie – which people thought could be a response to his alleged ex’s track.
However, Lie Lie Lie was written two years ago, and Joshua said the song was written about when he ‘found out a friend had been lying about me behind my back for a long time’.
The cast of HSMTMTS seemed to pick sides, too. While cast members like Julia Lester, Joe Serafini, Larry Saperstein, Sofia Wylie and Dara Reneé left enthusiastic comments on Olivia’s single announcement, only one, Joe, did the same for Joshua’s.
Now, this is all speculation, and neither Olivia nor Joshua has commented on whether Drivers License is about the actor.
Olivia and Joshua’s characters on HSMTMTS are dating (Picture: Walt Disney Pictures/Kobal/REX)
But the real life drama has ramped up the interest in Drivers License to the point where it’s smashing records.
Spotify’s Global Hits lead Becky Bass told Billboard: ‘It really feels unprecedented, and likely is unprecedented.
‘I definitely think it’s a perfect storm.I think the drama – which was familiar to [Rodrigo’s] core fanbase, and really started things going – helped, and now you have this whole new audience that’s like, “Who is Olivia Rodrigo? Who is Joshua Bassett?”’
Well, now you know.