Olivia Rodrigo is not shy when it comes to pouring out her feelings into a song, and she did just that with her first single, “driver’s license.”

If you have spent any time on TikTok, you’ve heard this infamous song, which has created so much talk on the ‘net.


The Lorde/Taylor Swift-esque post-breakup ballad soared to the No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s Hot 100 the first week it was released, and the music video has been watched more than 70 million times on YouTube. These are big accomplishments for 17-year-old songwriter Olivia Rodrigo.

The song’s heartbreaking lyrics resonated with a lot of people, but it also had a lot of people wondering one single thing: Who broke her heart and inspired her to write this song?

Who Is “drivers license” About?

“driver’s license” is rumored to be about Rodrigo’s High School Musical the Musical: The Series co-star, Joshua Bassett.

Rodrigo, 17, and Bassett, 21 became close while on set filming HSMTM: The Series back in 2019. They played love interests, Nini Salazar-Roberts and Ricky Bowen, on the show, which aired on Disney+.

Their on-camera chemistry, the way that Bassett (as Ricky) improvised a scene about how much he loved Rodrigo’s character, Nini, and clips of affectionate off-camera behavior had fans speculating that they had a secret relationship. Their relationship never became public, because the rumor is that Bassett wanted to wait until Rodrigo turned 18 to officially date. But that apparently didn’t stop any feelings and hopes of a future relationship on Rodrigo’s part.


Let’s break down the timeline of how it all went so wrong:

We’re not exactly sure when the two high school sweethearts decided to end things, because they were never public. But in May of 2020, fans noted the two Disney stars slowly stopped interacting on social media.

In July 2020, Rodrigo got her driver’s license, and what did the caption say? “so now I can drive around the suburbs alone and cry to I miss you I’m sorry like a true American!!!!!”

On July 16th, Joshua released a song called, “Anyone Else,” which was rumored to be about Olivia, and his fear of her moving on.


Joshua Bassett – Anyone Else [Official Video]

www.youtube.com

A few days after the release of Bassett’s song, Olivia posted a snippet of her playing piano on Instagram, which turned out to be a preview of what is now “driver’s license.”

In the post-heartbreak song, she writes about driving through the suburbs and crying, a clear reference to her Instagram post. She also penned the line, “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me,” which many fans immediately believed refers to Bassett’s song about her.

A Love Triangle Is Born

What do the most talented songwriters typically have in common? They write songs about real-life experiences. Perhaps because of this, social media quickly formulated a theory about a love triangle between Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, and Sabrina Carpenter, particularly because of the “drivers license” lyric, “You’re probably with that blonde girl who always made me doubt. She’s so much older than me.”

It only took social media so long to figure out that Rodrigo was implying that fellow Disney actress, Sabrina Carpenter, 21, was the third piece of the love triangle. Now, how did people figure out the blonde girl that is mentioned in “driver’s license” is Sabrina Carpenter?

Well, there are a few key details. Obviously, Sabrina is blonde. She’s older—four years older than Rodrigo, making her the same age as Bassett. In the song, Rodrigo mentioned, “She’s everything that I am insecure about,” which causes the speculation that their age difference is what Rodrigo’s insecurity is.

Rodrigo and Bassett were never in a public relationship because Rodrigo was underage. Carpenter has also been seen with Bassett multiple times. In August 2020, the couple was photographed at lunch together. In October 2020, they dressed up as Sharkboy and Lavagirl for Halloween and made a TikTok together. It makes sense that Carpenter is the blonde girl Bassett was with. Right? Right.

If you thought this was messy so far, it gets messier.


The Plot Thickens

Joshua has shown support for Rodrigo on social media, sharing and liking posts promoting his rumored ex-girlfriend’s song, “driver’s license.” Some say it was a publicity stunt, since he broadcasted his own ballad a few days later.

Joshua released “Lie Lie Lie” on January 15th, a week after Rodrigo dropped “driver’s license.” Now, most fans don’t think the song is directed at Olivia because it was originally written back around November of 2019, when Bassett posted a preview of the song on Instagram, so the timeline does not align with this love triangle drama.

However, the timing of the song’s release is a little suspicious, and there are similarities in his music video when you compare it to Olivia’s. Both Joshua and Olivia have 80s-style cars, which they sing and drive around in. They also both use aesthetically pleasing flashes of light and fancy camera work. Coincidence? I think not.


Joshua Bassett – Lie Lie Lie [Official Lyric Video]

www.youtube.com


Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license (Official Video)

www.youtube.com

Sabrina Carpenter Adds Her Two Cents

Speaking of coincidences? Sabrina Carpenter added to the frenzy on January 21st by sending out her own slice of music, the song “Skin.” Soon, speculation that the song was a diss directed at Olivia Rodrigo went viral on social media.

Sabrina took to social media to clarify that her song “Skin” isn’t a dig towards Rodrigo, but instead about a mix of experiences she has undergone.


Sabrina Carpenter – Skin (Official Lyric Video)

www.youtube.com

Many fans can’t get past the implications of the lyrics, though, as Sabrina writes, “Maybe blonde was the only rhyme,” pretty clearly referring back to Olivia’s line about being with that blonde girl.

After the song’s release, Sabrina wrote a note on Instagram thanking those who listened to her new song along with an explanation about the speculation. “I wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it. i was at a tipping point in my life for countless reasons,” she wrote.

“so i was inspired to do what i usually do to cope, write something that i wish i could have told myself in the past. people can only get to you if you give them the power to. and a lot of people were trying to get to me.”

The drama has continued to build, mostly through a complicated series of passive-aggressive social media interactions. Carpenter’s ex-boyfriend, Griffin Gluck, whom Carpenter broke up with in August, posted “driver’s license” on his Instagram story to show support. (Hmm. So, Sabrina, are you sure you didn’t write that song about Olivia?)

Then, Joshua Bassett congratulated Sabrina on her new single and record deal. “Been stuck in my head since I heard it!!!” he wrote on his Instagram story. “Congratulations @sabrinacarpenter on ‘skin,’ the new label, & all that’s to come!!!”

Isn’t that just the cherry on top?

The drama only will continue as the tangle unfolds and as fans sit at the edge of their seats wondering how this love triangle will end.

Update: As of January 28, Bassett released another song called “Only A Matter of Time” that has fans speculating it’s about Rodrigo, even though, like “Lie Lie Lie,” it was written before the whole drama occurred.

Listen to all four songs, and let us know what you think of this crazy love triangle.


Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license (Official Video)

www.youtube.com


Joshua Bassett – Lie Lie Lie [Official Video]

www.youtube.com


Joshua Bassett – Only a Matter of Time [Official Video]

www.youtube.com


Sabrina Carpenter – Skin (Official Lyric Video)

www.youtube.com

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