By Deepa Lakshmin
By the time Olivia Rodrigo hit the stage at the 64th Grammy Awards on Sunday night (April 3) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, she was already a winner. With a whopping seven nominations in all the major categories, the Sour singer-songwriter took home her first-ever Gramophone for “Best Pop Solo Performance” for the unforgettable “Drivers License” ahead of the show. It was fitting that not long after, she sang the same song as the first performance of the big night — a career-defining moment, no doubt.
“I’ve grown up watching the Grammys religiously,” she told E! News on the red carpet. “I watched everyone’s performances on YouTube so many times. So, to be here tonight with all these incredible people is such an honor.”
In a stunning layered dress that looked straight out of her Sour prom concert film, Rodrigo crooned the telltale first notes of her life-changing hit song from the front seat of a car. But even though, as the lyrics explain, she has her driver’s license, she chose singing in the streets over hitting the road.
The Grammys stage transformed into your typical suburban street for Olivia, a cinematic set straight out of any coming-of-age movie. It’s after dark, probably well past curfew, and she wandering the block singing her heart out to help herself heal. Under the glow of headlights, she twirls around a lamppost, building anticipation for the bridge that helped “Drivers License” top the charts last year.
When she sings “red lights, stop signs,” red lights bathe the stage, upping the intensity even though arguably the most cathartic line — “I still fucking love you” — had to be censored for national television. Still, Olivia’s voice rises and falls at the perfect moments to convey the pain and anguish behind the music. Like any talented performer, she knows how to make you feel she sings, and it’s no surprise so many people have been moved by her art.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the ceremony, and find the winners right here.