Billboard has officially named Olivia Rodrigo their 2022 Woman of the Year after the young artist took the music world by storm with her debut album in 2021. While there is no shortage of incredible women in the music industry, Rodrigo’s rise to stardom is the stuff of legends. Her brutally honest songwriting and deep connection to her fans have already given her a record-breaking album, seven Grammy nominations, and a sold-out world tour before the age of 20.
Rodrigo will be honored at the Billboard Women in Music Awards taking place in Los Angeles on March 2.
In 2020, Rodrigo was best known for her role in the Disney sitcom High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and the song that she wrote for the show, “All I Want.” By February 2021, her single “drivers license” had already gone double platinum just over a month after its release (and now quadruple-platinum just over a year after its release). By May, Rodrigo became the first artist in history to debut their first three singles in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
By June, her album SOUR was the most streamed female debut album in U.S. history. The album got 385 million streams worldwide in its first week alone, shattering Spotify records for the most-streamed album in a week.
Rodrigo is just one of many iconic female musicians who will be celebrated at the 2022 Women in Music Awards. Ciara will be hosting the show, and Phoebe Bridgers, Gabby Barrett, Doja Cat, Karol G, Bonnie Raitt, Saweetie, and Summer Walker will also be receiving awards for their musical accomplishments.
This incredible lineup makes Rodrigo’s title as Woman of the Year all the more impressive. The honor is not just in the award itself—to be recognized so highly among so many legendary artists is a major achievement, especially for someone new to the scene.
“Her talents as a storyteller and songwriter have made Olivia one of the most authentic and exciting new artists to explode onto the scene in years,” said Billboard Editorial Director Hannah Karp in a statement. “Connecting with audiences across generations through emotionally charged songs about heartbreak, jealousy and growing up, she’s achieved absolutely incredible chart success for a debut artist. We are thrilled to celebrate her unique voice and the enormous impact she’s had on fans around the globe in such a short time,” she continued.
With the Sour Tour kicking off in April, Rodrigo’s momentum does not seem to be slowing down at all going into 2022. Her explosive rise to fame was one of the greatest musical phenomenons of 2021, and if the last year has been any indication, it is safe to expect great things from her going forward.
Photo courtesy of John Shearer/MTV VMAs 2021.