Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peeling in as the most-streamed and top-selling song of the week.

The single, released Jan. 8, marks the 17-year-old’s first Hot 100 No. 1, following its first week of availability. The singer-songwriter and actress initially broke through with roles on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark in 2016 and Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in 2019. Her background helped spark the high profile of “Drivers License,” which has also been buoyed by scrutiny about its lyrics, the song’s TikTok presence and a co-sign from Taylor Swift, among others.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Jan. 23) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Jan. 20). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

“Drivers License,” released on Geffen/Interscope Records, is the 1,116th No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 62-year history. It’s the 48th single to debut on top, and the first of 2021.

Here’s a deeper look at Rodrigo’s first road trip to No. 1 on the Hot 100, among other achievements.

Streams, sales & airplay: “Drivers License” drew 76.1 million U.S. streams and sold 38,000 downloads in the week ending Jan. 14, according to MRC Data. It also earned 8.1 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending Jan. 17.

The track debuts at No. 1 on both the all-genre Streaming Songs and Digital Song Sales charts, marking Rodrigo’s first leader on each list, while entering the Pop Airplay (No. 31) and Adult Pop Airplay (No. 37) radio rankings.

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Record streams for a first promoted single: The 76.1 million opening-week U.S. streams for “Drivers License” mark a new weekly best for a female artist’s first single properly promoted to radio, streaming services and other platforms.

The sum is the best for any song in its first week of release since Cardi B’s “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, soared in with 93 million U.S. streams in the week ending Aug. 13, 2020 (and atop the Hot 100 dated Aug. 22), the most for any track ever in its first week of availability.

… though it’s Rodrigo’s 2nd Hot 100 hit: Before “Drivers License,” Rodrigo charted one Hot 100 entry: “All I Want” (her metaphorical chart learner’s permit) spent two weeks on the tally, peaking at No. 90, where it debuted, in January 2020. “Want” is from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Music From the Disney+ Original Series); “Drivers License” is so far a stand-alone single, with Rodrigo’s debut EP expected this year.

Of the 48 singles to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100, most have been, unsurprisingly, by established acts. Just seven have belonged to rising artists with less or comparable  chart history at the time of their entrances than Rodrigo. Lauryn Hill launched with “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998, marking her first solo Hot 100 entry, after the Fugees had made three appearances in 1994-97 with her as a member. Clay Aiken (2003), Fantasia (2004) and Carrie Underwood (2005) all premiered at No. 1 with their first solo Hot 100 hits, their respective American Idol coronation singles “This Is the Night,” “I Believe” and “Inside Your Heaven.” In 2006, Taylor Hicks’ “Do I Make You Proud” opened at No. 1 after he won that season of Idol, although he charted one No. 69-peaking entry three weeks earlier.

Since then, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” started atop the Hot 100 in 2013, concurrent with a methodology change that added YouTube data to the chart’s formula, while Zayn’s first solo entry after he departed One Direction, “Pillowtalk,” soared in at No. 1 in 2016.

Four just before ’04: The California-born Rodrigo is the most-recently-born artist to top the Hot 100. Born Feb. 20, 2003 (fun fact: she shares her birthday with Rihanna), Rodrigo takes the title from Jawsh 685, who was born Nov. 5, 2002, and led the list dated Oct. 17, 2020, with “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat),” with Jason Derulo and BTS.

At 17 years and 11 months old, Rodrigo is the youngest artist at the time of topping the Hot 100 since Billie Eilish, who was 17 years, eight months and one week old when she led with “Bad Guy” in August 2019.

Four artists born in the 2000s have now ruled the Hot 100, one each born in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003: Rodrigo, Jawsh 685, Eilish (born Dec. 18, 2001) and 24kGoldn (born Nov. 13, 2000), whose “Mood,” featuring Iann Dior, drops to No. 2 after eight weeks at No. 1.

Geffen, Interscope in charge: The Geffen label ranks atop the Hot 100 for the first time since Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right” led the list dated Feb. 24, 2007. Before that, Furtado and Geffen spent six weeks at No. 1 in 2006 with “Promiscuous,” featuring Timbaland.

Interscope scores its first Hot 100 No. 1 of 2021, after two, logged back-to-back, in 2020: Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain on Me” (last June 6) and DaBaby’s “Rockstar” (featuring Roddy Ricch), which began a seven-week reign the following frame (June 13).

Car tunes: Perhaps surprisingly, given the role of wheels as a motif in hit music dating to rock’s early days, Rodrigo parks any version of the word “drive” in the Hot 100’s top spot for the first time. Three other songs with “drive” in their titles have hit the top 10 (two by acts named for forms of transportation): The Cars’ “Drive” (No. 3, 1984), Incubus’ “Drive” (No. 9, 2001) and Train’s “Drive By” (No. 10). One prior Hot 100 hit includes “driver’s” in its title: “Driver’s Seat,” by Sniff ‘n’ the Tears (No. 15, 1979).

“License” has appeared in one prior Hot 100 song title (although via the word’s British English spelling): Billy Ocean’s “Licence to Chill” (No. 32, 1989). (A year earlier, Ocean topped the Hot 100 with his own hit about driving: “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”)

Check Billboard.com later this morning for a full rundown of the latest Hot 100’s entire top 10.

Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Jan. 23), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on Billboard.com tomorrow (Jan. 20).

Source: Gary Trust/Billboard

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