Fans have been waiting for Olivia Rodrigo’s response to Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter’s rumored love triangle, and it’s finally here. The “Driver’s License” singer, 17, addressed the rumor in an interview with Billboard.
When recent theories about her rumored ex and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar, Bassett, came up in the interview, Rodrigo had a coy response. ”I totally understand people’s curiosity with the specifics of who the song’s about and what it’s about, but to me, that’s really the least important part of the song,” she told Billboard. “It’s resonating with people because of how emotional it is, and I think everything else is not important.”
As for what she meant by *everything* else, here’s a quick explainer on the whole Rodrigo-Bassett-Carpenter drama. When Rodrigo released her debut single, “Drivers License,” on January 8, 2021, fans quickly started to pick up on lyrics that seemingly hinted at a love triangle between her, Bassett and Carpenter. In the song, Rodrigo sings about how her ex is now dating “that blonde girl” who is “so much older” than her. Carpenter—who has been spotted out and about with Bassett in recent weeks—just so happens to have blonde hair and is four years older than Rodrigo. Coincidence? Fans think not.
If that doesn’t have you convinced, fans also picked up on hints revealing that Bassett taught Rodrigo how to drive before she got her actual driver’s license. And in an early version of the song shared in July 2020, the lyric about a “blonde girl” was originally “brunette girl,” meaning that the HSMTMTS alum may have changed her lyrics later on to reflect Bassett’s rumored romance with Carpenter.
For what it’s worth, Rodrigo also revealed in her interview with Billboard that she was initially “terrified” to release the song. “It was like, my deepest insecurities in a four-minute song,” she said. While the song is a streaming hit, it seems like her fears weren’t entirely unfounded: Just a day after Rodrigo’s interview with Billboard, Carpenter released a (diss) track of her own.
The song, titled “Skin,” was released by Carpenter on Thursday, January 22. In it, Carpenter seemingly addresses Rodrigo’s lyrics directly: “Maybe you didn’t mean it/ Maybe blonde was the only rhyme,” she sings. She later included what many listeners interpret as a play on Rodrigo’s song title, singing: “Don’t drive yourself insane / It won’t always be this way.”
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