Olivia Rodrigo once thought only white girls could be pop stars

Olivia Rodrigo knows the impact she has on fans of color, revealing in a new Q&A that she herself once believed only white girls could be recognized as true pop stars.

When “Saturday Night Live” star Bowen Yang asked the “Brutal” singer how her Filipino American background factors into how she approaches her career, she said it’s “something incredible to think about.”

“I sometimes get DMs from little girls being like, ‘I’ve never seen someone who looked like me in your position.’ And I’m literally going to cry, like, just thinking about it,” Rodrigo, 18, said in the V Magazine feature.

“I feel like I grew up never seeing that. Also, it was always like, ‘Pop star,’ that’s a white girl.”

These days, however, Rodrigo is grateful that the music biz no longer forces artists to be confined by certain genres — at least not to the extent that she witnessed growing up.

“I am so inspired by so many different genres of music. I love country music so much, and I love rock music so much. And obviously pop music is my favorite,” the Disney star said. “And another thing that I think is really special is that, in 2021, I feel like artists aren’t really boxed into a genre anymore. I look at someone like Billie Eilish, who I’m so obsessed with, and her music is like pop, but it’s kind of rock, too.”

Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage at the 2021 Brit Awards in a red dress.
Rodrigo said she “grew up never seeing” stars who looked like her.
Dave Benett/Getty Images

Rodrigo also discussed the “pressures” of being a pop star today and the ageism that comes along with it.

“There’s this pressure for young women in pop music. And it’s like this thing where you’re only successful if you’re under 30. I’ve always resented that because I think I’m just going to get better with age,” the “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” actress asserted.

“You know what I mean? I’m just going to become a better songwriter and know what I want to say more,” she added. “I think that’s actually a really fun, exciting part of being in the space that I’m really encouraged to sort of have different eras and reinvent yourself.”

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