LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Ahead of the reveal of the 2021 Time magazine prestigious Person of the Year honor, happening Monday, December 13, the publication on Thursday has revealed that Olivia Rodrigo is its 2021 Entertainer of the Year and Simone Biles the 2021 Athlete of the Year.
Rodrigo was featured on the cover of Variety’s Young Hollywood issue over the summer and was named Songwriter of the Year at our Hitmakers event on Saturday, where she gave a moving acceptance speech and was introduced by Avril Lavigne.
In an article titled, “The 18-Year-Old Singer-Songwriter’s Uninhibited, Confessional Album Captured the Tone of a Turbulent Year,”Time’s Lucy Feldman writes: “Rodrigo has a gift for picking the best of the past–whether a well-worn shirt, the faded feedback of a guitar or the intensity of first love–and finding just the right way to situate it in the present. Her songs have hit with audiences of all ages, in large part because she renders adolescence so viscerally: she’s resentful, seething, crushed, itching to just grow up already….Her rise to pop stardom was swift and definitive:it started on Jan. 8, when Rodrigo, already a Disney actor with an audience, released her first single, ‘Drivers License,’ a torch song that took off on TikTok and stirred up theories about who inspired it. By Jan. 23, she became the youngest solo artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where her song stayed for eight weeks….Halsey sent Rodrigo a cake, Cardi B shouted her out on Twitter, and Taylor Swift offered her props on Instagram.”
In the article Rodrigo speaks about her influences, like Avril Lavigne, Lorde and Paramore: “Young women are constantly compared to each other. I’m the ‘new this’ or ‘this woman meets that woman,’ and that can be reductive….I’m just Olivia. I’m doing my own thing. It’s meaningful when people recognize that.”