Written by By Alexandra Holmes, CNN
Olivia Rodrigo, who became known for performing as a teen pop star in Puerto Rico before fleeing to the US mainland, is the youngest female in the race for best new artist at the 2018 American Music Awards.
Born in San Juan but now living in Miami, Rodrigo released her first studio album in September 2017, called Gloria.
“It just kind of happened. I just got lucky. I’ve always dreamed of this, but I had to put my headphones on and play my first song with my grandma in an arcade so she could understand me,” she said at a press conference last month.
“And I’m still feeling that freedom that I feel now.”
Olivia Rodrigo “Amor” is the lead single off her debut album Gloria and was co-written by Yo Yo, Sia, Justin Tranter and Ryan Tedder
Olivia Rodrigo with her father. Her mother, Consuelo Santos de Rodrigo, was killed in a car accident at 23
Rodrigo said the inspiration for her album began when she was living in Puerto Rico, and her family lost the house they were living in during Hurricane Maria.
Her father taught her guitar, she was plucked from church choirs and performed by a talent scout. She got a recording contract at age 12.
Olivia Rodrigo wrote a song called “Burda” to comfort the family of her mother, Consuelo
Her mom, Consuelo, a model and singer, was killed in a car accident when Rodrigo was just 23.
“I want you to know that I was devastated, and my family, I was devastated, and I just remember thinking, ‘What have I done to bring this upon myself? What has I done?'” she said.
“And so I wrote a song about my mom and how she used to play piano and sing and dance … and how she used to be happiest playing and singing for her love, the love of her life, which was me.”
Olivia Rodrigo performing with ex-boyfriend Carlos Rivera
The American Music Awards are held in Los Angeles on October 9.
Olivia Rodrigo with José Feliciano and Carlos Rivera. Rodrigo’s mother was killed in a car accident at 23