Singer also awarded Storyteller of the Year at Variety Hitmakers gala
Olivia Rodrigo gave her new ballad “Can’t Catch Me Now” — her contribution to The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes — its live debut Friday during her set at Los Angeles’ Jingle Ball.
“So, has anybody watched The Hunger Games?” Rodrigo asked the Kia Forum crowd. “I was super lucky because this year I got a chance to write a song for the movie that’s out now.”
Rodrigo’s eventful weekend continued Saturday when the singer was named Storyteller of the Year at the Variety Hitmakers brunch. She received the award from St. Vincent, who called the singer a “precious baby angel muffin, but if a precious baby angel muffin were also tough as nails and cool as hell.”
“Olivia sees the cracks and contradictions in herself and others and makes the ineffable understandable and transformational for her listeners,” St. Vincent added. “Her honest songs about the impossible task of growing up have liberated so many young people fighting and fumbling their ways through the same experiences. But it’s not merely paying attention that matters to the craft of songwriting. It’s also how you observe and how you listen.”
In her acceptance speech, Rodrigo said, “Telling stories through songwriting has been my favorite thing to do for as long as I can remember. I write to figure out how I feel, to move through my emotions, and to commemorate and honor seasons of my life. I also got the chance to write a song for the new Hunger Games movie recently and it taught me how much I also loved writing songs from another person’s point of view and how fun and collaborative it can be.”
She continued, “Though writing songs is definitely one of my favorite things to do in this world, I wouldn’t say it’s always been effortless for me by any means,” Rodrigo went on to confess. “Especially making my most recent album, I had so many voices in my head and I felt so much pressure to please everyone with the music I was making.”
Rodrigo — whose Guts placed Number 5 on our list of the Best Albums of 2023 — will next serve as the musical guest on the Dec. 9 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Adam Driver.