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Olivia Rodrigo Talks ‘Incredible’ Oscar Buzz & Champagne-Filled 21st Birthday Plans

Mr. Nimbus | 01/10/2024

You may not be able to catch her now, but the Oscars just might be able to.

As awards season kicks into high gear, Olivia Rodrigo has her sights set on the Academy Awards. At the Academy’s 14th annual Governors Awards on Tuesday, the Grammy-winner dished on the Oscar chances for her song “Can’t Catch Me Now” from The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and her plans for her upcoming 21st birthday.

“It’s so incredible,” Rodrigo gushed to Access Hollywood of her Hunger Games prequel track making the Academy’s shortlist for best original song. “There’s just so many people on that list who I’m inspired by, so many songs that I think are incredible, so it’s an honor.”

Rodrigo, alongside go-to collaborator Dan Nigro, co-wrote and performed “Can’t Catch Me Now” for the box-office-topping Hunger Games prequel starring Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis, Hunter Schafer and Tom Blyth. The haunting Americana-inflected track reached No. 56 on the Billboard Hot 100. At the 2023 Hollywood Music in Media Awards, “Can’t Catch Me Now” won best original song in a sci-fi, fantasy or horror film.

In addition to “Can’t Catch Me Now,” other notable songs on the Academy’s shortlist include Billie Eilish‘s “What Was I Made For?” (from Barbie) — which won the equivalent Golden Globe Award on Sunday — Fantasia‘s “Superpower (I)” (from The Color Purple), The Osage Tribe’s “Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)” (from Killers of the Flower Moon) and Jon Batiste‘s “It Never Went Away” (from American Symphony).

Although she finds herself among stiff competition, Rodrigo didn’t write her Hunger Games track with the intention of entering the Oscar race. “I think that if I was writing a song and thought about how other people were gonna hear it, I just would be so overcome by anxiety that I couldn’t write at all,” she told Access Hollywood. “So I try to kind of block that all out and just write for me.”

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Later on the red carpet, the “Traitor” singer spilled her birthday plans to Entertainment Tonight. “It is a big birthday,” she said. “I think I’m gonna have a party with my friends and pop some champagne, you know? It’s the 21st!” The multihyphenate turns 21 next month (Feb. 20), but she says Vegas isn’t quite in her line of sight yet. “I’ll save that. I’ll save that for later,” she said.

Shortly before her birthday, Rodrigo will enjoy the 66th annual Grammy Awards, where she boasts six nominations, including in album of the year (Guts) and record and song of the year (“Vampire”). The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series alum already has three Golden Gramophones to her name; she took home best new artist, best pop vocal album (Sour) and best pop solo performance (“Drivers License”) at the 2022 ceremony.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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