Good 4 Her: Olivia Rodrigo Literally Smashes Her Debut Performance at MTV VMAs

Olivia Rodrigo sure does look happy and healthy! The singer/songwriter brought her signature "teen angst" for her first-ever appearance (and performance) at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 13, 2021 1:04 AMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: Is Olivia Rodrigo the New It-Girl?

Olivia Rodrigo hit the accelerator for her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards—and totally smashed it, even breaking the camera.

The thing about rising to intergalactic fame in the middle of a global pandemic is that you've already released one of the "most dominant" No. 1 songs of the past 30 years, according to Billboard, before you've even attended (let alone performed at) the MTV VMAs. 

That's why it's safe to say Rodrigo didn't have deja vu when she made her debut appearance at the 2021 VMAs on Sunday, Sept. 12. For her first time at the iconic music event, she gave a spicy performance of her chart-topping hit "good 4 u" from her debut album SOUR.

The 18-year-old actress, who recently granted Paramore an official writing credit, donned a vintage pink Versace gown and platforms for the red carpet, before changing into a lavender corset minidress for her "super fun" show.

Rodrigo teased there would be "sparkles" and "even be a little flying, which is gonna be really exciting."

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Wearing purple lace-up gloves, she ended her performance with a blur of confetti, butterfly graphics and fire effects before shoving her mic straight at the camera. She smashed the screen to deliver a fake cracked aesthetic. 


She has already won Song of the Year and Push Performance of the Year, calling her newfound stardom a "crazy, magical roller coaster." 

While the VMAs was certainly a new experience for Rodrigo, it wasn't exactly her first time performing live (though it comes close, compared to other Artist of the Year nominees). She performed her "drivers license" ballad on Saturday Night Live and at The 2021 BRIT Awards in May, when she also met her idol Taylor Swift.

And don't worry, Rodrigo made sure she got somewhat of a typical high school experience by hosting a massive prom event for her fans in June. 

"My music is definitely separate from my acting in a way I always dreamed would happen," she told NYLON in May. "When 'drivers license' came out, everyone was like, 'I have no idea who this Olivia Rodrigo girl is, but I love this song.' That is the absolute dream for me, because I've always wanted to be taken seriously as a songwriter." 

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She's previously responded to rumors that the brutal songs are about her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star and real-life ex Joshua Bassett, saying, "[Fans can] think whatever they want to think about my life and that's just part of it. It doesn't really bother me."

In addition to Artist of the Year, Rodrigo is also nominated for Best New Artist and Best Pop Song.

Tune into MTV to watch the 2021 VMAs.