Disney star Olivia Rodrigo scored a surprise No.1 hit in January with her stirring teenage ballad “Drivers License,” thanks in large part to TikTok hype. Now, the hit song has gained its own viral trend on the platform — and the mastermind behind the trend wants credit for her creation.
Rodrigo, who Disney fans might recognize from the cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, released the dreamy single on January 8, and it became an instant hit. Within a week the song shattered records on Spotify and sold 38,000 digital downloads.
This Disney star also released a music video for the song, which has since been viewed nearly 100 million times and received 4.5 million likes.
One moment from the music video has Rodrigo falling away from the camera before it cuts to her leaning perilously out of a moving car. It was this moment that inspired the new trend.
The trend involves looking into the camera and lip-syncing Rodrigo’s words, often with a teary-eyed expression, before falling backwards the way she does in the video. Thankfully, the trend doesn’t require an actual moving-car stunt — users instead opt to fall back on beds, suddenly dressed in glamorous clothes with a glossy filter to complete the look.
The challenge has since been picked up by users from all over, with the song’s page providing dozens of examples. Rodrigo even reportedly shared several of the videos to her own Instagram.
It wasn’t until later on, however, that the alleged creator of the trend would receive credit for her idea.
“At first I personally didn’t have a problem with not being credited,” said TikToker Mel Sommers, whom Buzzfeed credits with uploading the first “Drivers License” challenge video. Sommers uploaded her clip on January 8, along with the caption, “Can this be a trend?”
“I was just like, whoa, that’s cool,” Sommers said of the trend’s viral success. “I started something. I think I was more happy that my trend was able to boost Olivia’s streams that it going viral.”
As the viral trend grew, however, many commenters urged Sommers to take credit for her creation.
“Bigger creators not giving credit limits the opportunity we have… It’s easier for them to get noticed because they already have a platform,” the 20-year-old TikToker said. “And they’re familiar, but us little guys have to work harder just for a little appreciation.”
Sommers later posted a tongue-in-cheek follow up video calling out popular TikTokers who took part in the challenge without giving her credit.
Still, Sommers said she would love to speak to Rodrigo and “try to make it clear how much of an impact she’s had on [her].”
“She’s such an inspiration and an amazing role model to all generations,” said Sommers. “I wish her nothing but love, happiness, and success for today and the rest of her life.”
Check out more clips of the viral challenge at the song’s page on TikTok.