Following the release of “Drivers License” in January, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actress seemingly started the first love triangle of 2021, and the internet was shook. At the time, fans were convinced that the songstress shaded her rumored ex-boyfriend and costar, and his new girlfriend, Sabrina. Although their relationship was never confirmed, HSMTMTS viewers were convinced that Olivia and Joshua were more than friends when the show premiered in November 2019. With “Drivers License,” the former Disney Channel star dropped a few hints that things were less than perfect between her and Joshua.
“And you’re probably with that blonde girl / Who always made me doubt / She’s so much older than me,” Olivia sings on “Drivers License.” It’s important to note that in an earlier version of the song, which she teased on Instagram in 2020, the lyrics originally read “brunette girl.” At the time of the track’s release, Olivia was 17 and Sabrina was 21, which also appears to be reflected in the song’s lyrics.
About a week after Olivia’s song was released, Joshua released his own single called “Lie Lie Lie.” Some fans thought this would be a response to “Drivers License,” but he seemingly shut down rumors by explaining the song’s real meaning on social media.
Things got even messier when Sabrina dropped “Skin.” One of the first lyrics in the song read, “Maybe ‘blonde’ was the only rhyme,” which appears to be a direct reference to Olivia’s single. Throughout the song, the Girl Meets World alum wishes that she could have been friends with the person she’s singing about, but as of now, she’s content with telling her side of the story.
Sabrina has since set the record straight and addressed the meaning of her song “Skin” following rumors that it was a response to Olivia’s debut single “Drivers License.”
“I genuinely was coming from a place as a 21-year-old that is navigating her feelings and was going through a lot in my personal life,” the former Disney Channel star said during an appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden in February 2021. “The reoccurring theme was I was allowing people to get under my skin. I wrote from that place of knowing that there was so many different experiences that will continue to happen to me in my life where I kind of have to remind myself that people can only get to you if you allow them to and you give them that access to.”
She continued, “People will make a narrative about something always. I think this was a really interesting song for people to kind of misinterpret and make it into something that it wasn’t really supposed to be in the first place. But I’ve just been enjoying making music.”
Olivia, for her part, told Radio.com in March 2021 that “Drivers License” couldn’t be about Sabrina, because they don’t know each other. “I think we’ve met once or twice in passing, but I’ve never had a conversation with her, so I don’t think I could write a song that was meaningful or emotional about somebody that I don’t know,” she explained.
Nearly a full year after “Drivers License” was released, Joshua appeared to respond to the drama with a three-track release — “Crisis / Secret / Set Me Free” — and an interview with GQ recounting the past year of his life.
“I have a right to stand up for myself,” he said in the December interview. The actor noted that after “Drivers License” was released, he “would see TikToks with like 50 million views and 10 million likes saying, ‘If I ever see that kid on the street, I’m going to f–king kill him.'” He added, “It’s hard to see that and then be living in New York and walking down the street.”
Scroll through our gallery for a timeline of the rumored drama.
Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.