Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Olivia Rodrigo on identity, growing up biracial, and her ‘Guts’ world tour

The 21-year-old Grammy winner has always been proud of her Filipino heritage—and being a lumpia fan.

Olivia Rodrigo has been making headlines again.

On May 9, she announced the Asia and Australia legs of her ongoing Guts World Tour, the first time she’ll be touring in those two continents in her young but already successful career. The 21-year-old Grammy winner has added nine international dates to her hugely popular Guts World Tour for a total of 82 shows.

She announced the Asian and Australian legs of her ongoing tour on her website and social media platforms on May 9. Here in Asia, it includes stops in Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Before Filipino fans start crying, the poster for the announcement includes the line “Stay tuned Manila!”, suggesting that the Philippines will be added to the tour. Well, this comes as no surprise as Rodrigo has never been one to shy away from talking about her Filipino roots.

A real Pinoy pride 

Rodrigo, whose father is Filipino, a doctor by profession, and mother is German-Irish, is best known for some of the biggest pop hits in recent years, including piano ballad Driver’s License and pop-punk song Good 4 U, both from her 2021 debut album “Sour.” She released her second album, “Guts,” in 2023. 

Both albums topped music charts worldwide, including in the US, UK, and Australia. At a young age, she has already bagged multiple awards, such as the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2022 and seven Billboard Music Awards, and was Time magazine’s Entertainer of the Year in 2021—with these accomplishments cementing her status as a pop superstar. 

The California-born multi-hyphenate first gained prominence as a Disney star like fellow alumni/pop stars Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato. At age 13, she made her Disney debut in the comedy series Bizaardvark (2016 to 2019). She was then chosen to play the female lead Nini in the musical series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (2019 to 2023).

When producers of the show realized Rodrigo could sing, they encouraged her to write songs for the series. Her song All I Want became so popular that it managed to make it into the American singles charts.

It seems as if Rodrigo was born to be a star. She started taking acting and singing lessons at age six and first appeared on television in a commercial at 12. 

Rodrigo was born in February 20, 2003 to an American mother and a Filipino-American father.
Olivia told Disney that her great-grandfather moved from the Philippines to the US as a teenager. Photo from Olivia Rodrigo’s Instagram

Growing up biracial

Bringing her closer to her Filipino fans is the fact that the singer has always been proud of her Pinoy roots. She and the rest of her family have grown up following Filipino traditions and eating Filipino food, according to an article on BBC.

In an interview with Myx Global, Rodrigo said she wasn’t too conscious of her being biracial growing up, having gone to diverse schools and having lots of Filipino friends. It was only when she entered the entertainment industry that she became more conscious of her mixed heritage.

A 12-year-old Olivia Rodrigo in 2015. Photo by JB Lacroix/E! Online

“But yeah, it wasn’t until I sort of started making music and being more front-facing that girls would be like, “Oh, wow, it’s so nice to see Asian representation in music!” And I was like, “Oh, yeah, that’s cool. Yeah, I’m that,” she said in the interview.

In an interview with V Magazine, meanwhile, Rodrigo shared how she would get direct messages from little girls like, ‘I’ve never seen someone who looked like me in your position.’ “And I’m literally going to cry. Like just thinking about it. I feel like I grew up never seeing that. Also it was always like, ‘Pop star,’ that’s a white girl,” she admitted. 

Olivia Rodrigo at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo by Christopher Polk/Billboard

When asked about her Filipino roots, the songwriter replied: “I think that Filipino people are some of the most wonderful, loving people on the planet, and they’ve been so welcoming and kind to me.”

In a Disney Channel clip for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in 2017, Rodrigo candidly talked about her Filipino heritage. She shared some adorable family pictures and how her great-grandfather came on a boat to the US to start a new life.

“My dad grew up in a house where they were always making Filipino food, his grandpa always spoke Tagalog. All of those traditions have trickled down to our generation. Every Thanksgiving we have lumpia, and things like that,” she shared.

“I have never been to the Philippines, but I really, really want to. We still have extended family there, but I’ve never met them. That’s on my bucket list, definitely,” she said. “When we were doing the Asian and Pacific Islander video, my whole family chipped in. They sent me pictures for the video. I learned so much about it through my family. That video totally taught me a lot. It’s so important to know your culture. Talking about it with them was really informative.

We surely can’t wait for the beautiful and talented performer to come visit and perform here at the motherland soon—and gift her lots of lumpia!

Guts World Tour

Rodrigo’s current world tour kicked off in February with an opening show in Palm Springs. It’s currently making its rounds in Europe in cities such as London, Amsterdam, Bologna, Paris, Lisbon, and Madrid.

All 12 songs from the standard edition of “Guts” got played, plus nine out of 11 songs from “Sour.” According to an article on Rolling Stone, Rodrigo did not cover a song on the opening night of her tour. With two albums in her discography, she already has enough songs for a 95-minute concert without having to cover any. 

Rodrigo last toured North America and Europe in support of her debut album “Sour” in 2022. It started on April 5 in Portland and ended on July 7 in London. Opening acts included Gracie Abrams, Holly Humberstone, Chappell Roan, and Baby Queen.

Guts World Tour has so far been well received by critics. Variety, for instance, wrote, “It’s a rock ‘n’ roll show, by the way—maybe the best rock tour we’ll get all year, even if the season is young. Rodrigo’s albums necessarily have to alternate her pop-punk thrashers and her ballads, to some degree, making for a little bit of whiplash for the few of us who still listen to albums in sequence. But the concert setting all but demands the louder and brasher material is going to be front- and backloaded.”

Aside from being a hugely successful tour, it also has a charitable arm, according to Teen Vogue. Rodrigo launched the Fund 4 Good, a “global initiative committed to building an equitable and just future for all women and girls through direct support of community-based non-profits that champion girls’ education, support reproductive rights and prevent gender-based violence.” 


olivia has launched Fund4Good, a global initiative committed to building an equitable and just future for all women, girls and people seeking reproductive health freedom. get more info & donate at

♬ original sound – livies hq ❤️

A portion of the proceeds from all ticket sales will go to support the fund, as well as the National Network of Abortion Funds in North America. 

In a video message, Rodrigo said: “Thank you so much for supporting this cause that I care so deeply about. I can’t wait to see you all on tour.” 

Associate Editor

The new lifestyle.