On the emotional track, Sabrina Carpenter seemingly breaks her silence on Olivia Rodrigo's viral hit "drivers license," which fans think was inspired by her relationship with Joshua Bassett

By Melody Chiu
January 22, 2021 12:01 AM
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Sabrina Carpenter is sharing her side of the story.

Earlier this month, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Olivia Rodrigo, 17, released "drivers license," a scorching breakup ballad seemingly inspired by a messy split from her costar Joshua Bassett.

Rodrigo's track quickly went viral, and fans zeroed in on the lyric: "And you're probably with that blonde girl/ Who always made me doubt/ She's so much older than me/ She's everything I'm insecure about."

Sabrina Carpenter
| Credit: Sarah Carpenter

Fans speculated the "blonde" Rodrigo referenced is Carpenter, 21, who has been seen spending time with Bassett, 20, over the last several months.

Sabrina Carpenter, Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett
| Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty; Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic; JC Olivera/WireImage

At midnight on Thursday, Carpenter dropped "Skin," an emotional pop song that is seemingly a direct response to Rodrigo's claims. PEOPLE has learned Carpenter wanted the track to reflect the strength that can be found through difficult moments and the importance of focusing on joy.

"Maybe you didn't mean it/ Maybe blonde was the only rhyme," she sings near the top of the track.

Carpenter — who later on points out she's "not asking you to let it go" — doubles down on her resilience.

"You can try to get under my, under my, under my skin while he's on mine," she sings. "I wish you knew that even you can't get under my skin if I don't let you in."

In case there was any doubt left that Carpenter — who recently signed with Island Records — is singing about her drama with Rodrigo, the Work It actress seals the deal with a damning line on a soaring bridge: "Don't drive yourself insane/ It won't always be this way."

Ahead of the release of her 2019 album Singular: Act II, Carpenter opened up about her writing process, saying her songs are a reflection of what is happening in her life.

"I definitely felt that within the songs that I was writing, it wasn't so much struggling with my identity, as struggling with coming to terms with who I am," she said at the time. "I feel like this past year is definitely — ups and downs-wise — like a roller coaster. It's taught me a lot, that's for sure. But it also stretched me to different places that I didn't think that I could go before."