Illusion has changed into something real.
Advertisement

Olivia Rodrigo is taking us back to simpler times — 1997, to be exact. To a pre-9/11 world of economic prosperity untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, one filled with scandals that now seem quaint

The singer, who often celebrates the decade in performances, went full nostalgia Wednesday night, inviting Natalie Imbruglia onstage for a rendition of her smash hit "Torn." The surprise appearance took place at the Eventim Apollo in London, where the floored crowd sang along joyously to the iconic track. 

Her duet with the Australian singer comes days after Rodrigo covered the hit during an unannounced appearance in Manchester. Captured by awestruck fans, it took place at a fitting '90s setting: a local dive bar. 

"Torn" was a global hit upon its release, climbing to number one in several countries and topping three U.S. Billboard charts. The post-breakup anthem sold more than four million copies globally.

While Imbruglia's version is the most well known, three previous versions predate it. Danish singer Lis Sørensen released the track in 1993, and the following year the American rock band Ednaswap recorded it. In 1996, American-Norwegian singer Trine Rein also debuted their take on "Torn." 

At the time of its 1997 release, EW called the song "an infectious slice of romantic angst," noting how its accompanying music video showcased Imbruglia as a "young Audrey Hepburn as refashioned for the post-grunge crowd."

Olivia Rodrigo, Natalie Imbruglia
Olivia Rodrigo; Natalie Imbruglia
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Rodrigo's recent concert appearances have been packed with collaborations and tributes. She took a trip back to the early aughts in May when she brought Avril Lavigne onstage for a surprise duet of "Complicated." Complete with matching early-aughts garb, the pair wowed the audience with a powerhouse version of the 2002 tune.

Just weeks later, she and Alanis Morisette teamed for a duet of her 1995 generation-defining "You Oughta Know." And last month, Lily Allen joined Rodrigo at Glastonbury Festival for a scorching version of Allen's 2009 song "F--- You." The pair aimed the collaboration at the U.S. Supreme Court after its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Rodrigo's Sour tour is set to conclude on Thursday, but we have some ideas to further fulfill our nostalgic dreams when she hits the road again. Perhaps she could welcome Brandy onstage for an updated take on "The Boy Is Mine." Just in case you're taking requests, Olivia.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Comments