Sabrina Carpenter: Bringing Back the Pop Princess

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You may know Sabrina Carpenter from her role as Maya Hart on Disney Channel’s series “Girl Meets World” or you may have seen one of her now iconic outros to her song “Nonsense” she performed while on tour. Ms. Carpenter has been in the industry for about a decade but is only reaching commercial success. Why is that and why did it take so long for her talent to be appreciated?

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Disney Channel Sweetheart

Like many young stars, Carpenter caught her break by acting on Disney Channel as Maya Hart, the rebellious and spunky best friend to Rowan Blanchard’s character on “Girl Meets World”. Like many young Disney stars of the past, Sabrina signed on to a 5 album contract with the Disney-owned Hollywood Records. From there she went on to release some hits including “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying” as her debut single as well as “Eyes Wide Open” and “Thumbs”. Her music videos were promoted all over Disney Channel, being aired in between episodes and Sabrina seemed to be the perfect formula for the next pop it-girl.

Although the momentum of her first two albums did not continue. Some blame Hollywood Records and Disney, for not doing a well enough job to advance Sabrina and her career. Sabrina continued to release music under her contract but was not reaching stardom in the way she was deserving of. 

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All Because She Liked a Boy

Behind the scenes, Sabrina was linked to fellow Disney alum Joshua Basset in late 2020. Rumors swirled about their relationship if Joshua had left Olivia Rodrigo for Sabrina, although neither relationship was ever confirmed to be true. In early 2021, Olivia released her debut single “Driver’s License”, which fans immediately assumed to be about Josh and Sabrina. The internet began sending hate to both Sabrina and Joshua for potentially breaking Olivia’s heart.

A short while later Sabrina had just signed with Island Record after her previous contract had expired and released her first song titled “Skin”. This song was speculated to be a response to “Driver’s License” and Sabrina bragging about now having Josh. The release of “Skin”, furthered the hate that Sabrina began receiving as Olivia was on her way up as one of the newest and most popular singers. Although the true intentions of either “Driver’s License” or “Skin” were never confirmed. 

People became obsessed with the Olivia, Joshua and Sabrina love triangle. Writing Olivia as the poor heartbroken girl, Josh as the cruel ex-boyfriend and Sabrina as the other woman. Later in 2021, Sabrina released “All Because I Liked a Boy” from her most recent album “Emails I Can’t Send”.

This song was a response to the public and media for all of the hate she had been receiving. After the song’s debut, the discourse surrounding Sabrina started to shift. Sympathy was given in return for everything she had endured and people began to realize the unfair treatment that Sabrina was dealt. 

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A New Era

“Emails I Can’t Send” marked a new start for Sabrina and became a turning point in her musical career. Her songwriting on this album was the most mature and raw that Sabrina had ever produced. She toured it twice in 2022 and then again in 2023.

Her venues were still small and her following was not as large as it is today but this album solidified Sabrina’s new sound and showcased her talent in a way that hadn’t been seen before. She began creating custom outros for the ending of her song “Nonsense” while on these tours and they began to go viral on TikTok. 

Her fashion while touring was also a major hit. People became obsessed with her feminine and fun popstar style reminiscent of icons during the early 2000s like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. Sabrina discovered an aesthetic and stuck to it during tours, on red carpets and with her street style as well. 

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Sabrina was even invited to open for Taylor Swift during a portion of her international Era’s tour dates. These large stadiums that held Taylor’s concerts were the largest crowds Sabrina had ever played for and amped her into popstar status these past months. 

Only now after releasing music in 2014, has Sabrina started to become recognized as a real and true respectable artist. She has finally evaded the Disney Channel image and VALLEY is so excited to see what else Sabrina has in store. 

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Let us know your favorite Sabrina song by tagging us on X @VALLEYmag!



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