Sabrina Carpentere: “From Disney child star to fascinating new phenomenon of pop music”

THE world is waking up to Espresso pop sensation Sabrina Carpenter who wowed Wembley Stadium dressed in an England football shirt.

The US singer-songwriter is proving the act of the summer, having topped the charts with her hot coffee-themed track, supported Taylor Swift on her Eras tour and been lauded by Adele.

Sabrina Carpenter is pop's hottest rising star
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Sabrina Carpenter is pop’s hottest rising starCredit: Instagram/sabrinacarpenter

Sabrina wowed Wembley Stadium dressed in an England football shirt on Sunday
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Sabrina wowed Wembley Stadium dressed in an England football shirt on SundayCredit: Rex
On Sunday, just as England began their opening game at the Euros in Germany, she impressed the crowd at Capital’s Summertime Ball in Wembley Stadium and wore the Three Lions top.

Sabrina is following in the footsteps of Miley Cyrus by going from sweet-natured Disney child star to racy performer.

Her lyrics often feature the F-word, she talks about how much she wants sex and her wardrobe is packed with micro-skirts.

In her latest video, the 25-year-old sits on a car bonnet in suspenders, and she places handcuffs on her actor boyfriend Barry Keoghan in another steamy scene.

That follows a priest being reprimanded for allowing her to dance in a revealing dress around a church altar in another music clip.

Sabrina has been romantically linked to a number of famous men, including singer Shawn Mendes, High School Musical actor Joshua Bassett and former Teen Wolf actor Dylan O’Brien.

It was her rumoured relationship with Joshua that led fans to believe there was a feud with his fellow Disney star ex Olivia Rodrigo.

But rather than shy away from the controversies and cruel online trolls, Sabrina has turned them into spiky lyrics.

One track, Because I Liked A Boy, carries the lines, “I’m a homewrecker, I’m a slut, I got death threats filling up semi-trucks”.

Sabrina, who first came to public attention aged ten after finishing third in a talent competition held by Miley, is enjoying her newfound sense of freedom since leaving Disney.

She said: “I think there is a big difference between me two years ago and me now.

“Now I’m having fun, which I think is the biggest difference.”

Having been brought up by chiropractor mum Elizabeth and chef dad David in Pennsylvania, she was introduced to performing at a young age.

Her dad had been in a garage band, her mum was a dancer and Sabrina’s aunt Nancy Cartwright is famously the voice of Bart Simpson.

But neither of her parents ever became successful enough to know anything about showbusiness.

Sabrina, who has three older sisters and was home-schooled, started posting videos on YouTube of herself singing when she was ten.

In 2009 she entered The Next Miley Cyrus Project and was the youngest finalist.

Sabrina’s mum said meeting Hannah Montana star Miley “ignited her desire to want to do this”.

She added: “We saw the potential because of how well she had done.

“And she is a very persistent young lady.”

A string of acting roles, including Law And Order and an appearance in Daniel Radcliffe’s 2013 movie Horns, followed.

The family moved to Los Angeles so Sabrina could pursue her dreams in Hollywood.

Disney spotted her on-screen charisma and signed her up for a sitcom called Girl Meets World, a spin-off from the Nineties show Boy Meets World.

It ran for three series, ending in 2017, and during that time Sabrina released her first two albums, Eyes Wide Open and Evolution.

She made two more albums for the Disney label Hollywood Records, before switching to Island Records two years ago so she could do something more grown-up.

Sabrina also tired of having to fit into the family-orientated channel’s image of how a perfect young woman should behave.

She said: “I think a lot of my childhood was people telling me what I can and cannot say, or what they think I should be able to say, because I’m supposed to raise their children or something.”

And since leaving the “House of Mouse”, a far more adult-orientated Sabrina has emerged.

Last year, while performing her song Nonsense, she said she would like “d” for a birthday present.

Espresso, which knocked Taylor Swift off the top of the charts in April, contains the line, “I can’t relate to desperation, My give-a-f***s are on vacation”.

And her latest track Please Please Please, which has been streamed on Spotify more than 100million times since it was released at the start of this month, features the swear word “motherf*”.

But it is the video for her latest single that really grabs your attention.

Sabrina with boyfriend Barry Keoghan in the music video for Please Please Please
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Sabrina with boyfriend Barry Keoghan in the music video for Please Please Please

Sabrina has been supporting Taylor Swift on her Eras tour
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Sabrina has been supporting Taylor Swift on her Eras tourCredit: Getty
In it, Irish actor Barry, 31, best known for starring in Saltburn, plays a bad-boy gangster who meets Sabrina’s character in jail.

Barry is seen lusting after the scantily clad Sabrina, who ends up pasting gaffer tape over his mouth.

The couple have not spoken publicly about their relationship but they are often seen out together.

He was spotted at the side of the stage when Sabrina performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival in Luton at the end of May and they went for a meal at the trendy Chiltern Firehouse in London on Saturday.

Barry is believed to have started dating the singer in December, a few months after splitting from dental nurse Alyson Kierans, who is the mother of his one-year-old son Brando.

Sabrina, who looks remarkably similar to Alyson, claims to not have a type when it comes to men.

She said: “A lot of it, for me, has been fate.

“I know that’s super-broad, but I don’t actively look for it.

“The relationships that I actually want to put my energy into have to be so interesting or invigorating because they take me away from the other things I love.

“So yeah, it’s fun and it’s messy.”

What was messy was the fall-out from her time with Joshua.

Some High School Musical fans were upset when Olivia, 21, and Joshua, 23, who met on the Disney Plus TV series, split up.

They reserved their anger for Sabrina, who was linked to him romantically after they were seen together at a Black Lives Matter protest in July 2020, and believed the lyrics for Olivia’s first big hit Drivers License referred to her.

‘GROWING PAINS’

In it, Olivia thinks her man has gone off with someone “much older than me” and “blonde” which would fit Sabrina’s description.

Olivia, though, criticised that assumption and the trolling of Sabrina, saying: “I don’t really subscribe to hating other women because of boys.

“I think that’s so stupid.”

Sabrina also appeared to use the experience to come up with new songs.

Her fifth album Emails I Can’t Send took inspiration from messages, including from the trolling from fans.

On releasing the record in 2022, she told Rolling Stone magazine: “When you are younger, it’s a lot easier to let the words and labels that people put on you affect you and become part of who you are.

“Once you start to rebel against that, it starts to feel a little bit scarier, but also a bit more freeing.

“That’s why it felt like growing pains the whole time that I was making it.”

The album helped earn Sabrina a place on Taylor’s billion-dollar Eras tour, supporting the hitmaker in South America, Australia and Singapore.

Taylor called her a “sweet angel princess” and, last month, Adele told an audience that Espresso “is my jam”.

In August the highly productive Sabrina will bring out her latest album, titled Short n’ Sweet, which will include her most recent singles.

Like all smart performers Sabrina decided on Sunday, if you can’t beat them, join them.

On a night when England won their opening game against Serbia, she showed her sense of humour by wearing that Three Lions top.

Sabrina is sure to have won over even more fans who were at Wembley for the Summertime Ball.

By the end of the summer, it could be that England and Sabrina are both even bigger winners.

Sabrina has been singing from an early age
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Sabrina has been singing from an early ageCredit: Instagram/sabrinacarpenter

Sabrina's track Espresso is the song of the summer
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Sabrina’s track Espresso is the song of the summer

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