Friday, September 22, 2023

Olivia O’Brien headlines second annual Girlboss Gala


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Featured Photo by Kaleigh Young

Story by Kaleigh Young

Olivia O’Brien performing. (Photo by Kaleigh Young).

Los Angeles based pop singer Olivia O’Brien and Middle Tennessee State University senior Emily O’Neal closed Women’s History Month on campus with a concert for female empowerment Thursday.

Nervous to perform after a year without, O’Brien sang her more popular songs like “I Hate You I Love You” and “Josslyn” in the Student Union Ballroom. Her set featured other songs and a cover of Ke$ha’s “Your love is my drug.” She shared that it can be hard to gauge how many students will know her songs, but MTSU came prepared.

O’Neal opened for O’Brien and played songs from her latest EP “Otherworldy.” Her song “Villian” was a crowd hit.

Emily O’Neal opening for Olivia O’Brien at the 2023 Girlboss Gala. (Photo by Kaleigh Young).

Nashville Songwriters Association International member, O’Neal, felt incredibly grateful for the opporitunity to open for O’Brien. O’neal saw her in concert three years ago, so being able to open for her seemed unreal.

For other MTSU students clearing a path into the music industry, O’Brien’s advice is: “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and stay true and authentic to yourself.” 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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