Childhood & Early Life
Bebe Rexha was born Bleta Rexha on 30 August 1989, in Brooklyn, New York, USA, to Albanian parents. The meaning of ‘Bleta’ in Albania is ‘bumble bee.’ Drawing inspiration from her Albanian name, she gave herself the nick name ‘Bebe,’ which she would eventually use as her stage name.
Her father, Flamur Rexha, immigrated to the USA when he was 21 years old. His birth place is Debar, a city in the western part of the Republic of Macedonia. Her mother, Bukurije ‘Bukie’ Rexha, was born in the USA to an Albanian family who were from the Gostivar region of Macedonia.
Bebe stayed in Brooklyn for six years and then moved with her parents to Staten Islands, New York, where she attended ‘Tottenville High School.’ She played the trumpet in school for nine years and also knew how to play the piano and guitar. Later, she took part in several musicals. In high school, she became a member of the choir, and realized that she had coloratura soprano voice.
Rexha always wanted to be a part of the pop-culture and took to songwriting in her teens. She won the ‘Best Teen Songwriter’ award for her song, which was to be performed at the ‘National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences’ annual ‘Grammy Day’ event. She won the song-writing competition after beating 700 entrants. As a result of this, Samantha Cox, a talent scout encouraged her to attend song-writing classes in New York.
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Career & Later Life
Bebe Rexha met Pete Wentz, a bass guitarist of ‘Fall Out Boys’ band, while recording demos at their studio in New York City. In 2010, Wentz and Rexha formed a duo experimental band named ‘Black Cards’ for which he wrote the lyrics and played the guitar, while Bebe performed as the lead vocalist. The band went on to release remixes and singles on YouTube and iTunes, and performed various live shows at many venues. However, Bebe left the band on January 13, 2012, stating that she wanted to work on establishing a solo career.
Bebe started uploading acoustic covers and demos on YouTube. The biggest breakthrough in her career came when she was signed by ‘Warner Brothers Records’ in 2013. She wrote chart topping songs for Nikki Williams (Glowing) and Selena Gomez (Like a Champion) but was most acclaimed for her song ‘Monster,’ sung by Rihanna and Eminem. This track peaked at number one on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ and ‘Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs’ charts. In the same year, she wrote and featured in the single ‘Take Me Home’ with ‘Cash Cash’ electronic music group.
On 21 March 2014, Bebe released her debut single ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking about You,’ which was written and sung by her. The music video of the song was published on 12 August. The song peaked at number 22 in Billboard’s ‘Top Heat Seekers’ chart. In the same year, she released two more singles titled ‘Gone’ and ‘I’m Gonna Show You Crazy,’ showcasing her songwriting and vocal skills. She collaborated with rapper Pitbull for the song ‘This Is Not a Drill’ on November 2014.
Rexha went on to release her debut EP on 12 May 2015. Titled ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up,’ the EP was released under ‘Warner Brothers Records.’ She co-wrote and featured in David Guetta’s song ‘Hey Mama’ which reached the eighth position on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100.’ In 2015, she wrote and performed the song ‘Cry Wolf.’ Rexha collaborated with G-Eazy for the song ‘Me, Myself and I’ which reached the seventh position in Billboard’s ‘Hot 100’ and first position on ‘Pop Songs’ chart.
On March 2016, Bebe released a single titled ‘No Broken Hearts’ with Nicki Minaj, and uploaded the official video of the song on April 2016. The video, which was directed by Dave Meyer, went on to amass millions of views on YouTube.
She collaborated with record producer and DJ Martin Garrix for a single titled ‘In the Name of Love’ which released on 29 July 2016. It reached the fourth position on ‘Hot Dance/Electronic Songs’ chart and broke into the top 10 of several charts in countries like Canada, Italy, Australia, and England. On 31 January 2016, she uploaded her ‘LYRICS’ video ‘Sweet Beginnings,’ which amassed 1.8 million views as of 2017.
Rexha released her single ‘I Got You’ on 28 October 2016. The single was from her second EP ‘All Your Fault: Pt. 1,’ which released in 2017. The EP featured stars like G- Eazy, Stargate, and Ty Dolla $ign. The single went on to accumulate millions of views on YouTube. The EP has songs like ‘Atmosphere,’ ‘Small Doses,’ and ‘Gateway Drug.’
Bebe went on a concert tour called ‘All Your Fault Tour,’ which began on 1 March 2017 and continued till 1 May. The tour covered places like Dallas, Brooklyn, Dubai, Antwerp, and London. She was the lead vocal and star of the tour, which was attended by millions of fans.
She released another EP titled ‘All Your Fault: Pt. 2’ on May 2017. A single titled ‘The Way I Are (Dance with Somebody),’ which featured Lil Wayne, went on to become a massive hit. She gained so much popularity that ‘MTV’ aired a documentary titled ‘Bebe Rexha: The Ride’ which focused on her life and her journey to stardom. Rexha won the ‘Victoria’s Secret Sexiest Rising Songstress’ award in 2017.
The song ‘Meant to be,’ the second single from her album ‘All Your Fault: Pt. 2,’ peaked at number two on ‘Billboard Hot 100.’ In 2018, many of her songs like ‘I’m a Mess,’ ‘Say My Name,’ and ‘Ferrari’ were released.
On February 2019, it was announced that she would be the fifth coach for the sixteenth season of popular reality TV show ‘The Voice.’ On May 31, 2019, Rexha and The Chainsmokers released a song titled ‘Call You Mine.’