Get­ing to know singer Bebe Rexha

Dubbed one of the most dar­ing artists of 2017, the in-de­mand songstress drops her debut al­bum

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY NICI DE WET SOURCE: BILL­BOARD.COM

She’s one of the most sought-af­ter song­writ­ers of the mo­ment and this month the 28-year-old artist’s star con­tin­ues to rise with the re­lease of her first al­bum, Ex­pec­ta­tions. We take a look.

She hails from Brook­lyn, New York, and is of Al­ba­nian de­scent. Born Bleta (which means “bee” in Al­ba­nian), she gave her­self the nick­name Bebe as a child and later de­cided to use it as her stage name. Growing up, she taught her­self to play gui­tar, trum­pet and pi­ano.

She showed song­writ­ing tal­ent from an early age and in her early teens won the best teen song­writer award at the Na­tional Academy of Record­ing Arts & Sciences’ an­nual Grammy Day event.

She got her big break in 2013 when Eminem and Ri­hanna had a hit with her song Mon­ster. She says at the time she was “forced to give that song away” as she “had no money and no record deal . . . I’d just turned 20”. But she ac­knowl­edges it opened many doors. She’s since penned songs for G-Eazy, Nicki Mi­naj , Ti­nashe , Pi tbul l , Se­lena Gomez and Iggy Aza­lea.

She’s also a suc­cess­ful singer and her lat­est track, coun­try-in­spired Meant to Be ( fea­tur­ing Florida Georgia Line), holds the record for the long­est-run­ning No 1 by a fe­male on the Bill­board Hot Coun­try Songs chart.

She de­scribes Ex­pec­ta­tions as “stripped down”. “I went back to my roots . . . I loved No Doubt, Ala­nis Moris­sette and Lau­ryn Hill and I wrote these more real, hon­est songs. And there’s a lot more gui­tar.”

As for the ti­tle, she says it had to do with hav­ing cer­tain ex­pec­ta­tions when she be­gan her career. “I thought money and fame would bring me hap­pi­ness but I find . . . it wasn’t what I ex­pected at all,” she told Bill­board. “[Hap­pi­ness] is like the lit­tle things. It’s my fam­ily, it’s my mom, it’s my dog, it’s a cup of cof­fee in the morn­ing.”

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