Road to Stardom
by Austin Pak
photography courtesy of Pexels
Given the last couple of years filled with constant, delayed dates, fans of Bebe Rexha have proven to be as patient as they get. However, the singer-songwriter always came through with her hard work, talent and passion for creating real and honest music. Her road to stardom was incredibly long, but recent years indicate that everything is falling into place— now she is poised to be one of the next big pop stars of our generation.
Before Rexha began her solo career, she started out in an experimental band called Black Cards with Pete Wentz in 2010. That gig eventually ended in 2012 as Rexha went off on her own to go solo.
The journey to releasing her own single was a long wait in of itself, as Rexha spent much of 2013 as a songwriter. Although she did not put out a lot of her own material, she managed to write the hit song “The Monster” for Eminem and Rihanna, which went #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. This achievement opened many doors for Rexha, as later on in the year she was featured on Cash Cash’s single “Take Me Home,” which peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified RIAA Platinum in the US.
She released her first official EP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, in 2014 with mediocre success. Obviously, chart positions do not define the quality of an artist’s work, but her music was not able to make any big impacts in the charts and was not making any waves on radio.
However, she began to have many successful features, starting with “Hey Mama” by David Guetta, featuring Nicki Minaj. She did run into some troubles in the beginning when the song was released without featuring her name, despite singing the song’s chorus.
“I really wanted to be featured on it because, you know, I’ve been signed and dropped and now signed a second time, so it’s been hard,” Rexha said in a 2015 interview with Jason Lipshutz at Billboard. “What ended up happening was that it looked like a lot of names on the title, so they wanted to keep as many low features as possible.”
Rexha could have gave up after she was told no, but she fought hard to the point where she finally got to have her name on the track. From then on, she continued to have successful collaborations like “Me, Myself & I” with G-Eazy (which peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100) and “In the Name of Love” with Martin Garrix (which peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100).
Things started to look up for Rexha with the release of 2017’s All Your Fault Pt. 1. Her second EP featured her first ever solo hit, “I Got You,” which peaked at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became her first RIAA Platinum-certified, solo single.
Later that year, Rexha released All Your Fault Pt. 2, which included the breakout hit “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line. The single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and broke a record for the longest run at the top of the country charts at 45 weeks and counting.
Now here we are, ten years later, with her first full-length album, Expectations. Rexha has been able to show that she is capable of being a successful solo artist, as her current single “I’m a Mess” is climbing up the charts and has peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album includes many other potential hits: “Ferrari” describes the loneliness that Rexha has encountered while living the “fast life” as a celebrity and “Knees” is an acoustically-driven pop ballad with a rumored Marshmello remix on the way.
Rexha made the difficult and often impossible journey from a behind-the-scenes songwriter to an established singer. Her recent breakthrough success, however, only marks a new beginning for her career in the industry. A nod to her latest album title, the singer leaves listeners with high expectations for the future and these are ones that she will surely surpass.