Rexha was born on August 30, 1989, in Brooklyn, New York, to ethnic Albanian parents. Her father, Flamur Rexha, is an Albanian born in Debar, when it was part of Yugoslavia. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 21, and her mother, Bukurije Rexha, was born in the U.S. to an Albanian family with roots in Gostivar (which, like Debar, is now part of the Republic of Macedonia). In the Albanian language, bletë means "bee"; and she explained "My parents are Albanian, and people started calling me 'Bebe' for short." Bleta and her family moved to nearby Staten Island when she was six.
As a teenager, Rexha submitted a song to be performed at the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences' annual "Grammy Day" event. Rexha earned the "Best Teen Songwriter" award, beating around 700 other entrants. As a result, she signed a contract with talent scout Samantha Cox, who encouraged Rexha to enroll in songwriting classes in Manhattan.
2010-2012: Career beginnings with Black Cards
Rexha with Pete Wentz on September 1, 2011 at the Rumsey Playfield.
In 2010, Rexha met Fall Out Boy's bassist Pete Wentz with whom she began working at a recording studio in New York City. She became a member and a lead vocalist of Wentz's new experimental project of a band, called Black Cards. The band played a variety of live shows and released several singles and remixes. However, in January 2012, Wentz announced that Rexha had left the band to pursue other endeavors. Bebe Rexha was awarded the Able Olman Scholarship for her contributions as a songwriter later that year.
In December 2014, Rexha released two more singles, "I'm Gonna Show You Crazy" and "Gone". On May 12, 2015, she released her debut EP, I Don't Wanna Grow Up, through Warner Bros. Records. She also co-wrote and was featured on David Guetta's single "Hey Mama", alongside Nicki Minaj and Afrojack. The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and received 1.1 million downloads as of June 2015[update]. The song did not originally credit Rexha, despite the fact that she sings the chorus and is featured on background vocals. Eventually, in June 2015, she was given a credit for her work.
2015-2017: Collaborations and All Your Fault series
In January 2015, Rexha co-wrote and was featured on G-Eazy's "Me, Myself & I". The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on Billboard Pop Songs. The song was originally titled "I Don't Need Anything" and was intended as a song for Rexha herself. Instead, she brought the song idea to G-Eazy and was featured during the chorus.
Rexha met Nicki Minaj's manager, Gee Roberson, and asked if Minaj would contribute to a new song. In March 2016, Rexha released her single, called "No Broken Hearts" featuring Nicki Minaj. In April 2016, the music video was released, directed by Dave Meyer. The video accumulated over 240 million views on YouTube.
On July 29, 2016, Rexha and Dutch DJ and record producer Martin Garrix released their single, "In the Name of Love". It peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number four on US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and entered the top 10 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. The music video was released on August 23, 2016, on Martin Garrix's YouTube channel.
On October 28, 2016, Rexha released "I Got You". Both "No Broken Hearts" and "I Got You" were originally intended for the All Your Fault album. The latter peaked at number 17 on US Billboard Pop Songs and at number 43 on US Billboard Hot 100. The music video was released on January 6, 2017 and reached over 50 million views in four weeks, and accumulated 250 million views on YouTube. Direction changed from a full studio album to a multi EP project and "No Broken Hearts" was scrapped, making "I Got You" the first and only single from All Your Fault: Pt. 1, released on February 17, 2017. The EP peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200. In March 2017 in Dallas, Rexha began her first solo headlining tour, promoting the EP across North America and Europe, named the All Your Fault Tour, with a total of 29 dates.
Rexha performing in London, 2017.
In May 2017, Bebe Rexha: The Ride aired on MTV--a documentary which explores the moments which changed Rexha's life and journey to stardom.
"The Way I Are (Dance with Somebody)" featuring Lil Wayne was released as the first single from All Your Fault: Pt. 2 on May 19, 2017. On June 12, Rexha performed the song at the Ubisoft E3 press conference, before announcing Just Dance 2018, on which the song appears. The second EP as part of the project was released on August 11, 2017. In support of the EP and American singer and songwriter Marc E. Bassy's debut album, Rexha planned to go on a co-headlining tour across the United States: the Bebe & Bassy Tour, in October 2017. The tour was short-lived due to an infection putting Rexha on strict vocal rest, with Marc E. Bassy eventually going on a solo US tour in March 2018.
On October 24, 2017, "Meant to Be" was released as the second single from Pt. 2, with the music video premiering a day earlier. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and as of November 17, 2018[update] has spent 50 weeks at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, breaking the record for most weeks atop the chart previously held by "Body Like a Back Road" by Sam Hunt.
In September 2017, Rexha began teasing new songs for a third installment in the All Your Fault series, with her manager going on record about its release. However, it appeared plans had changed, as Bebe revealed through a tweet in November 2017 that her next project would be called Expectations. Rexha revealed the cover art for this debut studio album on April 8, 2018, and the album was released on June 22, 2018. Previous singles from All Your Fault, "I Got You" and "Meant to Be" appear on Expectations as well.
On April 13, 2018, "Ferrari" and "2 Souls on Fire", the latter of which features Quavo of Migos, were released as promotional singles along with the pre-order.
On June 15, 2018, "I'm a Mess" was released as the first single from the album.