It’s time to recognise Bebe Rexha as one of the most special pop stars out there

After missing out on the Grammy for best country/duo performance and best new artist last week, Bebe Rexha tweeted: “I still feel like a winner. I’m alive and I get to make more music.”

That got CelebMix thinking… Bebe Rexha deserves a lot more praise than she is being afforded. Musically, she’s one of the best pop writers out there and, as a role model, Rexha’s relationship with her fans is a special one.

The Grammy nomination for Best New Artist was well deserved. In 2018 Rexha released her debut album, Expactations. The album’s brutally honest lyrics combined with golden production went down a treat with critics. Thinking about it, it’s pretty outrageous that a debut album can be quite so good. What’s more, it brought singles ‘Meant To Be’, nominated for a Billboard award, a VMA and a Grammy (it also spent 50 weeks as Country Number 1), ‘I’m A Mess’ and ‘Ferrari’ – all huge hits. On top of it all, countless live performances saw her stun crowds with stunning live vocals.

But, really, the nomination for Best New Artist doesn’t acknowledge all that Rexha has achieved. Expectations may have been the star’s debut album, but it’s a record that has come after so many years of relentless work. 2018 may be the year Rexha broke into the mainstream as a solo artist, but there’s nothing new about her knack of nailing a pop ditty. She is as experienced as they come.

In October 2013, five years before Expectations, Eminem released Rihanna-collaboration ‘The Monster’ – a track whose hook would help it become certified platinum five times over. Really, that infectious chorus came from a young Rexha’s original track ‘Monster Under My Bed’. It’s one of the best hooks of the past decade and that’s all credit to Rexha. In fact, her vocals are even on the Eminem x Rihanna recording…

Between then and 2016, Rexha’s writing and vocal abilities became hotly sought after. ‘Hey Mama’ is widely credited to David Guetta and Nicki Minaj, however, it’s Rexha who is on that memorable chorus, and she’s THAT voice on 2015’s ‘Me, Myself & I’ with G-Eazy. There are other songwriting credits too and, at the same time, Rexha released criminally underplayed singles ‘I’m Going To Show You Crazy’, ‘I Can’t Stop Drinking About You’ and ‘Gone’.

A year before Expectations when Rexha dropped her EPs All Your Fault: Part 1 and All Your Fault: Part 2, whose artistry sounded like no other, it became clear – Bebe Rexha’s name was finally coming into the spotlight. The Best New Artist nomination is well deserved for Expectations alone but, even if she had won, the win wouldn’t have done all of Rexha’s achievements justice.

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The quality of her music speaks volumes for itself. But, it’s who Rexha is that makes her so special. Always laughing on Instagram live streams, joking with fans on Twitter and a breeze to interview, Rexha is a mood lifter (have you seen her ‘Baby Shark’ cover yet?).

At the same time, the 29-year-old keeps it real too – she’s a pop star her fans can relate to. Recently she called out Grammy designers for deeming a size eight to be “too big”, is a fierce supporter of the LGBT+ community and an outspoken feminist, appearing alongside Kesha for her ‘Praying’ Grammy 2018 performance and organising her own Women in Harmony Dinner to support females in the industry.

“That performance was not about us. It was a moment for Kesha and, for me, about the female movement […] the message for any female in the music business.”

Bebe Rexha, Billboard

It’s in her music too. Expectations is full of honesty, whether it be mental health struggles on ‘Sad’, insecurity on ‘Don’t Get Any Closer’ or begging for the truth on ‘Knees’. Rexha lays it all out for fans to see, highs and lows, and that is so commendable.

She may not have got the Grammy gong, but Bebe Rexha is bigger than those awards anyway. She’s here to stay.

Bebe Rexha’s new single ‘Last Hurrah’ is available now. Let us know what you think @CelebMix on Twitter.

Written by Toby Bryant

Student journalist: music, sport, culture and just about anything in-between… Have worked for The Courier, NME, Daily Mirror, FourFourTwo & British Rowing, amongst others.
@toby_bryant_ on Twitter