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Bebe Rexha on Making Chart History: ‘I Never Thought a New York Girl Like Me Would Have a Country Hit’

Pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and powerhouse country duo Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" tops Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart (dated Feb. 17) for an 11th week, granting Rexha a record.

Pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and powerhouse country duo Florida Georgia Line‘s “Meant to Be” tops Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart (dated Feb. 17) for an 11th week, granting Rexha a record.

The song becomes the longest-leading No. 1 in the chart’s history for a song by a lead female. It passes the 10-week reign of Taylor Swift‘s fellow country/pop crossover hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in 2012 and 2013; Swift’s hit retains the record for the most weeks at No. 1 for a female unaccompanied by another act.

(Hot Country Songs began as an all-encompassing genre songs chart in 1958 and adopted its current streaming-, airplay- and sales-based methodology on Oct. 20, 2012, the first week at No. 1 for Swift’s “Never.”)

“Meant” is being dually promoted to pop and country radio, as it lifts 16-14 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart, 17-13 on Pop Songs and 22-20 on Country Airplay (12.3 million impressions, up 25 percent, in the week ending Feb. 11, according to Nielsen Music).

Rexha wrote “Meant” with FGL’s Tyler Hubbard, as well as Josh Miller and David Garcia.

“I have always respected the country genre and, growing up in New York City, I knew of [country] artists that had crossed over to the pop side, like Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks and Taylor Swift,” Rexha tells Billboard. “I never thought a New York girl like me would have a country hit, but I guess it goes to show you that some things are just… meant to be.

“When we wrote the song, Tyler was just doing what he does best with his country roots and I was doing what I knew best with my roots. We were just being true to ourselves,” Rexha says. “The meaning is simple and honest, and that’s why I think it’s resonating with the world. The beautiful thing about music is that it allows you to break boundaries, and that’s what I want to be remembered for: breaking boundaries.”


On the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, “Meant” romps into the top 10 (11-9), marking Rexha’s third top 10 and FGL’s second; “Cruise” reached No. 4 in June 2013.

“Meant” marks the second Hot 100 top 10 for a country act in under a year: Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road,” which led Hot Country Songs for a record 34 weeks, peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100 dated April 22.