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With ‘Supalonely,’ Benee’s Pop Stardom Reaches New Heights: Emerging Artists Spotlight

In this week's Emerging Artists Spotlight, rising New Zealand pop sensation Benee is riding a wave all the way from the City of Sails to mainstream success in the global pop arena.

Welcome to Emerging Artists Spotlight, the Billboard series where we highlight a musician or band who has recently made their debut on the Emerging Artists chart. Whether they are new to the industry, or have been around for a while but are just starting to have a chart impact, the intention is to showcase where they are here and now. This week’s pick is New Zealand pop sensation Benee, who debuted at No. 23 on the chart dated March 21 thanks to the success of her hit single “Supalonely” featuring Gus Dapperton.

Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, rising star Benee is riding a wave all the way from the City of Sails to mainstream success in the global pop arena.

Four months after its initial release, the pop singer’s sophomore EP Stella & Steve made its debut on the Billboard 200 this week, landing at No. 160 on the chart dated March 21. The sunny EP’s belated climb onto the chart is thanks in large part to its earworm of a lead single — the self-deprecating, Gus Dapperton-assisted “Supalonely” — on which the 20-year-old matter-of-factly declares, “I know I f–ked up/ I’m just a loser/ Shouldn’t be with ya/ Guess I’m a quitter.”


“I love to play around and have fun with my lyrics, but sometimes the messages are raw, and I also like to get emotional with them,” the Republic Records signee tells Billboard about her approach to songcraft. “People often reach out and comment on how they relate to my lyrics, which makes me feel very warm inside. I like the idea of experimenting with all sorts of themes and just feeling free creatively.”

Equal parts quirky and sincere, “Supalonely” debuted on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart at No. 4 this week, with 8.3 million U.S. streams and 2,000 downloads sold according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Stella & Steve, meanwhile, also bowed at No. 10 on the Alternative Albums chart with 6,000 equivalent album units (EAU), and notched its highest placement yet on the Heatseekers Albums chart at No. 2.

Learn more about Benee below.

Name: Stella Rose Bennett

Age: 20

Recommended Benee track: “Blu”

“This song for me has been my favorite for a while now. I just love the sad stuff!” Benee tells Billboard. “I think the guitar and the way that the vocals weave throughout the song sets the vibe I really like. I also wrote and played the guitar bridge at the end of the song, which is a first for me.”

Outside of the music: “I’ve been really concerned lately about how the COVID-19 virus has spread so quickly and affected so many people and communities,” she shares. “I’m worried about how vulnerable people will cope, but also how it’s going to affect everyone in some kind of way. So many creative people are suffering because they can’t perform to their audiences, but I also worry about people on minimum wages who have no safety net and can’t afford health care.”

What’s next: “I’m currently doing lots of writing and recording in the studio that I’m really excited about!” Benee says. “Looking forward to putting some new music out there this year.”

Past Emerging Artists Spotlights: Breland | Spanish Love Songs | AJJ | Sleep On It | (Sandy) Alex G | Knocked Loose | Charly Bliss | Tank and the Bangas | Bear’s Den | J.S. Ondara | Delain | Mabel | Kiana Lede | I Am They