Eleven-year-old Sophia Grace has built up quite a following, thanks to multiple appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. This week, she makes her Billboard Hot 100 debut with her new track “Best Friends,” which, among other placements, enters the chart at No. 87.
The British-born Sophia Grace first gained attention in 2011 singing her cover of Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” on YouTube, which has drawn 47 million global views to date. The clip led to DeGeneres bringing her onto her show to perform “Bass” with Minaj herself.
Sophia Grace (last name: Brownlee) and her sidekick cousin Rosie McClelland have since been interviewed by Russell Brand, hosted a tea party with Taylor Swift and starred in a full-length movie, Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure. (The film’s soundtrack spent a week at No. 24 on the Soundtracks chart last June, marking Sophia Grace’s Billboard chart debut.) Additionally, the 2013 book Tea Time With Sophia Grace & Rosie debuted at No. 2 on the New York Times‘ children’s best-sellers list.
Now, “Best Friends” is yet another viral hit for Sophia Grace. (Following “Bass,” her 2013 clip for “Girls Just Gotta Have Fun” has racked 62 million worldwide clicks on YouTube.) The Jan. 7 release of the “Friends” video pushed the title to the top of the real-time Billboard +Twitter Trending 140 chart and sparked its No. 8 rank on this week’s weekly Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks recap. “Friends” garnered 3.1 million U.S. views in the tracking week ending Jan. 11, according to Nielsen Music, placing it at No. 37 on Streaming Songs and helping it arrive on the Hot 100.
In honor of her big week, Sophia Grace was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer five questions, via email, for Billboard.
Tell us about “Best Friends.” What was the inspiration behind the song? How did it all come together?
We received a demo called “Best Friends,” and my dad and I loved it. I was so excited to go into the studio and put my vocals on it. My dad wrote a rap verse and I added that into the song. I love the message in the song and I think it’s a great jam for all girls to dance and sing along to.
What was your favorite part of shooting the music video?
The fashion show. The other girls and I had so much fun walking up and down the catwalk. Also, I love the part in the store when I performed the rap. It was so cool!
How has your life changed since first appearing on Ellen’s show more than three years ago?
My life has stayed pretty much the same, apart from being noticed in public, which is really cool because I love taking selfies with my fans. I still study hard and, in fact, my math has improved over the past three years.
What is your favorite song right now?
Fergie‘s “L.A.Love (la la).” It’s such a cool song with a great beat.
What can we expect next from Sophia Grace?
I’m going to carry on recording songs. I also love acting so much, so I hope to do more of that very soon.