Bleta Rexha was born on August 30, 1989, in Brooklyn, New York,[8] to ethnic Albanian parents.Her father, Flamur Rexha, an ethnic Albanian born in Debar, Republic of Macedonia, emigrated to the US at the age of 21, while her mother, Bukurije Rexha, was born in the US from an ethnic Albanian family descending from Gostivar, Republic of Macedonia. In Albanian, Bleta means "bumble bee"; derived from this, Rexha gave herself the nickname "Bebe" as part of her stage name.At the age of 6, Bleta and her family later moved to Staten Island, New York.

At her elementary school, Rexha played trumpet for over nine years, while teaching herself to play guitar and piano. Rexha attended Tottenville High School on Staten Island,where she took part in a variety of musicals.She also joined the choir, while still in high school. After joining the choir, she discovered that her voice was a coloratura soprano

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 the talent scout Samantha Cox, who encouraged Rexha to enroll into songwriting classes in New York City.