Bebe Rexha: The music industry can be a dark place
The singer also opened up about difficult experiences with men in the industry.
Bebe Rexha has said she was told to lose 20lb and used to starve herself before music videos when she first landed a record deal.
The US singer – who earlier this year revealed that designers refused to dress her for the Grammys because she was “too big” – said when she started out she was told she needed to slim down despite only weighing around nine stone.
She told Cosmopolitan magazine: “When I first got signed, the label said, ‘Are you ready to get in boot camp shape?’ They wanted me to lose 20lb. Back then I was so small, I was only 130lb.
“It f***** me up. I was so cold all the time.
“I would starve myself before filming a music video.
“She’d [a female creative director] sit opposite me at the dinner table and say, ‘You’re not losing enough.’ All I was eating was salad.”
In January, Rexha posted a message on social media saying designers had refused to dress her for the Grammys because of her size, even though she was a nominee at the awards.
“It broke my heart,” she told the magazine. “I was so sad, so depressed.
“I felt like I was garbage. I thought to myself, ‘This is bullshit’. I was mad.
“I wasn’t trying to get back at anyone, but I wasn’t standing for it anymore.
“I was in the studio and I just left, went into the kitchen, and made a video on my phone.
“If a [US] size 6/8 is too big then I don’t know what to tell you… That’s crazy.
“You’re saying that all the women in the world that are a size 8 and up are not beautiful and they cannot wear your dresses… f*** you, I don’t want to wear your f****** dresses.”
The singer also opened up about difficult experiences with people she has worked with in the music industry, which she said “can be a dark place”.
“There was a producer who would come into the studio and massage my feet,” said the 30-year-old.
“One time he tried to go above my knees and was getting a little rough, [so] I pulled my feet away. He said, ‘Nah, I’m going to do what I want’.
“But I was raised to never let someone touch my body if I don’t want them to.”
“He’s really famous. My former managers said, ‘Just work with him, you need a hit song’.”
She said of another incident: “I was alone in the studio and a [different] producer had a group of five or six guys with him. I had heard things about him from his past and I just couldn’t take it anymore.
“I felt like I was going to get raped. I quietly called myself a taxi from the recording booth, which was enclosed, and I got the f*** out of there.
“It was the worst night ever.”
The September issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from September 5.