Back home in Staten Island with 'The Way I Are' singer Bebe Rexha

"Nightline" went with the 28-year-old singer and songwriter on a hometown tour as she reflected on her childhood, her success and her belief in destiny.
7:30 | 07/03/18

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Transcript for Back home in Staten Island with 'The Way I Are' singer Bebe Rexha
Thank Yo Reporter: Pop star B rexhais taking us O a ride. May I take a picture? Of course. Rorter: On the ferry to H hometownf Staten Island. New York City. Hi. How are you? We're so proud of you. Oh thank you. Y know, it's funny because I remember taking the Staten Island ferry at like 4:00 in the morning or after school, and now Ta the Staten Island ferry with the whole glamsquad. First time going back like ? Yeah, this is cool. ??? I can see you ??? songwriter has mastered the art of mak hits. ??? Because I you ??? sex appeal on "I got you." I got you, I gout ??? an defined genres ??? I don't need to be so uptigh??? with "Meant to be," the cntry collaboration with Florida Georgia line has been number 1 on the charts F the third week in a ro ??? it'll be,t'lle ??? ??? maybe just it be ??? but despite her rise Bebe has been true to her roots. Ts is like the sickest vie of the city right here. Growing U Staten Island what's this relationship you have with Manhattan? To me it was more like oh my gosh-I want to be a big stae day-I want to like come into the city and work in the city and make it out here. It was the city oreams for me. Reporter: Spent years paying her dues and writing for others. ??? I'm Frid with thester ??? ??? that's under my ??? remember when enem and rihan dropped "Monster"? Bebe wrote it. David Etta's "Hey ma yeah, that's hers. It's funny. I never wanted to write songs. I just sawike Christina Aguilera and bri spears and iny's chi and I wanted to just be singer. It'sn a really long journey trying to like I'm Bebe R and this is who I am an I'm not just like the faceless songwriter or artist. Reporter: Her cldhood home a humble duplex O Thi crowded block. I'm gng to show to you my house. Reporter: But her goals were R basic. I wll my songs. I even pla piano here. It was awesome. So this is my room. Reporter: Is it? 10 by 10 feet or whatever. Reporter: Theds of ambition were planted her and intentions were set to bec a worldwide star. It' dooat I heard a lot Abou huh? Yeah. I mean, this kind of -- this is kd of embarrassing. Reporter: This is L and school vision boar yeah. Reporter:rldwide superstar. Look atyou. Aefore I wrote the monster for eminem and Rihanna I wrote this. "I will write international smash." Rter: Bebe gives a nod taup rnd her dad for the idea. I came home after school and she said we started out she put a C on her airmoror and she looked at it every Y, like to opr Winfrey for $500 million. So I said I'moing to write it on my door. ??? I'm a less I'm loser ??? ??? I'm a hater I'm a user ??? Repter: Her latest single "I'm a mess" went goldn just one day. What's kept kind of going is sense of likger and drive and passion from M but also a Senf insecurity, of feeling like I N to belong and prove myself to the world. Reporter: Despite her success E's also confronting stardom in real . As we witnessed when she spotted a billboard for her new album in her old neighborhood It's Lally five blocks from here. This is insane. I have to take an stagram.this is so awesome. Can I take a picture of this? Hey, mom. Ta a picture ofme, mom. I have a really strong team around me. I drive them C because I have momenf like just crying and being on the road and being like I want to -- like watching pride & prejudice and wing a love E, and being like I wao be in love. Or just happy mos. Sometimes I'll just cry to myse because I'm happy but I just don't ever show that to people. Have this weird thing ofeing scared like I'm going jinx things. Really? I'm superstitious. Yeah. Reporter: The a connection that culture. She's D of where she's from. R father's an imant. Her mother is first generation. Both parents made sacrifices F her to be here. Perhaps their journey and th values they inl that separate her from the pack. L be honest. The other day my mom, I acted up a little bit, and listen, I'm 28. My mom took my cell phone away. She took my laptop away. I was in T hotel room and she literally body slammed me to thebed. It's embarrassing. I was acting up a little bit and acting a little like a diva and's like you're not trying this with me. My dad mak that really clear. He like I don't careow much money you make. You can have a bil dollars. Respect for otheople and especially your elders and for yourself ithe most important thin the stress of the indtry gets to me sometimes and all the traveling andstantly going, ING, gone. ??? I'm a ferrari ??? ??? afterhe party' gone ??? Reporter: Those feelings something she writes about songs like "Ferrari." How does being a songwriter give you more leverage or po You know, if youon't write your O songs, it's kind O like thiuck game. You have T believe in you on other terms. Do they think you're pretty enough O skinnynough O can you dance? Are you a girl that girls want to be friends with or guys want to be with? It's who you know and hh do you want to pay F record whereaen you're a songwriteryou write song and you are the controllend you own the publishing. We're at tottenville high schoolnd this is where I went to high school.I remr you. How are ce to see you. I ca believe you're here. I graduated in 2007. I know. I'm still here. Ou look great. Reporter: Bebe came back to surpse a group of 60tudents who think they're hero a studcouncil meeting. ??? It's juste mys and I ??? Reporter: They bust out Bebe's old hit "M myself and I." ??? I don't need a hand tod ??? ??? even W the night is cold ??? ??? I got that fire in my sl ??? nah, nah, nah,nah,nah, nah ??? ??? nah, nah, nah,nah, nah ??? ??? nah, nah, nah, nah, nah ??? I was so nerve I was like they're not going to know who I I'm Glau all screamed I thought they're gng to be like who this bitch? Reporter: For theids she's a loc hero they can identify with. I hope you guys kill it and ha successful career. Believe inyourself, love yourlf. Now it sucks Simes bei a girl. Butupport each other and done competitive. Becausest me, you're G to need each other. Reporter: What is it about her that's aource of nation for you? She's so humble about it. And she's beautiful. And the fact that she was like I T know if anyone would know me but everyone kw her. Being from the same place as her, even the same Schoo it's ool how she's so successful and all of U want to be the same way she is. Reporter: This is the story that's still playing T. Just kid from Staten isnd who dared to dream. I loufguys. If Y have any questions you have mye-mail. Don't give it to any Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Zachary quic on Staten Island.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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