Charlie Puth Fanboys over Gabby Barrett's 'I Hope' and Creates a Remix of Her New No. 1 Song

Gabby Barrett’s dream came true this week when her debut single, “I Hope,” finally topped the country charts. But why stop at that?

The 20-year-old torch singer is also celebrating a beyond-her-wildest-dreams moment with a surprise collaboration with one of her pop idols, Charlie Puth — and it was all Puth’s idea.

The new version of “I Hope,” with Puth taking a revised second verse and lending his vocals to the intro, bridge and chorus, grew out of the 28-year-old pop star’s love for the song. He told the world as much in an Instagram Story a few weeks ago that floored Barrett.

“He captioned it and put ‘wow’ when he tagged me,” Barrett tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I still can’t believe it. When you release music, you don’t ever think that these big stars are gonna hear it.”

Barrett confesses she let out a squeal when she saw the Instagram Story. Of course, the next thing she did was take a screenshot of it to share with her family members. She says she’s been a fan of Puth’s since falling for “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” his 2016 collaboration with Selena Gomez.

During the broadcast, Puth recalled his initial contact to Barrett: “I DMed you like an absolute creep. I was like, all caps, ‘Oh my God.’ There hasn’t been a song since, like, ‘I Hope You Dance’ [Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 hit] that has a run-on chorus that doesn’t sound like run-on sentences. It’s the continuous flow, like ‘Before He Cheats’ [Carrie Underwood’s 2005 hit], and there hasn’t been anything like that in so long, and you cracked the code!”

Puth added that “it wasn’t hard for me to hop on this because the song is already so, so good. It’s an honor for me to be part of it.”

Now that she’s conquered the country charts, Barrett is hoping the new version finds a home on the pop chart. “All of the genres are just blending now, which I think is another super-cool thing,” she says. “Country is and always will be my heart, but I don’t have a problem with it spilling over into pop if it wants to.”

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