Rebecca Black in November 2011
June 21, 1997 |
Irvine, California, U.S.
|Labels||RB Records, Maker Studios|
Rebecca Black (born June 21, 1997) is an American pop singer and dancer who gained extensive media attention with the 2011 single "Friday". Her mother paid $4,000 to have the single and an accompanying music video put out as a vanity label through the record label ARK Music Factory. The song was co-written and produced by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson of Ark Music Factory. After the video went viral on YouTube and other social media sites, "Friday" was derided by many music critics and viewers, who dubbed it "the worst song ever." The music video received around 167 million views, causing Black to gain international attention as a "viral star", before being removed from the site on June 16. Black re-uploaded it in her own channel three months later.
Rebecca Black was born on June 21, 1997, in Irvine, California. She is the daughter of John Jeffery Black and Georgina Marquez Kelly, both veterinarians. She is half Mexican, and her father is of Italian, English, and Polish descent. In 2011 Black left public school in favor of homeschooling, both in response to constant verbal bullying at school and to focus more of her time on her career. Black later said that her main reason for the move to homeschooling was more for career reasons rather than the bullying.
Ark Music Factory and "Friday" (2010–2011)
In late 2010, a classmate of Black and music-video client of ARK Music Factory, a Los Angeles label, told her about the company. Black's mother paid $4,000 for Ark Music to produce the music video while the Blacks retained ownership of both the master and the video. The single, "Friday", written entirely by Ark, was released on YouTube and iTunes. The song's video was uploaded to YouTube on February 10, 2011, and received approximately 1,000 views in the first month. The video went viral on March 11, 2011, acquiring millions of views on YouTube in a matter of days, becoming the most-talked-about topic on social networking site Twitter, and garnering mostly negative media coverage. As of June 14, 2011, the video had received more than 3,190,000 "dislikes" on YouTube and more than 451,000 "likes". As of March 22, 2011, first-week sales of her digital single were estimated to be around 40,000 by Billboard. On March 22, 2011, Black appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, during which she performed the single and discussed the negative reaction to it. The song has peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 and the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 58 and 33, respectively. In the UK, the song debuted at number 61 on the UK Singles Chart. In response to the YouTube video of "Friday", Black began to receive death threats in late February 2011, specifically by phone and email. The threats were investigated by the Anaheim Police Department.
Black teamed up with Funny or Die on April Fool's Day (the site was renamed Friday or Die) for a series of videos, including one which addresses the controversy about the driving kids in her music video, stating "We so excited about safety." In March 2011, Ryan Seacrest reportedly helped sign Black to manager Debra Baum's DB Entertainment. She also stated that she is a fan of Justin Bieber, and expressed interest in performing a duet with him.
MTV selected Black to host its first online awards show, the O Music Awards Fan Army Party in April 2011. As an homage to "Friday", Black appears in the music video for Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", in which Black plays alongside Perry as the hostess of a party Perry attends. "Friday" was also performed on the second season of Glee in the episode, "Prom Queen", which originally aired May 10, 2011. When asked about why the song was covered on Glee, show creator Ryan Murphy replied, "The show pays tribute to pop culture and, love it or hate it, that song is pop culture."
RB Records (2011–present)
After the fallout with Ark Music Factory, Black announced she would start an independent record label named RB Records. Black released a self-produced single titled "My Moment" on July 18 by her own label RB Records, with an accompanying music video, publishing it to her YouTube channel; the video as of November 27 has received, approximately, 590,000 "dislikes" against 340,000 "likes." In the "My Moment" music video, director Morgan Lawley features real life video of Black's life from both before and after her fame. On Friday, September 16, Black re-uploaded "Friday" on YouTube.
Black appears as herself in the music video of Katy Perry's single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". She appears as the host of a party in the house next door to that of "Kathy Beth Terry". At the end of the video Perry attempts to blame the excesses of the party (which had subsequently moved to her own house) on Black, only for her parents (Corey Feldman and Debbie Gibson) to disbelieve her. Later on, Perry (in character as Kathy Beth Terry) and Black hosted a livestream on Tinychat.com after weeks of Black being mentioned on Terry's Twitter. Perry, who performs Friday routinely on stage as part of California Dreams Tour, also brought Black on stage to perform the song as a duet during her show at the Nokia Theater on August 5, 2011.
On October 25, 2011 Black announced she started filming her upcoming music video which she first identified as 'POI' and later identified as "Person of Interest". Black said, "The basis of it is that it's a love song but it's not a love song. It's about almost teenage crushes – when you're not in love yet but you really like a guy – which I'm really excited about because I don't think there are too many out like that. It's very much a dance type song. It will make you get up and dance and sing along in your car." A teaser of the official music video was posted on November 3, 2011. Black released another teaser including a snippet of the song on November 10, 2011 on her YouTube channel. The single and its accompanying music video were released on November 15, 2011. On December 20, 2011, "Friday" was revealed as the No. 1 video of the year by YouTube and Black hosted a short video called "YouTube Rewind". On May 8, 2012, Black released her fourth official single, "Sing It". The music video premiered on Black's YouTube the same day. On November 24, 2012, Black released her new single, "In Your Words". The music video premiered on Black's YouTube the same day.
Black was planning to release her official debut album around October 31, 2012, which she said would include "a bunch of different kinds of stuff." The album is being recorded at a studio belonging to music producer Charlton Pettus. However as of May, 2013 there has been no word of an official release. In an interview with The Sun, Black said that the songs will be "appropriate and clean".
Black was featured in an ABC Primetime Nightline: Celebrity Secrets special entitled Underage and Famous: Inside Child Stars' Lives. she was also brought to Australia by Telstra to promote the launch of their 4G service. Zeitgeist, which sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries, listed Black as "#1 Most Searched - Google". The searches for the teen singer topped even those of pop icons Lady Gaga and Adele. In 2012, Black signed onto the Maker Studios YouTube network. She creates YouTube videos, among these are primarily original songs and video blogs. In her video blogs, she answers questions from fans and gives updates on events in her life.
Black has pledged to donate profits from the sales of her song "Friday" towards her school, El Rancho Charter School, and shortly after the 2011 Japan Earthquake, to emergency relief in the country.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Person of Interest"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"In Your Words"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
(with Dave Days)
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|"My Moment"||Morgan Lawley|
|"Person of Interest"||Mazik Self|
|"Sing It"||2012||Ryan Pesecky|
|"In Your Words"|
- Appearances in
|"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"
(Katy Perry with appearance by Rebecca Black)
|2011||Tu Xia Chuan Qi||Penny||Voice|
|2012||U B Da Judge||Film short|
|2012||Katy Perry: Part of Me||Herself||Cameo Appearance|
|2012||MyMusic||Herself||Web show; "Back in Black!" (episode 6)|
Awards and nominations
- In April 2011, the MTV O Music Awards, one of the annual awards established by MTV to honor the art, creativity, personality and technology of music into the digital space nominated "Which Seat Can I Take?" for "Favorite Animated GIF" that included footage by Rebecca Black featuring 50 Cent and Bert.
- Black was named "Choice Web Star" at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards in August 2011.
|2011||"Which Seat Can I Take?"
(50 Cent, Rebecca Black, Bert)
|MTV O Music Awards||Favorite Animated GIF||Nominated|
|Herself||2011 Teen Choice Awards||Choice Web Star||Won|
|J-14 Teen Icon Awards||Iconic Web Star||Nominated|
|2012||Hollywood Teen TV Awards||Favorite Breakout Star||Nominated|
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1212). Jun 22, 2012. p. 24.
- "Twitter". 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Schillaci, Sophie (2011-07-18). "Rebecca Black 'My Moment' Video Premieres on YouTube". The Hollywood Reporter (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- Belkin, Lisa (2011-03-25). "An Internet Star's Mom Responds". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Whitworth, Dan (2011-03-21). "'Worst song ever' gets 29m views after going viral". BBC. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- Pierce, Tony (2011-03-18). "Rebecca Black, teen singer, admits she cried when her hit song was deemed 'Worst Song Ever'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- AFP (2011-03-22). "'Worst song ever' tops 30 million views". ABC News Australia. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- Black, Rebecca (2011-03-21). "Twitter: Rebecca Black (verified account)". Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Hall, Stan (2011-03-25). "As 'Friday' finally fades, a look back at an old little meme". The Oregonian (Advance Publications). Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Tumblr: stay lovely.". 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Terra: Rebecca Black tiene origen mexicano.". 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "Rebecca Black opts for homeschooling after taunts". New York Post. 2011-08-10
- "Rebecca Black ran toward 'stuff' like VMAs, not away from bullies".
- Lee, Chris (2011-03-17). "Rebecca Black: 'I'm Being Cyberbullied'". The Daily Beast. The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- Chelin, Pamela (2011-04-01). "Exclusive: Rebecca Black Fighting Ark Music Factory Over 'Friday'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- Gello, Lee-Maree (2011-03-15). "Rebecca Black Friday Song Is Top Twitter Trending Topic YouTube". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Perpetua, Matthew (2011-03-15). "Why Rebecca Black's Much Mocked Viral Hit Is Actually Good". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "Rebecca Black Pulls Friday Music Video Off YouTube". WooEB News. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- Peoples, Glen (2011-03-22). "Rebecca Black's First Week Sales High But Not In Millions". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Rebecca Black (performer) (2011-03-22). "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. NBC.
- Trust, Gary (2011-03-23). "Lady Gaga, 'Glee' Songs Dominate Hot 100". Billboard (New York: Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- "Rebecca Black – Friday". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Official UK Singles Top 100 – 2 April 2011". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Wright, David. "Rebecca Black, 'Friday' Singer, Receiving Death Threats". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
- "Rebecca Black Death Threats Under Investigation". Uk.eonline.com. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- Angelo, Megan. "'Friday or Die': Rebecca Black takes over Funny or Die". Business Insider. Silicon Alley Insider, Inc. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Rebecca Black Gets Career Boost From Ryan Seacrest". Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- "Rebecca Black to Justin Bieber: ‘Would you do a duet with me?’". The Ampersand. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Curran, Aimee. "Rebecca Black Says O Music Awards Had 'Great Energy': Online sensation also talks about her 'awkward' newfound fame.". Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- Halperin & Goldberg, Shirley & Lesley. "'Glee' Cover of Rebecca Black's 'Friday,' Explained". Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- "My Moment – Official Music Video". YouTube. 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- Alan Duke, "Rebecca Black's 'Moment' comes next Monday", CNN Entertainment, 2011-07-11
- "Rebecca Black – Friday (Official Video)". YouTube. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- Music-mix.ew.com, Katy Perry, T.G.I.F.
- "Kathy Beth Terry & Rebecca Black Are Throwing A Live Online Friday Night Party! Tune In Now!". 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- Thompson, Erica (2011-08-08). "Katy Perry Brings Rebecca Black Onstage for 'Friday' Duet: Video". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- "Rebecca Black Coming With New Music Video". andPOP. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "Rebecca Black to Release Debut Album in November". PopCrush. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "POI COMING SOON...". YouTube. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Rebecca Black". Rebecca Black. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "Rebecca Black tops all other YouTube videos in '11 – Yahoo! News". Old.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- "Sing It". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- "Rebecca Black Returns, Releases "In Your Words"". The Hollywood Gossip. 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "iTunes - Music - In Your Words - Single by Rebecca Black". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "New Music: Rebecca Black - 'In Your Words'". Directlyrics.com. 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- Kaufman, Amy (2011-08-28). "Rebecca Black ran toward 'stuff' like VMAs, not away from bullies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- Associated Press (2011-04-29). "Rebecca Black recording new tunes". Dawn. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- Canning, Andrea (2011-08-09). "Rebecca Black, YouTube Sensation Turned Award-Winning Pop Star, Talks About Growing Fame and Harassment". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- "The Fun has just begun – 4G". Telstra. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- "Google Zeitgeist 2011". Google. 2011.
- "rebecca YouTube Stats by SocialBlade". Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- "YouTube channel video list". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "ASK REBECCA – 1st Installment (:". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "It's a wrap on today's photo shoot!". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- "Rebecca Black to donate Friday proceeds to Japan". Marie Claire. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
- "Top 100 Music Hits, 71–80". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 28 March 2011". Pandora Archive. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- "Nielsen Canadian Charts Update" (PDF). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "GfK Chart-Track". Irish Recorded Music Association. GfK. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- "Rebecca Black to Release Debut Album in November". PopCrush. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "Mazik-Self-Aviary". Boulevard Industries. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- "O Music Award for Favorite Animated GIF". Tj.mtv.com. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- Mendoza, Nadia (2011-08-08). "A baby Gaga in the making? US actress Lucy Hale makes a fashion statement with heelless shoes at Teen Choice Awards". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 2011-08-08.