Rebecca Black in 2014
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". 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." Between its February 10, 2011 upload date and its temporary removal from YouTube on June 16, the music video received around 167 million views, gaining Black international attention as a viral star. Black re-uploaded it to her own channel three months later.
Rebecca Renee Black was born on June 21, 1997, in Irvine, California. She is the daughter of John Jeffery Black and Georgina Marquez Kelly, both veterinarians. Her mother is half Mexican, and her father, originally from Iowa, is of Italian, English, and Polish descent. The couple also had a son, Chase, born August 25, 1999. They divorced in 2003, when Black was in first grade. As of June 2013, her grandmother lives in Illinois, and her aunts and uncles live around the U.S.
Black attended private school from kindergarten to 6th grade, and moved to a public school due to bullying. She joined the school's musical theater program, where she felt she was "meant to be." In April 2011, Black dropped out in favor of homeschooling, citing both a need to focus on her career and a desire to avoid taunts from her former classmates. Black was also failing English class due to her busy schedule.
2010–2011: Breakthrough with "Friday"
In late 2010, a classmate of Black and music-video client of Los Angeles record label ARK Music Factory 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, 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. The single was released on March 14, with first-week sales estimated to be around 40,000 by Billboard. On March 22, Black appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, during which she performed the song and discussed the negative reaction to it. The song peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 and the New Zealand Singles Chart at numbers 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 phone and email death threats, which were investigated by the Anaheim Police Department.
Black teamed up with Funny or Die on April Fool's Day 2011 (when the comedy site was renamed Friday or Die) for a series of videos, including one about the underage teens driving a car in her "Friday" video. She signed to manager Debra Baum's DB Entertainment, reportedly with Ryan Seacrest's help. Black 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 appeared 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. A cover of "Friday" was performed on Glee in the second season episode, "Prom Queen". 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."
Not long after the "Friday" video went viral on YouTube, Black and her mother, Georgina Kelly, got into legal issues with Ark Music over rights to the song. In a letter from Kelly's lawyer to Ark Music on March 29, 2011, it was alleged that Ark Music failed to fulfill the terms of their November 2010 agreement by not giving her the song and video's master recordings, by claiming Black as exclusively signed to the label, and by exploiting the song without permission — for example, selling a "Friday" ringtone. While Ark founder (and "Friday" co-writer) Patrice Wilson stated that Kelly "will get the masters and the song [ . . . ] [t]hey can have it all", and agreed that Black was not exclusive to Ark, his attorney claimed that Ark owns the copyright for the song and the November agreement is invalid. In June 2011, Ark Music Factory started charging $2.99 to watch the music video on YouTube. Later that month, "Friday" was removed as a result of the legal dispute; it was restored to YouTube on September 16, 2011, on Black's official channel.
"Friday" was revealed as YouTube's No. 1 video of 2011, with Black hosting a short video called "YouTube Rewind" in the year-end recap. Despite the over 167 million views during its first four months, prior to its temporary removal, "Friday" had amassed more than 3,190,000 "dislikes".
2011–present: Other projects
After the fallout with Ark Music Factory, Black started an independent record label named RB Records. She released a self-produced single titled "My Moment" on July 18, 2011, the first on her label, with an accompanying music video published to her YouTube channel the same day. In the video, director Morgan Lawley features real life footage of Black from both before and after her fame. In late October 2011, production began on the music video for Black's third single, "Person of Interest". This was how Black described the song: "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." The single and its accompanying music video were released on November 15, 2011. Black released two more singles in 2012: "Sing It" in May, and "In Your Words" in November.
Black was planning to release her debut album in late 2011, which she said would include "a bunch of different kinds of stuff." The album was being recorded at a studio belonging to music producer Charlton Pettus. However, the album was never released. 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.
In late 2013, Black released the song "Saturday". For her sequel to "Friday", she collaborated with Dave Days. It became Black's second song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 55. While it reached a higher position than "Friday" (number 58), "Saturday" was on the chart only one week, compared to six for "Friday".
Aside from her original music, Black has been posting videos regularly on her YouTube channel, which include blogs (sometimes with other people on YouTube), question-and-answer videos, and occasional covers of songs by other artists. This includes her versions of two Miley Cyrus songs from 2013. That July, Black collaborated with fellow YouTube personality Jon D in an acoustic cover of "We Can't Stop", for which lyrical changes were made. Black followed with an acoustic version of "Wrecking Ball" in November.
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 that country.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions|
|"Person of Interest"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"In Your Words"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Saturday" (with Dave Days)||2013||55||—||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|"My Moment"||Morgan Lawley|
|"Person of Interest"||Mazik Self|
|"Sing It"||2012||Ryan Pesecky|
|"In Your Words"|
|"Saturday" (with Dave Days)||2013|
(with Dave Days)
|"We Can't Stop"
(with Jon D)
- Appearances in
|"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"
(Katy Perry with appearance by Rebecca Black)
|2011||Legend of a Rabbit||Penny||Voice|
|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|
- 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.
- "Twitter". 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Belkin, Lisa (2011-03-25). "An Internet Star's Mom Responds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- 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.
- rebecca (June 28, 2013). DRAW MY LIFE - REBECCA BLACK on YouTube. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- "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 ran toward 'stuff' like VMAs, not away from bullies". Los Angeles Times. August 2011.
- "Rebecca Black opts for homeschooling after taunts". New York Post. 2011-08-10
- 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.
- 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.
- "Exclusive: Rebecca Black Fighting Ark Music Factory Over 'Friday'". Rolling Stone. April 1, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- "Rebecca Black's "Friday" removed from YouTube". BBC. June 20, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "Rebecca Black – Friday (Official Video)". YouTube. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- "Rebecca Black tops all other YouTube videos in '11 – Yahoo! News". Old.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- "YouTube Rewind 2011". YouTube. December 20, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- "Why Rebecca Black's "Friday" Was Yanked Off YouTube". Us Weekly. June 17, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- "Rebecca Black Pulls Friday Music Video Off YouTube". WooEB News. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "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 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.
- "Rebecca Black". Rebecca Black. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "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.[dead link]
- 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.[dead link]
- "Google Zeitgeist 2011". Google. 2011.
- "rebecca YouTube Stats by SocialBlade". Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- Rutherford, Kevin (December 7, 2013). "Rebecca Black Finally Makes It to the Weekend With 'Saturday': Watch". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- "Saturday - Rebecca Black & Dave Days - Official Music Video". YouTube. December 7, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Lipshutz, Jason (March 21, 2014). "10 Viral Video Hits That Charted On The Hot 100". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "YouTube channel video list". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- James Montgomery (July 8, 2013). "Miley Cyrus' 'We Can't Stop' Gets Cleaned Up By Rebecca Black". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
- "Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus - (Cover) by Rebecca Black". YouTube. Google. November 8, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
- "Rebecca Black to donate Friday proceeds to Japan". Marie Claire. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
- Peak positions for singles in the US:
- All except noted: "Rebecca Black – Chart history: The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- "Saturday": Gruger, William (December 18, 2014). "Rebecca Black's 'Saturday' Follows 'Friday' Onto Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Rebecca Black – Chary history: Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "Rebecca Black – Chary history: Heatseekers Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "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.
- "Mazik-Self-Aviary". Boulevard Industries. Retrieved 2012-10-11.[dead link]
- Video on YouTube
- "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.
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