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Stars That Died

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Who is Rebecca Black?

Who is Rebecca Black?  The internet world knows Rebecca Black as an American pop singer who gained worldwide notoriety with her 2011 single "Friday". Her mother reportedly paid $4000 to have the single and an accompanying music video put out as a vanity release 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".[1][2][3] The negative criticism and use of social media can be credited for Black's notoriety. The music video, uploaded to YouTube, has received over 141 million views causing Black to gain international attention as a "viral star". The official video of "Friday" on YouTube has over 2.8 million dislikes as of May 11, 2011. The song was released as a single and made the Billboard Hot 100 and other charts.[4][5]

Early life

Rebecca Black was born on June 21, 1997,[6][7] in Anaheim Hills, California.[7] She is the daughter of John Jeffery Black and Georgina Marquez Kelly, both veterinarians,[8][9] and is of Spanish, Italian, Polish, and English descent.[10] An honor student,[7] Black studied dance, auditioned for school shows, attended music summer camps, and began singing publicly in 2008 after joining the patriotic group Celebration USA.[7]

Music career

In late 2010, a classmate of Black and music-video client of ARK Music Factory, a Los Angeles label, told her about the company.[11] Black's mother paid $4,000 for Ark Music to produce her daughter's music video while the Blacks retained ownership of the master.[9] 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.[7] 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,[12] and garnering mostly negative media coverage.[13] As of May 10, 2011, the video had received more than 2.7 million dislikes on YouTube compared to more than 370 thousand likes.[14] As of March 22, 2011, first-week sales of her digital single were estimated to be around 40,000 by Billboard.[15] Black appeared on the March 22, 2011 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, during which she performed the single and discussed the negative reaction to it.[16] The song has peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 and the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 58 and 33, respectively.[17][18] In the UK, the song debuted at number sixty-one on the UK Singles Chart.[19]
By March 25, 2011, Black hired a publicist and a manager. Her manager John McEntee, president of TEI Entertainment, Anaheim, California confirmed that he has been contacted by songwriters and record labels with ideas for more songs and an album.[20] In an interview with The Sun, Black said that she is recording a new song for possible release as a single. She is currently working without a record deal. She also said that she is preparing materials for her debut album at Flying Pig Productions studio in Los Angeles containing songs with themes similar to that of "Friday", as she wants it to be "appropriate and clean."[21] Black teamed up with Funny or Die on April Fools 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."[22] She has also stated that she is a fan of Justin Bieber, and expressed interest in performing a duet with him.[23] The television series Glee covered "Friday" because, according to series co-creator Ryan Murphy, "The show pays tribute to pop culture and, love it or hate it, that song is pop culture."[24]
In response to the YouTube video of "Friday", Black began to receive death threats in late February 2011, specifically by phone and email.[25] While there were a number of negative, and many violent, comments on the YouTube video itself, none of the comments were specific to Black or direct in their threat of violence. These threats are being investigated by the Anaheim Police Department.[26] During a backstage segment at Wrestlemania XXVII, Zack Ryder sang the chorus of the song, Friday until Roddy Piper smashed him in the back of the head with a coconut. As of 17 May 2011, commenting on the video has been disabled.



Title Year Peak chart positions

"Friday" 2011 40 61 46 33 60 58

Awards and nominations

MTV O Music Awards

The MTV O Music Awards are one of the major annual awards established by MTV to honor the art, creativity, personality and technology of music into the digital space.
Year Nominated work Award Result
2011 50 Cent, Rebecca Black, Bert Favorite Animated GIF Nominated


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