Rebecca Black: How to be famous for being hated ?

Justin Bieber became famous thanks to Youtube. A music manager discovered the video posted by Bieber where he sings. The teenager was only 12 years-old. And now he is a famous pop singer. Rebecca Black also became famous last March with a Youtube music-video but not in the same way.

Rebecca Black is a 13-year-old amateur singer who became famous for her music video “Friday.” The lyrics of the song speak about “hanging out with friends and having fun.” And also being happy to be on Friday because the next day is the weekend. This music video was produced by Ark Music Factory, a California-based video company. Her parents paid between 2’000 and 4’000 dollars to the studios to cover the cost of writing the song and producing the video. The music video was first uploaded on YouTube on February 10th, 2011.

Part of the rise may be attributable to comedian Michael J. Nelson, who wrote a tweet on the song with a link. He has 19’000 followers on Twitter.

The blog Tosh.0 also posted a link to the video under the heading, “Songwriting Isn’t for Everyone.” The song became really famous a month later its upload on Youtube when the news blog The Daily What posted the video on March 11th, 2011. The song gained significant online notoriety this month not because it was appreciated but for its bad lyrics and the tone of the music. The voice of Rebecca Black is strongly transformed with auto-tune, a music program. The song was claimed to be «the worst song in the world »., the online edition of Time magazine, called the song  “a train wreck” and “a whole new level of bad”.

The buzz around  the video revolves mostly from the the content of the lyrics, such as:

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

and specially the chorus

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today it is Friday, Friday
Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes afterwards

From The Daily What, “Friday” music-video  was subsequently reblogged by other popular blogs like Huffington Post or Buzzfeed and shared on Tumblr and Twitter.

It is possible to share the video next to the Huffington Post article on Rebecca’s video:

On March 14th, 2011, # Rebecca Black emerged amongst the top trending topics on Twitter.  It was more negative reactions and hateful comments:

@RKingPan – What is this Rebecca Black song? Earbleed!
@ericjhagen – Thank you Rebecca Black, for ruining my ears every time I hear the word “Friday”
@jenhartry – which songwriter is responsible for Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’? You should be ashamed of yourself!!!

The comment of Charlie Sheen summarized all the critics:

charliesheeny: Rebecca Black, we don’t hate you because you’re famous. You’re famous because we hate you.03/20/2011 52K retweet

By March 15th, the video became viral and had reached over 3 million views and by March 17th it reached 10 million views with the single reaching the Top 100 on iTunes. It reached the 45 th position of  best selling on the Apple music market.  A Wikipedia entry was created covering Rebecca Black and her highly-debated single. Rebecca was invited to an interview and to perform on the Jay Leno show on March 22nd.

March 30th, 2011, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” YouTube video officially surpassed Justin Bieber’s “Baby” in total number of user downvotes with over 1.1 million downvotes. And on the 11th of May at 7:30 PM: 135 985 122 people watched this musicvideo with 375 339 likes and 2 703 832 unlikes which makes it the video the most hated on Youtube. Ark Music chief, Clarence Jey, gave Black the option to remove her music video from YouTube, as the comments across social media sites like Twitter, grew increasingly more hateful. However, she decided against it.

Things went too far. Rebecca Black received death threats. The threats, one by email, one by phone, came shortly after the release of her video in February, demanding she pull the song from YouTube or else.  The Anaheim Californian Police Department are doing a investigation.

Some support her but others still laugh at these death threats on Twitter

The music-video was kept on Youtube but the comments were desactivated.

We can see that the trend on Google research followed the Youtube trend. There was a huge research for Rebecca Black on Google in the middle of March. After peaking at the buzz, research has diminished over the days.

She has her own official website, a Twitter page and a Facebook page. She has 112′ 134 people who like her Facebook page. 233’959 people follow her on her Twitter page.


 Many anti-Rebecca Black groups also exist on Facebook

In the first group that has 4’735 like, you can find a message like this one.

Rebecca Black has a sense of humor and explained the meaning of the lyrics on Funny or Die website

Many parodies (150 created in a month) were made on Youtube to mock the song. And several images have popped up with fried eggs photoshopped over Rebecca Black in reference to the way “Friday” sounds similar to “fried egg” in the song.

This is one of the first parodies. The name is “Saturday”. It mocks the lyrics and the video-clip. One of the critics is about the fact that teenagers of 13 years-old are driving a car.

On April 6, 2011 a parody by the Community Christian Church in Chicago was uploaded to YouTube performed by church member Sadie Black. The lyrics were adapted to fit a Christian theme. It was created  as a promo for its upcoming Easter services.

Meanwhile people were criticizing and mocking the song, Katy Perry made a cover of it during her concert on the 29th of April in Australia. The way she’s singing the chorus and counting with her fingers how many “fun” words she is singing seems to show that she’s also mocking the song.

Two months after the buzz, the Glee cast from the hit teenager TV show Glee on Fox (USA) made a cover of the song for the episode “Prom Queen” aired the 10th of May. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy explained to The Hollywood Reporter the use of the viral hit as a tribute to popular culture. He said: “There’s a rule for it that’s explained in the show. The Glee Club is hired to perform songs for the prom and they were told by the principal to please do popular songs that the kids know.  The show pays tribute to pop culture and, love it or hate it, that song is pop culture.”

And tweets followed on Twitter during and after the episode. Many tweets were about liking the cover of Rebecca Black ‘s song. There were also critics. This cover went on the Top 10 of iTunes the day after the episode was aired.

Even Rebecca Black commented the episode on her Twitter page

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  1. #1 by Andrew on September 3, 2011 - 22:21

    Ever stop to think that maybe people just do not like the song?
    Instead of everyone being haters and threatening to kill her?

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    For convenience,I just eat the same foods everyday.

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