Rebecca Renee 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 releasethrough 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 of Mexican, Spanish, Italian, English, and Polish descent. An honor student, Black studied dance, auditioned for school shows, attended music summer camps, and began singing publicly in 2008 after joining the patriotic group Celebration USA. In 2011 Black left public school in favor of homeschooling, both in response to constant verbal bullying at school and in order 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.
Rebecca Black has a pet betta fish named George; which often appears behind her in her YouTube videos. She also has a puppy, which she rescued from the streets - and named Nelly. Black is also an avid fan of her mother's homemade spaghetti.
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 andiTunes. 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 compared to 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.
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."
She has stated that she is a fan of Justin Bieber, and expressed interest in performing a duet with him.
In response to the YouTube video of "Friday", Black began to receive death threats in late February 2011, specifically by phone and email. These threats are being investigated by the Anaheim Police Department.
In March 2011, Ryan Seacrest reportedly helped sign Rebecca to manager Debra Baum's DB Entertainment.
MTV selected Rebecca 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 forKaty 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 ofGlee 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 and upcoming album (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.
Black is planning to release her official debut album around 2012, which she said will include "a bunch of different kinds of stuff." It is being recorded at a studio belonging to music producer Charlton Pettus. In an interview with The Sun, Black said that the songs will be "appropriate and clean".
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 Feldmanand 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 August 10, 2011, Black was featured in an ABC Primetime Nightline: Celebrity Secrets special entitled Underage and Famous: Inside Child Stars' Lives.
On Friday, September 16, Black re-uploaded "Friday" on YouTube. In late September 2011, she was brought to Australia by Telstra to promote the launch of their 4G service.
On October 25, 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 #1 video of the year by YouTube and Black hosted a short video called "YouTube Rewind".
Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011. Rebecca Black #1 Most Searched Google. The searches for the teen singer topped even those of pop icon Lady Gaga and Adele.
On May 8, 2012, Black released her fourth official single, "Sing It". The music video premiered on Black's YouTube the same day.
Black features NOH8 Campaign a silent protest photo project against California Proposition 8. It features photographs portraying people in front of a white backdrop wearing white t-shirts, their mouths taped shut and "NOH8" painted on their cheek.
Rebecca has pledged to donate profits from the sales of her song "Friday" towards her school, El Rancho Charter, and shortly after the 2011 Japan Earthquake, to emergency relief in the country.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Person of Interest"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|"My Moment"||Morgan Lawley|
|"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" (with Katy Perry)||Marc Klasfeld|
|"Person of Interest"||Theshay West|
|2011||Tu Xia Chuan Qi||Penny||Voice|
|2012||U B Da Judge||Film short|
|2012||My Music||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||Pending|