“Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday”, It was an – unfortunately – unforgettable earworm for many millennials. The popular song, however, did not go down well with singer Rebecca Black. Her unfortunate hit ‘Friday’ was reported ‘so bad it was almost good’. After all the bullying: how would Rebecca fare 10 years later?
‘Friday’ has now been viewed almost 150 million times and was the most-viewed YouTube video of 2011. The video has nearly 4 million dislikes, compared to about 1 million likes. Rebecca saw herself becoming notorious rather than famous. The song was cut short based on the ‘childish lyrics’ and ‘irritating repetition of the chorus’.
Black was just a 13-year-old when ‘Friday’ turned her life upside down. “It started out so cool,” she recalls. “I got to shoot a video clip in LA with all my friends. I was young and naive and didn’t realize that someone was trying to turn me into an internet meme… The lyrics to ‘Friday’ were so bad that it could only have happened on purpose.”
An internet meme is a person or image that is distorted and laughed at. Usually, such a meme is shared thousands of times. With three million thumbs down, her video was the most flopped in YouTube history in no time. “It broke my life,” admits Rebecca. “I was bullied, both by people I knew and those I didn’t know. They messaged me over the internet, telling me to kill myself. I was only a teenager, I was not prepared for that.”
However, Rebecca did not give up. In 2018 she applied for the American talent show ‘The Four’. There she surprised friend and foe with a beautiful version of ‘Bye, bye, bye’, originally sung by *NSYNC. “I think that one important thing has been forgotten because of your breakthrough hit”, the jury said. “You do have talent!”
She could not get a place in the program, but Rebecca is much less concerned about the blunder today than at the start of her career. She has over a million followers on Twitter and is still singing. ‘I wish I could tell my 13-year-old self that it was all going to be okay,’ she says.
“And to my 15-year-old self that it was okay to talk about my depression. I was a kid who only got food thrown at her head at school. I could not be expected to know how to deal with it. When I was 19, I was told by every record label that they never wanted to work with me. But look, ‘Friday’ is already 10 years old, and it is a gold record. I am still there and I have learned from my past.”
In honor of the 10th anniversary, Rebecca released a remix of the famous song. She did this together with Dorian Electra, Big Freedia, and 3OH!3. “So you see, every disadvantage has its advantage,” she laughs.