Friday, May 25, 2012

Rebecca Black, I salute you!

June 21, 1997: Rebecca Renee Black was born to Jeffery Black and Georgina Marquez Kelly in Irvine, California, USA. She began her dance classes when she was 3. Started playing piano by the age of 7 and began her vocal lessons when she was 9. Rebecca, who is of Mexican, Spanish, Italian, English and Polish descent, lead a common life, with a dream of doing something big, to be a part of the entertainment industry. She had auditioned for school shows, music summer camps and began singing publically in 2008. She's also an honor student

Things changed in late 2010, when her classmate told her about ARK Music Factory. Seeing this as an opportunity to gain some experience while shooting a video, and so that Rebecca could add this in her Resume for college, her mother agreed to pay $4,000 for a song and a music video. She was given a choice to select from two pre-written songs. Her first song, Friday, was released on YouTube and iTunes on 10th February 2011. She had thought that it would be really nice for her friends and relatives to see her in her own music video. In the first month, her video had received approximately 1,000 views. And then things began to change soon.

Rebecca Black

Her first single, went viral on YouTube on 11th March 2011, when it gained a million views in a matter of few days. Things changed when Michael J. Nelson, a comedian, posted her video on Twitter, and captioned it as "The worst song ever?". Things started to get worse then. The video started getting attention through Internet, which was majorly negative. She was severely criticized for her song. Numerous parodies (10,000 from an un-official source) were made of the song.

Rebecca Black - Friday

Criticism is good, as it helps one to improve. But then, things started to get dirty. It soon became a chain dislike video. People just went to her video, just to dislike it. This was accompanied by Rude and mean comments on her videos. "You are so fat", "Go cut yourself and die", "You should have an eating disorder", were some of them. It received bad reviews universally. On March 29, 2011, it surpassed as the most disliked video with over 3 million dislikes, almost 87% of the total ratings. Observers called it "bizarre", "inept" and "hilariously dreadful". It got comments and videos considered as "violent". But things started to get worse. She had to undergo severe bullying at school. "People would come to me and say, 'Hey Rebecca, Guess what day it is?' ", says Rebecca. This made her opt out of school, and do home-schooling. 

She started receiving death threats through e-mail and phone. Concerning her safety, this was reported and it is being investigated. 

Despite all the negative attention, the video was breaking records. It was at 58th position on Billboard Hot 100, and at 33 and 61 on New Zealand Single Chart and UK Single Chart respectively. The video got 100 million views much before Justin Beiber's Baby. It soon reached to 167 million views, making Rebecca an overnight Internet Phenomenon. The video was watched about 1,00,000 times everyday, except for one single day of the week, Yes, except on Friday. The number of views nearly doubled on Friday.

The number of views nearly doubled on Fridays.

YouTube named "Friday" as the #1 video on YouTube for that year. "rebecca black" black became the #1 searched keyword on Google. However, the video was removed due to some legal issues on June 16, 2011 only to be re-uploaded later on Rebecca's own channel 3 months later.

MTV selected her to host it's first online show, The O Music Awards in April 2011. She even won the 2011 Teen Choice Awards. Numerous artist, including Jonas Brother, Katy Perry and Justin Beiber sang her song in their respective concert. She soon got an opportunity to be a part of Katy Perry's Last Night Friday's music video.  

Katy Perry - Last Friday Night

Some un-official sources estimate, she might have earned $20,000 from YouTube and $26,700 from iTunes for her song Friday. She has pledged to donate profits from the sale of her song "Friday" to her school, El Racho Charter, and to the emergency relief in her country (after 2011 Japan Earthquakes).

Then came the crucial part, the next step. After such criticism, and negative feedback it wasn't easy for her to comeback to her singing. But doing an act of courage, she came up with another song, reflecting her love and passion for music, and giving a message to all her haters that she won't stop at anything.

After the fallout of ARK Music Factory, she announced to launch her own independent record label, "RB Records", with her first song, "My Moment" which was released on July 18, 2011. 

The new song was all about her new life, after the success of her first song. It was aptly titled, "My Moment". With the first few lines of the song, she gave a strong answer to all of her haters...

Were you the one who said that I would be nothing
Well, I'm about to prove you wrong
I'm not stopping for you
No matter what you do

Rebecca Black - My Moment

People still were not over with Friday, and so a similar trend continued with her even with her new songs. People disliked the video, just because everyone else was doing it. However, she got more positive views for her song. 

This followed with the release of two more songs, Person of Interest and Sing It, which were released on October 25, 2011 and May 8, 2012 respectively. With every song, she is getting more positive reviews and feedback. Sing It became her first song which got more "likes" than "dislikes". 

Rebecca Black - Person Of Interest

Rebecca Black - Sing It

She plans to release an album soon in 2012, on which she is currently working.

This was the story of Rebecca Black till now. But why I'm telling you all this? Because in my view she deserves a lot of appreciation, for what she is. Dealing with such negative criticism at such a large scale, getting bullied in school, is not easy, it changes your life completely. Imagine yourself at her position, and you'll realise what I'm talking about. It's really not easy.

A young girl, came up with her own video song, and it got viral. It was highly criticized, got a lot of negative views and numerous parodies were created. Going to school, getting bullied, coming back home reading rude comments about you and your work, and still maintaining a smile at the end of the day, is highly appreciable. Not only this, after releasing a video, knowing the world hated it, you come up with another music video, just because of your passion and love for music, is the perfect example of "follow-your-dreams". 

Rebecca Black

-- How did it felt dealing with such negative reception of your song?
RB: It sucks. I doesn't feel good when people don't like something in which you have put a lot of hard work, but you can't just let it get over you. You have to move on.

-- What used to be your attitude like while going through all this?
RB: I'm worth something and I'll be big.

-- Any advice to someone who goes through a similar situation as yours?
RB: Just don't let it get over you. Accept it and move on. It's okay to be sad for a while, but don't let it change you permanently. You just can't step down at their level. Don't react. They can't stop you from letting you do what you want to do. If you want to be a singer, be a singer. Don't let them stop you. And never take a "NO" as an answer.

Such is the attitude of her. She did what she wanted to do, what she enjoyed doing, without caring about how others are reacting. "Follow your dreams", as they say. Do what you want to do. Taking criticism in a positive way, improving on them, and eventually you grow strong. She needs to be appreciated for this. She has my respects.

But a question was still not clear for me. Why does people actually dislike her so much? With the help of my friends, I tried to identify what all aspects of her does people actually dislike. Here is what I found:

-- Lyrics (Friday)
My Take: I don't actually think the lyrics are bad. It's about friday, enjoyment, how everyone is looking forward to the weekend. What one actually do on a friday. Moreover, the lyrics aren't written by her, it's actually written by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson. So, there is nothing to blame Rebecca in this, she was given a choice of two songs from ARK Music Factory, other being a love song, Rebecca choose this. And don't tell me the lyrics are stupid. We've heard even more stupid lyrics before. Take for example, bollywood, "Zoobi Doobi Zoobi Doobi"... What does that even mean? And even more stupid is "O lala O lalal", that isn't even a word. And they'll surely be many more. 

-- Voice
My Take: Go to the "Friday", forget the video and listen to the song, only to her words. Due to the use of auto-tune her voice sounds more like robotic or techno. It isn't shrill or something. Infact, if you listen carefully, there are few lines that are sung at high note, that gives an idea of her voice. Or forget this, go to "Sing It", and you'll see her passion for music.

-- Auto-Tune
My Take: Auto-tune has only been used in her song "Friday", that too because the producer advised, rather forced her to use it. In the consequent 3 songs, nothing as such has been used. She even sang an acoustic version of friday, giving a message she could it with auto-tune.

Rebecca Black - Friday (Acoustic)

-- Stupid Videos
My Take: They're not stupid, they are innocent. What else do you expect from a 14 year old singer?

I just have to say, I salute you, Rebecca Black, for what you are!

If you still dislike her, I've just got one thing to say. When...

...Chris Brown says, "Honest opinion? It was great. I'll be jammin' to it"
...Lady Gaga says, "I think she is a genius"
...Miley Cyrus says, "I'm a fan. I sing it while driving"
...Katy Perry wanted her in her own video
...OK! Mag says, "some are calling this 13 year old singer, next Justin Beiber"
...Entertainment Weekly says, "There is something catchy, which makes you come again and again"


...someone sitting infront of computer with no or little knowledge of music says, "She can't sing"

It's upto you, who to believe!

PS: From the past two days of my research on her, I've found, she is passionate about music, have developed a great attitude from her life experience and even after all this, she is down to earth!

PPS: Guess what day I posted this? FRIDAY!!!


  1. a 14 year old girl facing so much criticism nd still managing to face d world.....really dres sumthin in her....nd i like dat u appreciated it unlike d so many dislikes....

    1. 13 years, when she started all this. And yes, she really needs some appreciation!
      Thanks for coming here! :-)

  2. good work. Standing upto someone isn't easy when the whole world is against that person.
    The work clearly shows that you have researched a lot, and have put in a lot of effort. The death threats and some of the comments have been rude and should have been written. But if she wants a serious career in singing, she has a lot of road to travel along. She needs to work on her lyrics, practice a lot, and work her way out. Right now she is nowhere, and if i must say- her songs aren't that particularly worth listening to. This is MY opinion.

    but all in all-A gr8 piece :)

    1. I stood up for her, cause I believed what happened with her, was not justified!
      She is just 14, and has a long way ahead in her life. Starting at such an earlier age, with that passion and attitude, and improvement with every new song she comes up with, I'm sure she's going to be more BIG sometime soon.
      Thank you for coming here! :-)

  3. Wow! I never knew that much about her. I've just watched her video friday, I didn't like the lyrics but she is not the one to be blamed. The most important thing was that she went through all that and still didn't give up. A typical person would have attempted suicide. I now kind of respect her after reading this blog, and motivated towards my goal.
    I wish she read this blog too.

    PS: Keep up the awesome work.
    A pen is mightier than a sword, but you have ur keyboard :P

    1. That was my whole idea, to let everyone know what all she had gone through, and still didn't lose hope and followed her passion. I agree, this wasn't easy.
      I'm happy I was able to bring a change in the way you thought.
      Thank you for the good words, I'm glad you liked it! :D

  4. grt thing man.....the bigges thing here iz tha this lil girl tried....i haven heard her but tha much i can gather....n its not within nyones right to stop her....if u dont like it let it go dont stop d prsn....its der life der choice....

    1. I completely agree, Her attitude is such, it's hard to stop her. When someone is after her passion, nothing can stop her.
      Truly, if you don't like her, don't listen, no point in stopping her.
      Thank you for coming here! :-)

  5. an amazing girl wid never say die attitude....very aptly titled...i too salute her!!....gr8 piece put together.....very insightful...keep up the gud work....eagerly luking forward to more such amazing pieces..:))

  6. well definitely all the bullying and death threats isnt justified or deserved and certainly she has shown a lot of courage coming up with other songs after so much of hatred. but despite everything, hers is not a voice i would be replaying in my mp3 player again and again. I told you before, i am critical of her as a singer and not as a person.
    Interesting post Ritvik, you have coughed up the facts and the emotions in a splendid blend of words :)

    1. Well, probably music is something in which everyone has their own taste. But I'm glad you liked the post :-)
      Thank you coming here! :-)

    2. its not a matter of 'probably', it IS like that. something i like you may choose to frown upon ANY DAY. so as i have been shouting repeatedly, its a matter of perspective...

  7. i really appreciate your opinion about her coz i'm one of the frightless defender of her since day one of her journey. that girl can sing! and just wait a little more time it will come.

    1. Haha, I too have a similar story, If not now, soon she's going to be BIG!
      Thanks for your time and coming here! :-)

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  9. Ritvik - As promised, I made sure I read each word of your post before coming to this comment box. I must tell you I listen to English songs rarely. However, this post moved me. I listened to all the songs and liked it. All lyrics in the world cannot convey great meanings as Ghazals. Some of them are bound to be funny and meaningless. What matters most is the much your ears like it.

    Rebecca, as a person has stood firmly against her critics and that makes her a great personality. Her music is secondry.

    I salute her, too.

    1. I'm so glad that you kept up to your words, and came here. Thank you so much! :-)
      Well, I completely agree with you, some music have to be funny and meaning less, and music is all what your ears like.
      Thank you once again! :-)

  10. Hala we have the same post! <3 Buti naman may nagaagree satin, noh? Siguro people regret hating on her kasi she's doing well now :D

    1. Thank you for actually come here! :-)
      Though I don't understand Filipino, But I'm sure it's good words for her!

  11. Honestly i hd no idea of dis side of d stry of rebecca black.....impressive work Ritvik.....wat ppl really need to learn frm dis is NEVER do something jst fr d sake of dng it....dislikin hrr video ws jst smthng ppl did fr d sake of it.....coz thats nt wat helps u....wat tks u ahead is standing fr wat u REALLY beleive in like Rebecca nd her passion fr music. Goof work Ritvik.... :)

    1. Yeah, It's very sad people just disliked her video that way. Not only her video, go to any video which has Rebecca in it, be it an interview of her, you'll find the dislikes more than the likes.
      But I'm glad things are improving for her.
      Thank you so much! :-)

  12. Its simply amazing to read your blogs,It really demoralizes someone when someone faces such criticism & She was just 13 ...I salute her for,her attitude & the optimism in her.. :)
    Hope to see her successful in future.
    P.S.-Ritvik Its really enjoyable to read your posts as these posts shows how much effort you put to do researches on Random stuff,You are actually a multitasker & Undoubtedly a Versatile Blogger,keep writing them :)

    1. Yeah.. Truly. And still, while some people have accepted her, and has respect for her. There are still some, you still hate her. This monday someone tweeted her- "You're like Monday, nobody likes you!".
      This is simply not done!
      But I'm glad I was successful to bring a change in the way people think about her.
      Thank you so very much! It's readers like you that keeps me going! :-)

  13. I hadn't thought about listening to her other songs after 'Friday'. I didn't like that song and I don't listen to it. However I can't understand why people visit that page just to dislike the video. Sheesh. Thanks for this post Ritvik, I will definitely listen to her other songs. She is one courageous young girl.

    1. Exactly. Take out any of her video on YouTube, be it a interview only, all you'll see is more dislikes than likes.
      Thank you so much for dropping by! :-)

  14. Totally loved your article.
    Read it fully and understood the storm of emotions you went through.

    Loved the way you wrote it.
    A big fan.
    P.S. Kindly Do check my blog out.

    1. Thank you so very much! :-)
      Yeah, definitely I'll have a look!

  15. omar nouala rebecca black it very very perfect persont she is awseme and beautiful and the voice of here swity