In news that will make you feel old, today marks nine years since Rebecca Black dropped iconic banger “Friday”. Following the video’s arrival on YouTube in 2011, the singer was relentlessly mocked on social media – now, to mark the anniversary, she’s speaking out about the experience on Twitter.
“Nine years ago today, a music video for a song called ‘Friday’ was uploaded to the internet,” Black wrote. “Above all things, I just wish I could go back and talk to my 13-year-old self who was terribly ashamed of herself and afraid of the world. To my 15-year-old self who would get to school only to get food thrown at her and her friends. To my 19-year-old self who had almost every producer/songwriter tell me they’d never work with me. Hell, to myself a few days ago who felt disgusting when she looked in the mirror!”
Black continued: “I’m trying to remind myself more and more that every day is a new opportunity to shift your reality and lift your spirit. You are not defined by any one choice or thing. Time heals and nothing is finite. It’s a process that’s never too late to begin. And so, here we go! This might be a weird thing to post but the honesty feels good if nothing else.”
Despite its virality – at the time of writing, the video has over 140 million views – “Friday” was critically ridiculed, described as “the worst song ever” by Yahoo Music, and eventually removed from YouTube (it’s since been re-uploaded). Overnight, Black was subjected to the wrath of a cruel internet mob.
Speaking to Dazed in 2016, the singer said she never expected the song to be heard by anyone except her small circle. “All of a sudden it kind of blew up, and I had to go with it. Of course being that I was so young, it was hard – I can’t lie and say it was easy.” After the song’s release, Black was homeschooled for a while before returning to high school at the age of 15. “It wasn’t easy,” she revealed. “It was weird walking into a class and realising everyone knows you but you don’t know anybody.”
Three months after the release of “Friday”, Black starred in the video for Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”, and has since gone on to carve a successful music career. “My dream has always been to perform and do music,” she told Dazed, “so I just had to see (“Friday”) as a glitch in the road and I had to, one way or another, get through it, because I wouldn’t let that stop me from being where I wanted to be.”