Orange County, Calif. eighth grader Rebecca Black bumped Charlie Sheen off the top Twitter trending topics list this week, thanks to something far more innocent than Sheen's antics: "Friday," a much-maligned, AutoTune-heavy pop song and YouTube video that has been viewed 13 million times.
At just 13 years old, Black has been victim to some harsh musical critiques online. Even though "Friday" has gone past tracks by Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars on the iTunes Top 100 songs chart, Yahoo called it "the worst song ever" and website called it "disastrous."
"Those hurtful comments really shocked me," Black told The Daily Beast in her very first interview since becoming a viral star. "At times, it feels like I'm being cyberbullied."
How did Black become an instant star, anyway?
According to the Daily Beast, the suburban gal took vocal lessons, performed musical theater and sang in talent shows and a patriotic singing group called Celebration USA.
According to Black's mom, Georgina Kelly, a pal told her about a small L.A. record label, Ark Music Factory. After an audition for the label, Black was invited to record a song pre-written by Ark executives; her mom then paid $2,000 to help produce the video.
Many have blasted "Friday's" inane lyrics, like. "We so excited/We gonna have a ball today/Tomorrow is Saturday/And Sunday comes afterward."
"I didn't write it at all," Black says. "'Friday' is about hanging out with friends, having fun. I felt like it was my personality in that song."
Says Ark Music executive Clarence Jey, who co-produced the hit: "Rebecca Black is actually [an] amazing singer [with] a unique tone and a fantastic fun person."
"I want to show people there's more to me than they think," Black exclaims.