Whatever Happened To The Friday Song Girl?

Human meme Rebecca Black became the target of a wave of online abuse in 2011 for her widely mocked song "Friday" — a catchy celebration of the best day of the week. Black was given short shrift for the grating autotune as well as the lyrics, which include memorable classics such as: "Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal (Cereal)" and "Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards."

In reality, the teen didn't actually write the words to the song — any criticisms of the tune should have been aimed at the grown man who wrote it, not a 13-year-old girl — and Black has since been forgiven by the social media mob to some extent for her naive attempt to break into show business. According to Slate magazine, the song was also catchy enough to make Black some cash — though it didn't make her a millionaire as some suggested.

In the long run, Black has shown herself to be courageous in the face of widespread mockery, refusing to give up on her dreams of making music. Like many stars who found fame as meme-fodder, the young teen went on to have some success in the music business and made plenty of high-profile connections through her work.

Dealing with abuse from Friday

After "Friday" went viral, Rebecca Black became a minor celebrity, but for the most part, the attention she received was abusive. Black told the BBC that some of the comments she received in the days and weeks following the release of the song were disturbing — but she couldn't help but read them. She recalled, "I felt like I had the biggest 'kick me' sign on my back and everyone was just lining up before they'd even looked at me."

Some of the comments she received included death threats that had to be investigated by the police, and Black felt she had to put her dreams on hold while she processed the toxic outpouring the song had unleashed. According to Rolling Stone, the intense reaction of her critics gave Black anxiety and stage fright for a time and made her teenage years far harder than they needed to be. In addition to bullying online, she told People her schoolmates mercilessly made fun of her for years. Eventually, Black found various ways to make light of the situation, including a 2014 YouTube video in which she reacted to various negative comments about her while laughing and smiling.

Katy Perry lends a hand

Not everyone treated Rebecca Black with total derision. A few generous celebrities communicated with her, making an effort to look after the teen. Black has said that both Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in particular gave her lots of words of encouragement when she was facing the hate.

Pop superstar Perry went so far as to pay homage to Black's song "Friday" in her music video for "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)" (Thank God It's Friday). Black told ET she was shocked when her mother told her that the queen of pop had summoned her personally and initially assumed she was joking. What was designed to be just a cameo evolved into a full-blown co-production — in the video for the song, Black can be seen dancing with the starlet at an enormous house party. The fan-pleasing masterstroke was later followed by a heartwarming live duet in which the two women sang an acoustic version of Black's "Friday" together during the LA portion of Perry's "California Dreams Tour."

The Saturday song

In 2013, two years after the release of "Friday," Rebecca Black unexpectedly released a sequel song — "Saturday." Speaking to KISS 92.5's Roz & Mocha Black (via HuffPost), Black said the new track was an attempt at self-parody and "just wanted to do something fun." Patrice Wilson, the producer who made the original track, was not involved in the creation of the new tune.

Black's second more self-aware foray into pop music also attracted its fair share of mean comments when it inevitably went viral, receiving millions of views in just a couple days (via The Washington Post). Unfortunately, however, the song stirred up some controversy due to the arrest of an African-American man featured at the end of the video. The seemingly unexplained footage drew allegations of racism, knocking the air out of the whole exercise. After "Saturday"'s release, Black went on record promising she would not be making a track celebrating Sunday.

Coming out as queer

Despite her previous cruel treatment in the spotlight, in 2020, Rebecca Black courageously opted to come out in a very public way. Before opening up about her orientation Black had already discussed her views on sexuality on her YouTube channel, stating that she believed sexuality is a spectrum. Later that year she appeared on an episode of the "Dating Straight" podcast, and Black told listeners that she had recently ended a relationship with a woman. When prompted she explained that she defines herself as queer, stating, "I've dated a lot of different types of people and I just don't really know what the future holds. Some days I feel a little more on the gay side than others."

In 2023 Black spoke to Them magazine about coming out and her experience of the queer world, saying that when she was receiving abuse for "Friday," the LGBTQ+ community was the most supportive of her, accepting her outsider status. She also spoke about her current girlfriend, Veronika Wyman, who she described as a good match for her, being both deeply emotional and sensitive.

Black's adult music career

To this day, Rebecca Black has never given up on her passion for music, although her career has progressed in fits and starts. In 2016, a distinctly mature-looking Black released the track "The Great Divide," complete with an emotional introduction during which she spoke about proving the public wrong. Speaking to People, Black said that she moved to Los Angeles in 2015 when she was 18, determined to become a serious popstar. However, she encountered some resistance — not many people wanted to work with the young celebrity.

Nonetheless, she preserved — YouTube kept Black in touch with the audience she already had, and she kept making music anyway. She released the track "Anyway" in 2019 and the EP "Rebecca Black Was Here" in 2021. By 2023, Black had managed to successfully shed her tween-pop past to some degree, finally launching her full-length debut album "Let Her Burn." "It's definitely the biggest thing I've ever taken on creatively, and it's a process that I had tried to start so many times over the last 12 years," she told People. The lyrics to some of the tracks reveal a young woman transformed, exploring adult themes such as sexuality and queerness in an explicit fashion.