Rebecca Black went from teenaged anonymity to national infamy in March 2011, when the video for “Friday,” her debut single, began attracting millions of viewers on YouTube. Black had recorded the song several months earlier with the help of Ark Music Factory, an L.A.-based record label and production facility with a roster of young, aspiring pop singers. Ark Music Factory also shot a video for “Friday,” which was uploaded to the Internet in February 2011. After attracting less than 1,000 viewers during its first month, the video went viral on March 11, kicking off a bizarre media craze that dominated national news for weeks. Before the month was up, “Friday” had cracked the Billboard charts and racked up more than 64 million views on YouTube, despite an almost universally negative response from media outlets. ~ Andrew Leahey
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