We learned this week that Internet viral sensation Rebecca Black is poised to make some serious coin from the sales of her irritatingly inescapable song “Friday.” But after surpassing even Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” in YouTube views, on Tuesday night Black really hit the big time when she appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and performed her signature tune.
Bounding out onto the set wearing a white polka-dotted black skirt, purple top and gray sweater with hearts and black Peter Pan boots, Black explained the origin of her overnight hit to Leno.
“Oh, it’s so crazy, it’s so weird!” she said of her sudden fame. “I’ve always been interested in music for a long time, and my parents knew I was too, so my friend told me about Ark Music Factory. So, I went online and looked it up to make sure it was legit and stuff like that.
“They sent me a song, and it was about being a guy’s superhero, but I’m 13 … sooo,” she said of the potentially inappropriate tune the producers initially sent her. “Then they sent me ’Friday,’ which is about hanging with your friends and being a teenager, so I really liked that.”
The next thing the singer knew, she had skipped the normal cattle call audition process and after meeting with the song’s producers, she was recording “Friday.”
One of the things Black liked about the song was that it didn’t have bad language or more adult situations, but she said the meteoric rise shocked her. “I was coming home from school, and all of a sudden, I look on the computer and it had 14,000 views.”
Sitting very upright, Leno asked Black about the harassment she’s faced from some online haters. She said it bothered her at first and made her cry, “but I’m 13 … so being a teenager, you care about what other people think about you. ’Oh, the world hates me, I’m gonna die!’ But now I don’t even read them, so they don’t bug me.”
With dozens of video parodies popping up online — including one earlier in Leno’s show in which Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddahfi sang “Friday” — Black said some are hilarious while others are just “really lame.”
Black gushed about the support she’s gotten from Ryan Seacrest and former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell. “Oh my gosh, he wants to meet me! That’s so cool,” she squeaked about the “X Factor” boss. She said Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, Cody Simpson and Willow Smith have reached out to offer their kind words as well.
After the news broke earlier this week that “Friday” has turned into a cash cow, Black announced that she’s donating proceeds from the single to relief efforts in Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that rocked the nation nearly two weeks ago, with some cash also going to her school.
She then hopped up and performed “Friday” with the house band, busting into the song without delay and getting some enthusiastic help on the “yeah!” portion of the chorus from the audience.
Before leaving for the taping, Black, 13, tweeted her excitement about the appearance.
“What’s even better than being able to appear in the ’Tonight Show With Jay Leno’? Having my bestfriend be able to come with<3," she wrote. "School on the set of Jay Leno ... but my teacher doesn't know I'm actually Tweeting(; #rebel." That tweet was followed by a picture of Black and her bestie eating popsicles and clearly not doing their homework. After the appearance, Black virtually hyperventilated to her Twitter followers, gushing, "ASDFGHJKLKIOP I JUST MET BRADLEY COOPER. OMG. I almost fainted<3," later uploading a pic of her in the green room at the show.