Rebecca Black, it turns out, was born too early.
No song defined the spring of 2011 like Black's "Friday,"a bizarre piece of pop pastiche that mystified and captivated America in equal measure. "Friday" contained multitudes. Even millions of YouTube views later, its depths have yet to be completely plumbed.
Black and the infamous Ark Music Factory attempted to capitalize on this success by releasing "Friday" as a single on March 14, 2011—coincidentally the same day this website first investigated "Who Is Rebecca Black and Why Is She Exploding the Internet"? But the Platonic form of "Friday" was its YouTube video; on iTunes or the radio, the magic was lost. The single couldn't even make the top half of the Hot 100, stalling out at no. 58.
Last month, though, Billboard changed its formula for the Hot 100 to include YouTube streams. Is there any doubt that, had these rules been in effect two years ago, Black and "Friday" would have topped the charts? The only question is how many weeks Black's reign would have lasted. Could it had gone to seven, and tied Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" for the 2011 record? Sadly, we'll never know.
So let's spin the video one more time, for the no. 1 single that never was. Kick it (in the front seat), Rebecca: