Taunting by classmates forced 14-year-old YouTube sensation Rebecca Black to withdraw from her Anaheim Hills, Calif., school – to be homeschooled by her mother.
“When I walk by they’ll start singing ‘Friday’ in a really nasally voice,” the teen told ABC News. “Or, you know, they’ll be like, ‘Oh hey, Rebecca, guess what day it is?’ ”
Her mother, Georgina Marquez, said the move to homeschooling also permits Black to focus on her career. “She certainly did not need that kind of pressure,” said Marquez about the teasing on campus.
When it debuted on YouTube in March, the video for “Friday” received 167 million views – roughly half of the population of the United States, ABC News notes.
But it was also harshly criticized by listeners, though Simon Cowell staunchly defended Black, telling PEOPLE, “I love her [and] the fact that she’s gotten so much publicity. People are so upset about the song, but I think it’s hysterical.”
Black has now released her latest single, “My Moment.” As of Thursday morning, the new video has gotten nearly 22.5 million views, as well as 276,581 likes and 492,489 dislikes.
BY STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN