back to article Death threats against 'worst song ever' YouTube teen

Police in Anaheim, California, are "keeping an extra eye out" for net sensation Rebecca Black, following death threats against the teen singer. Black, 13, was catapulted to instant fame as the YouTube video of her song Friday went global, despite music lovers' description of the ditty as "the worst song ever". Following …


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  1. Caff

    Christopher walken cover is better

    The song may be rubbish but the cover versions are gold

    1. Marky W
      Thumb Up


      Bob Dylan's cover is also outstanding:

    2. Dale 3
      Thumb Up

      Setting two records

      This is literally the first time I have had to stop listening to a song after 20 seconds because I couldn't bear it and then also stop listening to the parody of the same song after 20 seconds because I was laughing so loudly it was disturbing other people around me.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        She doesn't seem that bad a singer...

        She doesn't seem that bad a singer. At least she does have a voice.

        But why in the name of the gods would she sing such a shit song?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I agree.

          I've heard much worse "music" from rap "artists," however, it's certainly not good. Still, I know ignorance is bliss and all, but I can't remember a time where the most important issue in my life was the day of the week. I think she--and anyone who actually likes this song--really needs to find something to do with her life. Find a hobby or something. There's lots of fun stuff that can be done any day of the week.

          Like commenting on El Reg...

  2. Ally J

    Is it a sign of being too jaded....

    that a little bit of me wonders if there really have been death threats, or is it a cynical ploy to get some sympathy for the autotuned bratling?

    Let's be honest - it's all been done in a standard 'cookie cutter teen star' way already, much the same as all the usual talent shows. The 'starlet' autotunes her way through a song that's been pulled off the shelf by a music company that, in this case, specialises in vanity projects like this. As her star begins to fade, 'the rules' decree that it's important for her to do *something* to keep her name in the public eye. At 13, the usual routes (stumbling out a a nightclub with another z-lister, hitting a photographer and so on) are closed to her, so (gasp!) let's have a death threat. Actually, let's go for two of them. That'll work.

    So, the lesson of this tale is don't threaten to kill Rebecca Black. As with all annoying children, just don't give her any attention and she might go away.

    1. BorkedAgain


      Man, are you going to feel like a shit if some idiot who takes the Internet too seriously actually does make an attempt on her life...

      Not saying you're wrong, mind; I suspect your cynicism may be spot-on...

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "Man, are you going to feel like a shit if some idiot who takes the Internet too seriously actually does make an attempt on her life..."

        You know what? No. No I wouldn't. That may seem callous, but then I am a callous bastard at times.

  3. Matt Bucknall
    Thumb Up

    Quite right too...

    Regardless of her song's aesthetic qualities, some people really need to get a grip.

  4. mark 63 Silver badge

    killing in the name of

    well obviously that guy who orchestrated the campaign for "Killing in the Name" for xmas no1 that time has taken things to the next level!

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Yet more 4chan prank calls?

    Wouldn't surprise me.

    Meanwhile, I wanted to share this interpretation of the song. Useful for people still in high school or those doing literature studies:

  6. Willington

    I'd rather listen to

    Vogon poetry.

    1. Steve 48
      Thumb Up

      You asked for it...

      Oh freddled gruntbuggly

      thy micturations are to me

      As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.

      Groop I implore thee,

      my foonting turlingdromes.

      And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles

      Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts

      with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't!"

  7. LaeMing

    Some lame little arse-tard though it would be funny, no doubt.

    Hope they get the responsible party and make them play a prominant part in Ms Black's next youtube song as punishment.

  8. Mondo the Magnificent


    Tie the silver spoon fed wench to a chair and play her Godawful song back to her for 12 hours solid...

    That way she'd understand why the crazies are acting.. uhm.. crazy

    As "Ally J" says, any form of publicity is publicity in itself.

    1. Mr Jolly


      So in your crazy world of logic, it's okay to send a 13 year old girl death threats because she released a song?

      You're certainly right about crazies....

    2. Shaun 1


      As far as I'm aware, people aren't being forced to watch it. I've heard it's a bad song, so I haven't watched it. Also, if you start watching it, you don't have to watch the whole thing. Certainly not for 12 hours

    3. Anonymous Coward

      13 year old wenches?

      Odd line to take but can we bring it to its logical conclusion?

      Can I assume that any song by someone outside my preferred demographic and that I dont particularly like is grounds for abuse and torture?

      I freely admit I cant stand this song and the fact her parents felt the need to spend money on her doing it is amazing.

      But it is no more annoying than lots and lots of other songs I cant stand and its no more a waste of her parents money than any of the other things rich kids get to do.

      Until someone forces the crazies to sit and listen to her song, what justification do they have for this action? Even if this is a PR-orchestrated death threat, how can people be actually agreeing with it?

      The fact is there are many, many more songs out there that I would rather pour acid down my ear canal than listen to, just as there are books I will never read and TV programs (in fact entire channels) I will never ever watch.

      I dont waste time campaigning about how they are so crap no one else should endure them. Nor do I advocate the torture and murder of those involved....

  9. Efros

    gone off the boil

    PR firm needing more attention for their lil earner, resurrect the death threat.

    1. Ilgaz

      would be the dumbest PR firm

      There is also a serious punishment for wasting police time especially if you do for commercial reasons.

      I guess it must be jail too.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Stock, Aitken and Waterman would have signed her in an instant.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Still,

      Yay, go for the *really* low-hanging fruit why don't you?

      They signed my brother. His impressive qualifications for a meteoric rise to obscurity were "being in the room when they needed someone for a band". Turns out to be all you need to end up playing keyboards[1] to a hundred and some odd thousand people in Manila as part of a world tour supporting Yet Another Artificial Band With A Bigger Advertising Budget Than Them.

      [1] Ok, miming to a backing tape of someone else playing keyboards to be strictly accurate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Low hanging fruit?

        Dude, they ruled 80s britpop with an iron fist. Yes, I still bear a grudge against them for that.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mad World

    How f*cked is the world when people think it OK to send death threats to a 13year old girl.

    Yes the song was shit, but don't listen to it. It not like another musician lost out because her song was produced, her parents paid for it.

    It's not that much worse that the sh*t Simon Cowell produces and that does affect decent musicians.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


      Just another shit song in the universe of shit songs, there have been many, and many more still to come. TBH, it's not the shittiest IMO.

      Death threats are just another demonstration of how intolerant some people are, how hateful they are of others; practitioners of different religions, supporters of a different political party, different sexuality, different skin colour, or 13 year old with a rubbish song, it doesn't matter to them.

      America embraces and legitimises 'freedom to hate' within First Amendment rights, so this behaviour can be said to be a natural consequence of that and "with us or against us" pack mentality. Rebecca should think herself lucky she's not a liberal, black, Muslim, lesbian with a shit song.

      Of course, it's not only Americans who hate, and the number that do seems to be spreading, and happy to present that hatred in public. It's a creeping cancer.

      1. disgruntled yank

        freedom to hate

        The Anaheim Police Department does not seem to be aware of this legitimization you speak of. If on the other hand you mean that the First Amendment offers very broad protection for speech that can be considered political, that much is true. It is not impossible that a bit of consideration of Sullivan v. NY Times could lead you to see why this is so.

        Or perhaps you expand on your thesis. One rhyme that quite a few Americans and perhaps many others know is "Casey at the Bat", includes the stanza

        'From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

        Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.

        "Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;

        And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

        A proper punter ought to be able to spin out a direct line from Thayer's imaginary baseball fans (and quite a few real ones since) to today's internet bozos. Get to work, lad! D.H. Lawrence on the American as "cold, stoic, isolate, a killer" is the standard you should aim to match.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          From the FBI - "Hate itself is not a crime"

          <quote>A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.</quote>

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Funny you mentioned that...

            In Brazil hate is a crime without bail option and it is categorized at the same level as rape and murder. Each country has a different approach. This girl would be better in Brazil I guess becasue in US the threats need to be taken seriously since many wackos have guns.

      2. The Unexpected Bill

        @Ally J / @Jason Bloomberg

        I'm going to have to remember the phrase "autotuned bratling". People are going to wonder why I'm laughing like that...

        - - - - -

        As far as the "freedom to hate goes", the old argument is that with great freedom also comes great responsibility...or, as it's commonly phrased, "don't yell "fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire". So...while I'm quite free to say that I might not like this young woman's singing and think she should stop or even less polite things than that, actually *threatening* her is definitely crossing the line. There's no point in doing that, but there are all kinds out there.

        As it is, I haven't heard the young woman sing, don't really care one way or another and think it's truly unfortunate that there are some people who feel it is right to threaten a person over their beliefs/orientation/religion/opinions/abilities/whatever.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    While the poor girl is vocally challenged - even Jeremy Paxman isn't that nasal - death threats are a tad excessive.

    To give her some* credit, at least she's doing something and following her dream. How many of us get that far?

    * very little, mind you. After all, Hitler followed his dream and inflicted pain and suffering too, though on a larger scale.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Austrian Schnauzer

      Release a song which might or might not be acceptable, and you are NEARLY LIKE HITLER?

      Holy cow! Whatever next??

      "Hitler's entry to the Eurovision song contest, singing about increasing Lebensraum, upping the Bruttosozialprodukt, übering the EURO and his love towards his dog. After this message..."

    2. Annihilator

      Dream following

      "at least she's doing something and following her dream. How many of us get that far?"

      Erm, mummy threw $4K at a record company to write and produce it as a gift for her little darling. While the hatred thrown her way is obscenely unjustified, let's not credit her for chasing her dream. If my parents had spoilt me that way, I'm sure I could have been auto-tuned into producing something similar.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Dream following

        Erm, she's 13. Bit mean-spirited, arencha?

        1. Annihilator


          "Erm, she's 13. Bit mean-spirited, arencha?"

          Maybe, but I'm not being mean to her, more along the lines I don't think her parent is particularly responsible to splurge that sort of money on blatantly autotuning their 13 year old daughter and allowing a record company to put it up on youtube.

          She may well be a great singer, it's impossible to tell from that vid.

      2. LinkOfHyrule

        They paid $4K for that?

        I can write better music on a sodding Commodore Amiga! Na it must be the "professionally" produced video that cost actual money.

    3. ArmanX


      Didn't Hitler want to be a painter, or some such, but was turned down for artist's school? Maybe we should let her go on making songs, just in case, eh?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not condoning the death threats...

    ...but I do have to point out an error at the end of the first sentence:

    Police in Anaheim, California, are "keeping an extra eye out" for net sensation Rebecca Black, following death threats against the teen singer.

    It should be:

    Police in Anaheim, California, are "keeping an extra eye out" for net sensation Rebecca Black, following death threats against the teen "singer".

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Not condoning the death threats...

      Ha ha how appropriate of you to make that "correction" very good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why, thank you.

        *deliberately missing the sarcasm*

    2. some vaguely opinionated bloke

      Extra I, for one...

      ... am still trying to work out whether the Anaheim PD now have an officer with both eyes out, or whether we should be welcoming our new thrice-oculared overlords...

  14. heyrick Silver badge

    It's that Usher wannabe in the car we ought to be targeting...

    I mean, you can kinda understand crap lyrics from a 13 year old. They aren't all Leann Rimes...

    ...however I understand that it was he that wrote this atrocity. Have some sympathy for the girl, her way to fame was bought in a tidy little package, now she has to deal with the fact that people who get "instant fame" usually don't want it. It is better to work up to it, for whatever she might do in the future, she'll always be the girl that made the most awful pop song in the history of our entire species...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stream of Conciousness

    Thirteen-year-old consciousness. Nothing wrong with that if one is 13.

  16. John Smith 23


    i actually quite like it

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: ps

      I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective.......

      1. TelePom
        Thumb Up


        Are you suggesting that Rebecca Black should be thrown into the cold vacuum of space?

    2. Far Canal

      Not quite but ...

      It's better than a lot of rap songs I've heard for what that's worth and they not only threaten to kill each other but actually go through with it.

  17. Gerry Doyle 1

    A then a small boy tugged his father's sleeve -

    and said 'dad, it's just a song, dad, it's just a song'.

    Woke up, fell out of bed,

    Dragged a comb across my head...

  18. Anton Channing

    Muzak Killer

    Marty Zpok got a time machine?

  19. Chris Young

    What the ...

    Good God, I'll admit I've listened to some shite n my time, but that is truly f**king awful. I'd heard of it, but never actually listened to it.

    I won't be making that mistake again ...

  20. Toastan Buttar

    Jenna Rose

    "My Jeans" by Jenna Rose is worse. SRSLY.

  21. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Is she still alive?

    I thought she was dead already - I saw the pictures...

  22. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Oh, ha ha!

    I've heard it's cack and hippy-happy pop music is not my bag at all so I avoid it. Fair play to her, she's trying to do something useful with herself, if enough dingbats can be found to pay her to do it, fair enough.

    How sick and twisted do you have to be to send death threats to a teenager who's not actually done anything that offensive to anyone? Some fucked-in-the-head nutcase thinks it would be a right good laugh to scare the shit out of some kid who's probably not handling all the attention that well.

    Oh and the PR firm, I don't believe she's that talented and quite a few people agree with me, so let her have her 15 mins, then she can go off to college and get on with her life without you fucking up her life for good!

  23. TheresaJayne
    Paris Hilton

    I know who made the death threats

    YES! the person who made the Threats was Justin Beiber who is worried his 5 seconds of fame are about to fade away (not quickly enough in my opinion)

  24. NogginTheNog

    On the subject of Autotune

    Howabout this 'news' story from this morning?

    Regarding Rebecca Black, if I was her parents I'd be more concerned about my 13 year old daughter's desire to spend weekends out and about with boys old enough to drive?!

  25. a53


    OK it's awful, but seriously, death threats?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Come on!

    The song may be pants, but it is amusingly so... as internet fads/sensations go there have been less entertaining and/or more annoying ones...

    The real thing here is though this is a 13 yr old girl, with feelings and emotions... threatening and abusing her off all over the internet is just unnecessary and pathetic, she isn't Charlie Sheen or some tough billionaire who can take a bit of grief - SHE'S A KID!

    FFS be nice to each other and if you don't like something just ignore it.

    Anonymous, because I know how pathetic people are I don't want death threats thanks!

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. scrubber

    Get a grip

    Music != picture of Mohammed.

    1. Hungry Sean

      nor is it

      a photograph of a crucifix in urine. Seriously, enough with the Muslim baiting already.

  29. Pinkerton

    I'm going for the 'Only Sensible Post' prize!

    [Yank Rozzers] added: "We're going to investigate and determine, number one, the source of the comments and then based on the investigation determine what intent was and where we go from here. If we believe they were actually intended as threats we will work toward prosecution."

    ...Which is more than can be said for all those involved in the Twitter Joke Trial who made no effort to establish intent and differentiate between a pisspoor joke and an actual desire to kill.

    OK, OK, I'll get back in my box.

  30. Graham Bartlett

    Dream following, done properly

    As one of a large number of people in the world who own musical instruments and PA systems, I'm following my dream insofar as my band gets out gigging fairly regularly, and people in the pub/club come up to us afterwards and say how much they enjoyed it. It took 10 years of playing guitar to get to that point. I didn't expect to throw $4K at a company and have it done (badly!) for me.

  31. VinceH

    Letters, digits.

    I'd heard of her and her song, but never actually heard it.

    You, El Reg, put the song right under my nose.

    So, of course, I just had to click play to see what all the furore was about.

    You evil, evil bar stewards!

    I don't think I'll ever forgive you.

  32. Timo

    and the music industry wonders where sales have gone

    when they've turned their business into cashing in on the latest fad. If they don't get their sales in 15 minutes then it is too late.

    there is not really much worth buying out there Much of the music sounds great the first 100 times you're forced to hear it and after that you want to take an icepick to your ears.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The song "Friday" is a crime against humanity. Not gonna blame Rebecca for it, but *someone* needs to be taken to The Hague over this.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Geez, it's not _that_ bad...

    I never saw one tomato exploding during the entire video. Direct you attention (if you dare) to "Puberty Love"...

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Rebecca Black

    A good reason why I pirate music.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    I like this song

    I also like Vogon poetry

  37. stupormundi

    First, I was like,

    death-threats, ridiculous, then I watched the vid again, and KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!

  38. Mike Smith
    Thumb Up

    I love it!

    In fact, I'm setting it as my work mobile ringtone. That'll piss 'em off and no mistake.

  39. Matt Piechota

    Lift up your heart

    Valid Autotune:

    And, the most legit cover:

  40. zen1
    IT Angle


    Good lord she's just a kid. Who knows (or cares) if this was a serious effort on her part to get recognized by some label. But that being said, being a ripe old 13 or 14 years old and isn't taking the overwhelming and world wide loathing of her "work" very well. That being said, it certainly doesn't warrant death threats.

    If the threats were real, I sincerely hope they nail the people responsible to the wall. if it's just a publicity stunt, then both her parents and management need to be jailed and she be placed in a convent (a silent one at that), until she's of legal age.

    I was going to add a quip about possible sterilization; to spare future generations of any offspring she may produce, however, knowing that someone would obviously take that seriously, I will refrain from suggesting it

  41. Anonymous Hero

    Lets face it.....

    Yes it's shite, but it's not any worse than the other auto-tuned shite that prevails over the current popular music charts and our wireless's.

    Thank god for Stuart Maconie's Freak & Freakier Zones on Radio 6.

    Right I'm off to listen to some bloke breaking cups to white noise and train noises whilst screaming obscenities at his cat :)

    ps: what is up with the line breaks?

  42. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Prison time?

    Surely any prankster on the Internet these days knows of mixminion (or throwaway webmail, through over9000 proxies), and PC-to-phone services (again, properly proxied).

    For the average 14-yo /b/ addict, the chances of being caught after such a tasteless "joke" are probably pretty slim.

  43. J 3

    Who's laughing...

    Apparently she's made more than $100,000 already, according to some reports. She says she'll be donating it all to the reconstruction efforts in Japan.

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