April 04, 2011 12:00 PM

Heading down a hallway during a study break, eighth grader Rebecca Black got a quick lesson in Fame 101. “Half my school was thrusting Sharpies in my face,” says the 13-year-old Anaheim, Calif., singer of the impromptu autograph session-at which her principal played bodyguard. “That was crazy.” Even crazier: how her mindless, Auto-Tuned “Friday” video went viral (30 million YouTube hits and counting)-and inspired both parodies and bullying. “The most hurtful [comment] said to cut myself or get an eating disorder,” says Black, who admits she cried. Not everyone’s a hater: Simon Cowell says he’s a fan, and record labels and songwriters have come calling. “It’s the last thing I expected,” says Black. “But I really want to do this the rest of my life-just with songs not about the days of the week!”

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