“When ‘Friday’ went up on the internet, it went crazy,” Black, now 20, wrote in a moving essay for NBC News’ Think. “The onslaught of negative attention I received was so sudden and so intense that I wasn’t sure I would survive.”
Black was just 13 years old when she released the video and became an overnight YouTube sensation. It has been viewed over 110 million times.
However, much of the attention Black received wasn’t positive. She endured so much taunting and bullying from classmates that she left her Anaheim Hills, California school to be homeschooled by her mother.
“One minute, I was a normal girl and then, in the next, millions of people know who I was and they were ruthless in hurling the most vile words my way,” she added in the essay.
“People were writing things all over the internet, on social media and they were laughing at me on TV shows, and making fun of me in YouTube videos.”
She said that although the video landed her red carpet appearances and guest spots on late night shows, the bullying was too much to take.
“In my life, there were people I personally knew at school and in my inner circle who verbally abused me,” Black wrote. “But then there were also complete strangers from all around the world using social media to deride me, degrade me and even worse; some people threatened my life.”
She added: “Although I was hurt to my core by the intense nastiness, I had absolutely no way to deal with that, so I shut down.”
Now, the star using her story to fight cyber bullying — “People still say hateful things about me, but it happens less often these days.”
“Internet bullying is not inevitable, if we allow ourselves to learn a bit more and stand up for others and what’s right,” she concluded the essay.
How One Inspiring Teen Went From Bullying Victim to Singer: ‘Music Has Basically Saved My Life’
“That’s why I’ve chosen to add my voice to the chorus. Nobody needs to suffer in silence, like I did, for so many years.”
She continued: “Whatever a bully is saying about you is wrong. It didn’t feel that way when I was 13 and people were writing about how awful and undeserving I was, but I know they were wrong.”
Black recently released her new EP RE/BL.