Rebecca Black never set out to become the latest viral sensation. The Orange County, California, eighth grader displaced Charlie Sheen as a top Twitter trending topic thanks to the first song she recorded—a scrappy synth-pop confection called “Friday”—and the song’s deliciously lo-fi video would go on to be viewed a staggering 16 million times on YouTube in spite of (or more likely, owing precisely to) its amusingly amateurish production values. And then came the backlash. In her first interview since taking over Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, 13-year-old Rebecca talks to Chris Lee about the video, being “cyberbullied,” and all the “haters” out there. Plus, try to spot the differences between Rebecca Black’s “ Friday” and Top 40 hits.
There's an exact moment every night when Nick Adams stops being Nick and becomes Felicia. Right before the curtains go up, he sneaks one last look in his vanity mirror. Wearing a big blond wig, a tight corset, and enough makeup to make the late Tammy Faye Bakker look like an amateur, he can almost feel it. That's when he does that “thing.” He winks at himself through thick prosthetic lashes and says, “Have a good show, bitch!” Adams co-stars in the Priscilla Queen of the Desert (which officially opens Sunday) as the Madonna-obsessed Felicia. He tells Itay Hod about his nightly drag transformation and his tabloid feud with Mario Lopez.
He adopted the name of a gangster and found fame overseas, but the German abstract painter Blinky Palermo has remained relatively under the radar—until now. A wonderful and rare survey of the artist’s works is now at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum. Palermo decided to go down a different path: He picked up abstract painting at the exact moment it seemed to be losing steam. Blake Gopnik writes that the reason for Palermo’s name change from Peter Heisterkamp could be because he needed a moniker that captured the bravado, and even the foolishness, inherent in his venture. He still managed to push abstract art to the brink before his early death at the age of 33, and the new retrospective lets you revisit his amibition.