Meet Charlie D’amelio. Until March of 2019, Charlie was just a normal teenager from Norwalk, Connecticut. Today, she is the most popular teenager on the internet with 86 million followers on TikTok and 6 Billion likes.
What’s her story? Read on.
Charli’s early life
Born on May 1, 2004, Charli grew up with her sister Dixie D’amelio, father Marc Damelio and Heidi D’amelio in Norwalk, Connecticut. She grew up just like any other teenager wherein she went to school, came back home, did her homework and went to bed. The one thing that Charli loved though, was dance. She had been professionally training since age 3 and had tried her hand at ballet, tap and hip-hop. It was only early 2019 when she heard about TikTok in school.
A big break in a Tik-tok
On March 30, 2019, Charlie posted her first Tik-Tok. If you’ve seen that video, you wouldn’t have thought much of it. It was a simple lip-syncing gag that she filmed with a friend. Horizontally. Yes, the empress of TikTok started off her journey with a horizontal video.
But she changed track and soon enough people started noticing.
In July, on her way to dance class, she posted a video of her following dance moves of a user named “Move With Joy”. Before class, she had less than 100 followers. After the class, she had 2000.
Her rise was nothing short of meteoric. She reached 100k followers in little over a month.
In October she posted what would become her most liked video of all time- her dancing to the song “Lottery(Renegade)” by Group K Camp. “Lottery” blew up on TikTok with millions of people following along with her video as a duet or doing their own versions. Growth came easier after that and she remembers weeks where she woke up to hundreds of thousands of new subscribers every single day.
Charli, the Star
Suddenly, Charli was a star!
Soon she took off and had to deal with an agency, publicist and manager who would schedule her days with meetings. In between them she’d make about 7 videos a day. In November, Charli opened(with Bebe Rexha) for the Jonas Brothers, at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.
At the time, she thought that was to be the height of her stardom. Yeah, right.
She then joined the Hype House, a TikTok Creator Collective, in December and her fame further exploded. In the 30 days between January 6th and February 5th, she got 7.3 million followers on TikTok. It was around this time that the SuperBowl came calling.
Sabra, the Hummus brand, saw the value in cashing in on the TikTok’s star’s appeal with teens and launched the now famous “OK, Boomer” campaign. Just like that, 11 months after she had posted her first TikTok, Charli was in a SuperBowl ad.
But the best was yet to come.
Charli & J’Lo
Charli’s biggest inspiration since she was 12 was J’Lo. She even had a vision board with a picture of the popstar. When asked what her dream job was, the social media starlet didn’t say ‘TikTok’. She said it was “dancing with J’Lo” and that’s just what happened!
J’lo was performing with Shakira for the SuperBowl halftime show.The day before the performance, J’Lo invited Charli backstage where the two met and performed at the SuperBowl.
At the tender age of 15, Charli had accomplished her most audacious goal.
The key to her success
Why did Charli blow up on TikTok?
- The time she joined the platform(spring, 2019) when more people were consuming than creating
- Her dancing content-which was not common on TikTok at the time.
- Her consistency.
- Her relatability.
This translated to algorithmic gold.
What’s up next for Charli?
She is now the face of TikTok and it’s a good place to be. She’s currently signed with UTA(United Talent Agency) along with her parents and sister, Dixie(who has 38 million followers of her own on TikTok).
So how much does this lifestyle pay Charli?
Chali has made money from brand collabs, merchandise and sponsorship deals. Apart from Sabra hummus she’s worked with Prada, EOS cosmetics and made deals with Spotify and Hollister. In 2019, Charli made 4 million dollars. She charges up to 40,000 for a sponsored post.
It’s no wonder then that Gen Z wants to become a creator. A life of fun and creativity that is also profitable. When Gen Z looks at Charli, they see a kind of fame that is relatable, attainable and happy. They see themselves in their Charli and they adore her for it.
What’s Charli been upto?
The Damelio family has been on an empire-building spree. From obscurity they are now one of America’s most talked about families- all within a span of 2 years.
With that fame, has come fortune. With investments in companies like Step and Halo; brand endorsements with Puma, Dunkin’ and a clothing line with Hollister, the D’Amelios have gone from endorsers to business owners.
Their fame isn’t restricted to just the audience from one platform either. The family has graduated from TikTok to YouTube to now having their own reality show on Hulu called ‘The D’amelio Show’. Perhaps, the biggest indicator of their success is the team they employ to keep the business running-an agent, attorney, assistant, and public relations team. Their agent in UTA left the organization to become the president of the Damelio organization.
All this, just 2 years after Charli put up her first video on TikTok.