If you do not know who Charli D’Amelio is or why this seemingly ordinary teenager is obscenely famous, you are probably not on TikTok – the social media app where she has more than 120 million followers.
And the 17-year-old admits she, too, does not quite grasp why videos of her dancing have made her the app’s biggest star.
Her lighthearted 15- to 60-second posts – which each net an estimated US$100,000 (S$134,000) in brand endorsements – put the teenager in the history books as the first person to hit 100 million TikTok followers last November.
And just as a previous generation struggled to comprehend what early reality television stars the Kardashians were famous for, D’Amelio’s runaway success on the app has baffled many.
The teen, who has been dancing competitively since the age of five, began posting videos of herself dancing to trending songs on the app in late 2019.
And as her views soared, so did the number of users slamming her as mediocre and “basic”, although some believe her girl-next-door quality is the key to her appeal.
What is indisputable is that D’Amelio is one of TikTok’s highest-paid stars, with an estimated net worth of some US$8 million from endorsement deals with brands such as clothing retailer Hollister. Meanwhile, her older sister Dixie was recently named Puma ambassador.
Puma ambassador Dixie D’Amelio is working on a collection of her own set to release in 2022 across Foot Locker, Inc. family of brands and www.puma.com.
D’Amelio’s fame has also reached escape velocity: She and her sister Dixie, 20, and parents Marc, 52, and Heidi, 49, are no longer just TikTok-famous.
With The D’Amelio Show – a new eight-episode reality series streaming on Disney+ – they are the latest social media stars to cross over into Hollywood.
Ahead a lowdown on what to expect.