If TikTok is the new Instagram, then Charli D’Amelio is definitely the new Kylie Jenner. The 16-year-old has over 66 million subscribers to her channel, which she created just a year ago. Is her popularity just a fluke or is there a method to the madness? What is it about this teenager that has people flocking to hit like, comment, share, and subscribe? Let’s dance our way through these viral facts about the young social media star.
1. She’s Part of a Small Family
Charli D’Amelio was born in May 2004, to parents Marc, an apparel entrepreneur, and Heidi, a stay-at-home mom. She has one older sister, Dixie, who is three years older than her, but is sometimes mistaken as her twin. They even made a TikTok about it, which totally explains why people would think that. Spoiler alert: They’re very alike!
2. She Has a TikTok Fam at Home
It isn’t just D’Amelio who caught the TikTok bug though. Her whole family has accounts on the social media app, and plenty of followers to show for it. However, all their followers combined make just over half the people following Charli! Doesn’t seem like they care though; seems like they’re all just having fun!
3. She Danced Her Way to Fame
D’Amelio’s content on TikTok is what she knows best: Dance. Just three years old when she started dancing lessons, she was only five when she began dancing competitively. Ballet, Hip-Hop, Tap, she’s done it all. Pre-TikTok, she divided her time between school and dance. So, how did she dance her way to stardom? Keep reading…
4. Though She Didn’t Know It…
She had heard of TikTok from her friends, but Charli didn’t join in until one day she decided to use it to post dance videos. From March to July of 2019, she had seven followers. Then one day she posted a video before a dance lesson, and by the time the lesson ended, she’d suddenly gained 2,000 followers! What caused the sudden upsurge in numbers? Hmmm…
5. …Her Video Went Viral
D’Amelio posted a video of herself copying the dance moves of a TikToker with the handle “Move with Joy.” It was a side-by-side video, which meant that both of them were visible on screen at the same time and other users could see how well Charli followed his moves. There was no looking back after this, as thousands soon would become millions!
6. And She Didn’t Know What to Do!
Oblivious about what had happened, the D’Amelios were amazed to see Charli’s followers exploding with each passing day. At first, they didn’t even know what to do; as they say, “There’s no guidebook of what to do when you go viral on an app.” Still, they quickly realized that handling this was out of their control and Charli needed representation.
7. Her Parents Brought in Help
The D’Amelio elders quickly realized that fame came with a price and it was essential for their daughters to have a team to represent them. Charli D’Amelio signed with UTA (United Talent Agency) and has an entertainment attorney to keep things aboveboard and to protect her best interests.
8. She’s a Natural
It might be her girl-next-door looks that have contributed to her fame. Fans are happy to see someone who seems approachable and real, with her 5’7” height, petite frame, big eyes, and freckled face. Sister Dixie believes that people were tired of made-up faces, and Charli D’Amelio’s natural look is a refreshing change.
9. She Wants Balance
Charli’s still going to private school in Connecticut while balancing her new life and new-found fame. She admits that it can get a little tough sometimes, especially when she realized other kids would take pictures of her in the hall and share them on Snapchat. However, she is determined to continue leading as normal a life as possible.
10. She’s a Fan Girl Herself
So, who is Charli D’Amelio a fan of? The answer: Jennifer Lopez. The TikTok star was just 12 when she decided her dream would be to dance with J Lo one day. She even had the celebrity’s picture hanging in a place of honor at the very top of her mood board. Has that dream come true yet? What do you think?
11. When Her Dream Came True
D’Amelio finally got the chance to meet her idol at Super Bowl LIV. And she didn’t just get to me J Lo—she got to create a TikTok challenge and dance with her! Overwhelmed to have her dream come true in the best way possible, Charli couldn’t really control her emotions. “I just started crying. I could not hold back. She just embraced me with the biggest hug ever.”
12. And J Lo had Fun Too
It wasn’t just Charli who enjoyed the meeting though; even J Lo had fun collaborating with her. She told Charli that her daughters loved watching her TikToks, which set off a fresh wave of tears for the teenager.
13. She’s Been in Huge Ads
Popularity has opened all sorts of doors for D’Amelio, one of them being the world of advertising. She appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Sabra Hummus along with many celebrities—most notably Norman Esiason, aka Boomer, an NFL commentator and former quarterback. Why the two of them? Obviously so D’Amelio could say, “OK, Boomer!”
The ad itself was quite short, but it made Charli D’Amelio the only TikToker to have worked in a Super Bowl commercial.
14. She’s Still Clueless in Connecticut
Perhaps one of the qualities that so endears Charli D’Amelio to her fans is her wryness while acknowledging her popularity. For the longest time, her TikTok bio read, “Don’t worry, I don’t get the hype either.” She admitted in an interview with MEL magazine that she couldn’t explain her popularity because she didn’t know how it had happened.
15. Coffee is Literally Her Life
Dancing may be her first love, but coffee comes a close second! The TikTok star has posted many times about her love for coffee on Twitter and TikTok. Her favorite kind: Dunkin Donuts. The company heard about her love for them and, of course, they had to show appreciation somehow. What do you think they did?
16. She Got Sweet Treats from Dunkin
Send her some awesome swag of course! This included several things like branded candles and a onesie, but the star of the show was a huge coffee dispenser labeled: “Charli’s Cold Brew Tap.” This was in response to a post where she’d said her life would be complete if she had a cold brew tap in her room. Someone was listening!
17. She’s a Fan Favorite
Charli D’Amelio’s fans made her the star she is, and she loves meeting them—for a price. She and her family held a meet and greet at her home dance studio and charged $100 for the VIP experience. The price may have disgruntled some fans in the beginning, but no one could criticize once they learned where the money was going.
18. She Believes in Giving Back
D’Amelio announced that the money from the ticket sales would be going to people with special needs and to a fellow dancer from her home studio whose father had ALS. She also recently donated $50,000 to her hometown hospital so they could get essential supplies for their frontline workers in these days of active duty. It wasn’t the only time she displayed her desire to make a difference though.
19. She Might be the Teen Savior of Ohio
The Governor of Ohio was supposedly at his wit’s end on how to encourage young people to stay home during the lockdown. Until someone told him he needed Charli D’Amelio. Partnering with Proctor & Gamble and ad agency Grey Group, his team approached her, and she agreed to help him out…on one condition.
20. She Created the #DistanceDance
D’Amelio agreed to create a #distancedance as part of the campaign to encourage teens to stay home as long as part of the proceeds went to charity. P & G agreed to donate a product to Feeding America and Matthew 25: Ministries for every single video her dance spawned. Nine weeks, 192 million views, and 3.5 million inspired videos later, it’s safe to say her post was a smash hit—and did a lot to help give back!
21. She Made it to Hype House…
A co-working space for Youtubers and TikTokers, Hype House is a mansion in Los Angeles. The D’Amelio sisters were among the 19 young people invited to stay there to collaborate with each other or focus on creating their own content. The rules were simple: No parties, you had to replace anything you broke, and create every day. Imagine living with friends in a mansion as a teenager…nope, can’t do it either.
22. …Only to Leave It
Their intentions might have been great to begin with, but the D’Amelio sisters felt that the founders of Hype House had made living there become more work and less fun. They decided to leave once they felt the business angle was getting to them and headed back home to Connecticut. They had been dividing time between the two places earlier as well, so this wasn’t a big change to contend with.
23. But She Did Learn Valuable Lessons There
Although she wasn’t a fan of it towards the end, Charli initially loved the environment at Hype House. She had been all praise for her fellow residents and said their positivity and kindness had helped boost her creativity and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone. Oh well, as they say, everything is a learning experience.
24. Her Very First TikTok
Charli D’Amelio has sure come a long way from the first video she ever posted on TikTok; of her just lip-syncing a song with a friend. In fact, no one could have guessed that the creator of that video would go on to be so hugely successful on that platform. So, don’t be afraid and go ahead and post that video you aren’t too happy with…after all, you never know!
25. Perez Hilton Came After Her
All her success has meant that Charli has been in the glaring spotlight, which has brought along its share of critics. Not all of them are anonymous either. Much to the online world’s surprise, one of the people to criticize her recently was none other than celebrity blogger Perez Hilton! Why did Mr. Hilton feel the need to comment? Let’s try to figure it out.
26. On Her “Inappropriate” Post
Hilton commented on a TikTok in which Charli was dancing to a song in a bikini while vacationing on a beach. He questioned whether this was appropriate for a teenager, to which she winningly said, “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to have fun.” You do you Charli; not sure why Hilton even felt the need to comment at all! But that wasn’t the end of the story…
27. Her Fans Weren’t Having It
Charli’s fans weren’t happy with this unprovoked attack. Some of them even started a petition on Change.Org urging TikTok to ban Hilton. Over 188,000 people ended up signing the petition. Lucky Charli! Quite a bunch of admirers have her back.
28. Hilton Didn’t Like Dad
Hilton claimed that it wasn’t Charli he had a problem with: It was her dad. He posted his outrage that Marc D’Amelio had been caught by the cops for driving under influence when nine-year-old Charli had been in his car. Clearly both dad and daughter agree that this rant didn’t deserve being dignified with a response.
29. And Some Moms Didn’t Like Her
So apparently there was this extremely weird TikTok trend where some moms were rating teenage TikTokers. Erm…yeah. Clearly, they had way too much free time on their hands. Anyway, some moms had mean things to say, and D’Amelio had a classy response: “Why am I being rated by moms? Yeah, I’ll pass on that whole trend.”
30. She Has Some Haters
Unfortunately, these aren’t the only occasions when Charli D’Amelio has had to deal with online hate. She has mentioned that people’s comments about her appearance have been very hurtful and she doesn’t understand the body shaming. Both sisters have appeared in a UNICEF campaign against online bullying because they have been affected by it personally.
31. And Lockdown Life Hasn’t Helped
While life these days has meant that she has more spare time to scroll down comments and fixate on the mean ones, she tries her hardest to ignore them and stay afloat by playing Fortnite with friends and creating her usual content. “Dance is my safe place and no one can take that away from me.”
32. She Went to VidCon
Amassing such a huge following in such a short time has opened lots of exciting opportunities for D’Amelio. For instance, she was invited as a featured creator to VidCon 2020: an event that was mostly created to bring famous and amateur YouTubers together with their fans. Although she was very excited to be invited, the event was canceled because of the restrictions on gatherings this year.
33. And Also to Fashion Shows
Before VidCon, Charli D’Amelio landed an invite to Milan Fashion Week from Prada—and this time, she got to go! She flew to Europe, got to sit in the front row with Derek Blasberg, made TikToks with some models, hobnobbed with the Hadids, even with Mrs. Prada herself, who gave her some fashion tips! First mansions then fashion shows, and she’s just 16!
34. She Posts Awesome Throwback TikToks
Dancing from such a young age means that Charli has a lot of pictures of old competitions and performances. She regularly shares them on social media, and fans love seeing how far back her passion for dance goes.
35. Her Dad’s Ambitions
Charli’s dad ran for Connecticut State Senate two years ago. In fact, his infamous DUI first came out when he hit the campaign trail. He didn’t win then, but considering his growing number of followers on TikTok, he just might win if he decided to run again now!
36. She’s Got Strong Support
Both Heidi and Marc feel that the girls’ fame has brought them closer as a family. The girls used to confer with them before posting stuff earlier as well, so they have given them freedom while remaining close by if they are needed. Marc enjoys TikTok and even though he got on it to keep an eye on Charli, he has created his own niche on it now.
37. And a Great Sisterhood
Charli and Dixie are BFFs as well as sisters. It helps that they’re so close in age, but both girls claim that the TikTok life has brought them closer to each other. They love the fact that they are in it together and have each other’s backs. Dixie is a huge fan of Charli’s style and understands why people love her, even if Charli doesn’t: “She’s just herself when she posts.”
38. She’s Doing a Podcast
Social media has closed the gap between the private and personal lives of a lot of celebrities. Fans love seeing what their favorite celebs are up to at home, and what they enjoy doing in their free time. The D’Amelio girls have signed a podcast deal to show fans what goes on in their lives behind the scenes. They will also get to talk about topics that are important to them. Sounds like it might be fun!
39. And Her Own Reality Show
The family recently signed a deal for a reality TV show with Industrial Entertainment. Move over Kardashians, the D’Amelios are coming to give you a run for your money!
40. Her Family’s on Board
Why do a reality show? Well, why not? Dad Marc is all for going all-in now that they have set out on this path. However, he has his priorities in mind: “For us, it’s not about money. It’s about happiness and being able to make an impact in the world and in my kids’ lives.” (Though I’m sure earning money while doing that is a nice little bonus). He wants to take each day as it comes and stop if it gets overwhelming.
41. She Courted Controversy
One controversy that Charli D’Amelio was involved in featured a dance called “Renegade.” She posted about trying to figure out parts of it every day and naturally, it gained a lot of attention and became really popular. Only to open a Pandora’s box about how the dance was originally by another teen, Jalaiah Harmon, and Charli had failed to give her credit.
42. But Was Quick to Accept Her Mistakes
The haters were disappointed though, when it seemed like Harmon had taken no offense and D’Amelio was quick to rectify her mistake and give her the original credit. Both girls eventually danced the Renegade together and Harmon even posted a #distancedance of her own this year.
43. The Cosplay Universe was Not Amused
D’Amelio found herself and fellow TikToker Madi Monroe in the thick of another internet controversy when she posted a video that Cosplayers found offensive and interpreted as a form of harassment. She took the video down and issued an apology stating that her intention was never to intimidate and offend and she loved all forms of content.
44. But She’s Trying to Stay Happy
In keeping with how the D’Amelio family sticks together, Charli recently posted dancing on her sister’s first original song, “Happy.” The song is about mental health and is catchy without being preachy.
45. Bebe Rexha DMed Her!
Popstar Bebe Rexha slid into Charli’s DMs one day and told her she would call her up on stage to dance with her. Sure enough, while she was performing the opening act in a concert where the Jonas Brothers were up next, the pop star invited Charli on stage. The teenager recalls how it was nerve-wracking but extremely exciting to be dancing with the singer on stage.
46. She Did a Collab with Schnapp
Fans of Stranger Things were delighted to see the series’ star Noah Schnapp collaborating with Charli D’Amelio. The two posted a video in which Charli taught him some dance moves, and Noah tried to re-enact a key scene from the series with the TikTok star. He chose an easy scene where all Charli would need to do was “cry and freak out.” She was amused by what she considered her lack of acting chops, but he claimed she did great! Does this mean she could potentially become a regular part of the small screen? Well, let’s wait and see.
47. TikTok Disabled Her DMs for a Day
Actually, TikTok disabled DMS for all US users under 16 on 30 April 2020. Since Charli was turning 16 on the first of May, this just meant she was unable to access or send DMs for an entire day! Might have even been a relief to get a tiny break from messaging?
48. The One Where She Turned 16
You can’t let anything spoil your sixteenth! Which is exactly what Charli’s friends and family thought, so they did a celebratory drive-by past her house on May 1st to party, social distancing style. And naturally, the birthday girl posted a special dance on TikTok for her followers, to a song called “Sixteen.”
49. What People Say About Her
D’Amelio’s winning trait seems to be her genuineness and her real desire to have fun without indulging in any petty drama. Fellow influencers praise her friendly and caring nature, while people in the media business admire her humility and readiness to work hard while trying to genuinely use her platform to influence societal change.
50. The Bottom Line According to Her
TikTok may come with its share of problems, but Charli wants to focus on the positives while enjoying herself. She wants to meet Lady Gaga one day and wants to continue dancing. Dad Marc says that they often talk about feelings and whether “we’re as happy today as we were before this started,” and he’s clear that when the answer is “No,” they will scale back.
51. Charlie Got a Nose Job?
Fans were terrified in July 2020 when Charli posted pictures of her face covered with bloody bandages. Many speculated that she had gotten plastic surgery—but it was actually something way less juicy. She simply got the surgery to fix breathing problems that she’d had since breaking her nose in August 2019.
52. Her Budding Romance…
It’s hard for someone so famous to keep anything about their personal life under wraps. The world had an inkling that there might be something more to Charli’s friendship with fellow TikTok star Chase Hudson, aka “Lil Huddy.” The suspicions weren’t unfounded, as was proven when the couple made it official this year on Valentine’s day. Unfortunately, the love story did not have a happy ending.
53. …Did Not Reach Full Bloom
D’Amelio told her followers that the relationship had ended just two months after the news first broke. She posted on her Instagram Stories that she had nothing but love for Chase, but they had broken up. She also requested for no questions or comments, since breakups are tough to begin with. Did he cheat on her? Well, not long after, new information came to light…
54. She Lashed Out
The internet exploded when Charli posted a simple, five-word tweet: “i hope she was worth it. :)” Soon after, the dark truth came out—Lil Huddy had been caught kissing fellow TikTok star Nessa Barrett, and people wanted answers. Hudson claimed that the kiss happened after he and Charli broke up…but that wasn’t the whole story.
55. Cheating is Cheating
Kissing someone after you broke up with your girlfriend doesn’t seem that bad—certainly not bad enough for Charli to delete all of her pictures with Hudson and unfollow him on all social media. But then another rumor came out: Hudson slid into Barrett’s DMs while he was still with Charli! OK, NOW we have a problem!