Charli D’Amelio (born May 1, 2004) is an American social media personality and dancer. Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, she was a competitive dancer for over 10 years before starting her social media career. She started actively posting content on the video-sharing app, TikTok, in late 2019, where she would post dance videos to trending songs on the platform. She quickly amassed a large following and subsequently became the most-followed creator on the app, surpassing Loren Gray.

She was named the second highest-earning TikTok personality by Forbes and was placed on Fortune‘s 40 Under 40 list in 2020. As of September 2020, she has over 85 million followers on TikTok, and has often been referred to as TikTok’s biggest star.

Early life

Charli D’Amelio was born on May 1, 2004 in Norwalk, Connecticut to Marc D’Amelio, a former Republican Connecticut Senate candidate and founder/CEO of Level 4 Collective Showroom, a sports apparel showroom and sales agency, and Heidi D’Amelio, a photographer and former model, with an older sister, Dixie. Charli began dancing at age 3, and was a trained competitive dancer for over 10 years prior to starting TikTok.

Charli D’Amelio Career

Charli D’Amelio first began posting on TikTok on March 30, 2019 with a lip-syncing video alongside her friend. Her first video to gain traction, a side-by-side video (known on the platform as a “duet”) with user “Move With Joy”, was posted in July 2019. Since then, her content has mainly consisted of videos dancing to trending songs on the platform. In October 2019, she began posting videos performing a dance to “Renegade”, originally created by dancer Jalaiah Harmon, and was subsequently credited with popularizing the dance on social media, being referred to affectionately as the “CEO of Renegade”.

Following a New York Times profile of Harmon revealing her as the original creator of the dance, Charli D’Amelio received internet backlash for not crediting Harmon, which prompted D’Amelio to begin regularly crediting those who created the dances she performs. She joined the collaborative TikTok content house, The Hype House, in November 2019 alongside her sister, Dixie, but left in May 2020.

In late 2019, former Sony Music executive Barbara Jones signed Charli D’Amelio to her management company, Outshine Talent, and in January 2020, Charli D’Amelio signed with United Talent Agency along with the rest of her family. Singer Bebe Rexha invited Charli D’Amelio to perform alongside her during her opening performance for the Jonas Brothers in November 2019. That same month, she held her first meet-and-greet, which attracted a crowd of about 400 people, and began posting on her self-titled YouTube vlog channel.

In February 2020, she appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Sabra Hummus along with other celebrities. She was invited to attend Super Bowl LIV and meet Jennifer Lopez to create a TikTok dance challenge celebrating Lopez’s Super Bowl LIV halftime show performance. At the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, Charli D’Amelio performed a dance with fellow Hype House members, as well as Jalaiah Harmon. In March 2020, she and her sister partnered with UNICEF for an anti-bullying campaign.

That same month, D’Amelio partnered with Procter & Gamble to create the #DistanceDance challenge on TikTok with the goal of encouraging social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which garnered praise from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Charli D’Amelio appeared in the ABC television special The Disney Family Singalong during the singing of “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical, alongside the original cast of the film, in April 2020. In May 2020, she and her sister announced a podcast deal with Ramble Podcast Network, and both were included in the celebrity lineup for the television special Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, hosted by LeBron James.

Charli D’Amelio starred as Tinker in the June 2020 United States release of the 2019 animated children’s film StarDog and TurboCat, marking her first role in a feature film. She became the face of Hollister’s “Jean Lab” campaign alongside her sister in July 2020, also creating a TikTok dance to promote the campaign. That same month, she became an ambassador for braces brand Invisalign, while she and her sister partnered with Morphe Cosmetics to launch Morphe 2, a makeup line. Charli and Dixie also launched a nail polish collection, called Coastal Craze, with Orosa Beauty in August 2020. In a July 2020 interview with Dixie, it was confirmed that Industrial Media was producing a reality show of the D’Amelio family.

Forbes published a report in August 2020 revealing Charli D’Amelio earned $4 million in the last year from her numerous sponsorship deals and merchandise, making her the second highest-earning TikTok star, following Addison Rae. Dunkin’ Donuts created a limited-time menu drink dedicated to D’Amelio and based on her “go-to” order called “The Charli” in September 2020. Fortune included D’Amelio on their annual 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes young leaders they consider to be the most influential, making her the youngest person on the list at 16 years old. D’Amelio and her sister also designed limited-edition fleece sweatshirts for Hollister, released in September 2020.

D’Amelio is set to release her first book, Essentially Charli: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping It Real, in December 2020.

Charli D’Amelio Personal life

D’Amelio began publicly dating fellow TikTok star and Hype House co-founder Chase Hudson in January of 2020. In April of that same year, she and Hudson announced their split.

D’Amelio has been vocal about her experiences with bullying and body shaming, as well as the struggles of internet fame. In an interview with Mel Magazine, she stated, “It’s very weird, especially like when it’s [from] older people. Both girls and guys commenting on a 15-year-old’s appearance and her body shape and how she looks.” In an anti-bullying campaign for UNICEF, she shared, “Some of the most hurtful comments that I read about myself online are…about my body shape, my body type, which hits close to home because I struggled a lot with body image, body dysmorphia, [and] bad eating habits.

No one really knows that.” She has also been active in fighting against her sexualization by adult men online. She and her family became the target of attacks from blogger Perez Hilton in March 2020, who called her dancing “inappropriate” and drew attention to her father’s January 2014 DUI charge. His criticism of D’Amelio led to the creation of a Change.org petition asking TikTok to ban him from their platform, which gained over 188,000 signatures.

In regards to her rise to popularity, D’Amelio has expressed confusion. In an interview with Variety, she said, “I consider myself a normal teenager that a lot of people watch, for some reason…it doesn’t make sense in my head, but I’m working on understanding it.”

D’Amelio has openly expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and, during the George Floyd protests, posted a video on TikTok decrying George Floyd’s murder. Following her meet-and-greet in November 2019, she and her family donated the money earned from ticket sales to a special needs fundraiser. In April 2020, she donated $50,000 to Norwalk Hospital in her hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut, to help secure critical supplies for the hospital’s staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public image

D’Amelio has frequently been referred to as TikTok’s biggest star. Taylor Lorenz of The New York Times called D’Amelio the “reigning queen” of TikTok. Trey Taylor of The Face called her and her sister Dixie the “CEOs of TikTok”. In an article for The Washington Post, Travis M. Andrews called her “[TikTok’s] undisputed ruler”. Much of her appeal has been attributed to her content being seen as relatable.

Mel Magazine‘s Joseph Longo called her “one of the first polarizing figures on the video app — the embodiment of the strange, precarious and unpredictable new world of Gen Z online fame,” noting that social media users criticized her as being “basic”, “cringeworthy”, and “overhyped”. Writing for Vanity Fair, Carino Chocano called her the “face” of “Straight TikTok”, a colloquial term used to describe the more mainstream part of TikTok, with “straight” referencing the fact that many of the users who make up “Straight TikTok” are heterosexual.

Books

  • D’Amelio, Charli (December 1, 2020). Essentially Charli: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping It Real. Amulet Books.
(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)