Khaby Lame, a 22-year-old Senegalese-born creator, became the most followed person on TikTok last night, overtaking American TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, who previously held the distinction. Lame now has over 142.7 million followers compared to D’Amelio’s 142.3 million.
Lame, who lives in Italy, initially rose to fame by using TikTok’s duet and stitch features, reacting wordlessly to complicated and absurd “life hacks.” She now posts mostly silent comedy skits, racking up millions of views and likes. His following began to explode last year, and in recent weeks, fans have launched efforts to bring him to the top.
Lame’s rise and D’Amelio’s ouster are significant. D’Amelio and his sister, Dixie, are two of TikTok’s central figures, building an entire media brand on what they themselves admit was initially accidental stardom. Her meteoric rise to fame through split-second dance videos has stumped people not on TikTok and inspired millions of followers to try the same. The sisters earned an estimated $27.5 million last year, according to estimates from Forbes.
It’s notable that Lame becomes the most popular personality on TikTok given previous issues raised by users on the platform about how creators of color, and specifically black creators, are treated.
In 2020, in response to accusations that TikTok’s algorithm suppresses content by black creators, the company has pledged to take action, including creating a diversity council and donating money to nonprofits.” who help the black community. Last year, citing a lack of credit for choreographing viral dances to hit songs, some black creators went on an informal walkout, refusing to create dances that might otherwise disproportionately benefit white creators.
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