Inside the life of 17-year-old Charli D'Amelio, the most popular TikTok star in the world who now has her own TV show and clothing line

·8 min read
charli d'amelio david dobrick sabra hummus
Charli D'Amelio has over 125 million followers on TikTok. Screenshot TikTok/@charlidamelio, Photo by STEVEN FERDMAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • Charli D'Amelio is the most-followed person on TikTok with more than 125 million followers.

  • D'Amelio became popular for her dancing and choreography.

  • She recently starred in a Hulu show about her family's life in LA, called "The D'Amelio Show."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you're familiar with TikTok, you probably already know who Charli D'Amelio is. With more than 125 million TikTok followers and the no. 1 "Most Popular" ranking on influencer catalog Famous Birthdays, 17-year-old D'Amelio has taken over as the most popular teen on the internet.

In addition to choreography and performing viral dances - most notably the one to the song "Renegade" - and being one of the first TikTokers to star in a Super Bowl commercial, D'Amelio also starred in the Hulu docuseries "The D'Amelio Show" and created a clothing brand with Hollister. Here's how the teenager and her family rose to fame.

D'Amelio burst onto the TikTok scene with a dance tutorial duet, and her growth has been nonstop ever since.

charli d’amelio
D'Amelio went viral making dance TikToks. Screen shot of charli d’amelio TikTok.

D'Amelio says her first-ever TikTok to go viral was a duet with the user "move_with_joy." In it, D'Amelio follows along with a simple dance routine.

It's perfectly symbolic of the type of videos that drove D'Amelio's rapid success, and in the next five months helped her accrue more than 5 million followers.

Before TikTok fame, D'Amelio grew up in Connecticut and danced competitively.

D'Amelio is from Norwalk, Connecticut, where she grew up with her 20-year-old sister Dixie D'Amelio and her parents Marc and Heidi D'Amelio. Her dad ran as a Republican for Connecticut State Senate in 2018 and lost to the incumbent.

Before starting her TikTok account in June 2019, Charli was a competitive dancer and posted videos and photos from competitions on her Instagram.

Some of her most popular TikToks are her dancing to the song "Lottery (Renegade)," more commonly known as just "the Renegade."

Charli choreographs her own dances and posts several TikToks a day, some of which include lip sync videos, vlogs, and more casual takes of her doing various activities.

But her most popular TikToks are her various dance videos, and one of her most popular TikToks of all time is her dancing to the song "Lottery (Renegade)" by the group K Camp.

Charli's "Renegade" dance is so popular, it's become a meme.

In October 2019, "Renegade" became a huge TikTok trend, largely thanks to Charli. The most popular iterations of "Renegade" are hers, but plenty of other TikTokers dueted her and did their own versions. Tutorials of how to do the "Renegade" dance are also popular on YouTube.

In early 2020, after the original choreographer of the "Renegade" dance was identified as 14-year-old Jalaiah Harmon, the two danced together for Charli's TikTok.

In November 2019, Charli sold tickets for her first meet-and-greet.

When Charli announced her meet-and-greet in Connecticut, where VIP ticket experiences cost $100, she landed herself in her first controversy. She later clarified that the price of tickets paid for security for the event, but that anything leftover would go to charity.

Charli's first video on her YouTube channel, which is a vlog of her meet-and-greet, has more than 13 million views and her channel has over 9 million subscribers. She encourages followers to donate to Carnival for a Cause, which benefits children with developmental disabilities, as well as Breathe for ALS.

That month Charli also performed onstage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn with Bebe Rexha, who opened for the Jonas Brothers.

Memes went viral of Charli dancing with Bebe Rexha, who reached out to her over Instagram DMs to ask Charli to join her onstage. Charli told MEL Magazine in a 2020 interview that she planned to pursue dancing professionally.

But her internet stardom exploded once again after she joined the Hype House in December 2019.

As reported in The New York Times, the Hype House formed in Los Angeles as a TikTok collective bringing together some of the platform's biggest stars (namely, Charli), as well as some fresh faces looking to make daily content.

Charli and her sister Dixie officially left the Hype House in May 2020.

Several members of the Hype House live in the LA mansion full-time and they're soon getting their own reality show. Charli and her parents live in their own home in LA, while Dixie lives in an apartment nearby.

D'Amelio dated a member of the Hype House who goes by LilHuddy.

Fanjoy
Chase Hudson. Fanjoy

Chase Hudson, better known as Lil Huddy (or just @lilhuddy), started officially dating Charli at the end of December 2019, but the two kept their TikTok fans guessing for a while. In April 2020, the two announced they had broken up.

Hudson is one of the core members of the Hype House and used to appear in a lot of dancing videos with Charli. The 19-year-old from Stockton, California built his TikTok following by lip-syncing to famous artists and collaborations with other TikTok stars.

On January 15 2020, the entire D'Amelio family officially signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

UTA signed the entire D'Amelio family, including the sisters' parents. Marc has his own TikTok account with over 10 million followers, while Dixie has 55 million TikTok followers.

The agency is set to work with the D'Amelio family on digital content, live touring, podcasts, books, TV, and licensing and endorsements, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Charli was one of the first TikTok stars to appear in a Super Bowl commercial.

@charlidamelio

#SuperBowlLIV? Ok, Boomer, see you there! Check us out in the sabra commercial on Feb 2! #OKBoomer #SabraPartner

♬ original sound - charlidamelio

Charli was one of the first TikTok stars to land a Super Bowl commercial, and hers was sponsored by Sabra Hummus. The commercial aired during Super Bowl LIV and was promoted across social media.

It played on the "ok boomer" meme, and Charli celebrated the accomplishment with a joke about being TikTok famous.

On March 25 2020, Charli surpassed Loren Gray to become the most-followed TikToker.

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Loren Gray's cameo in Taylor Swift's "The Man" music video. Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Screenshot YouTube/Taylor Swift

Gray and Charli were tied at 41.3 million TikTok followers before Charli officially surpassed the 19-year-old former Musical.ly star, who has since pivoted to a music career.

In the lead-up to the switch, Gray posted a TikTok making it clear that she was happy for Charli's success, and doesn't care about the numbers.

@lorengray

i’ve never been here for followers. i’m proud of how far i’ve come & i’m rooting for charli. I think she’s amazing. its never been a competition.

♬ original sound - addictivedols

"i'm proud of how far i've come & i'm rooting for charli [sic]," Gray wrote in her caption. "I think she's amazing. it's never been a competition."

In April 2020, Charli posted a matching breakup announcement with Hudson.

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15-year-old Charli D'Amelio and 17-year-old Chase "lilhuddy" Hudson are going through typical teenage breakup drama, but with a massive audience. Screenshot Instagram/@charlidamelio

After cheating accusations leveled at Hudson by another male TikToker who implied that Hudson sent lewd photos to his girlfriend while dating Charli, fans wondered what was going on between the two, especially once the coronavirus quarantine separated them.

On April 14 2020, they confirmed via matching Instagram Stories that they were breaking up. Charli wrote, "i'm sorry i waited so long to tell you all. i wanted to take the time to process it for myself."

The D'Amelio family starred in a Hulu docuseries based on their lives, "The D'Amelio Show"

charli dixie d'amelio family
Charli D'Amelio, Dixie D'Amelio, Heidi D'Amelio, and Marc D'Amelio attend the 9th Annual NFL Honors at Adrienne Arsht Center on February 01, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In December, the D'Amelio family announced they were starring in a brand-new Hulu called "The D'Amelio Show."

The docuseries premiered on September 3 and offers a behind-the-scenes glance into the family's life. The show featured several scenes showing both Charli and Dixie, who have spoken out about their mental health struggles, crying in response to receiving hate comments on the internet.

Charli and Dixie created their own clothing brand with Hollister

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In May, Charli and Dixie created Social Tourist, a clothing line with Hollister. Gotham/Getty Images

In May, Charli and Dixie launched Social Tourist, a standalone clothing brand within the Abercrombie & Fitch conglomerate. The brand, which includes all sorts of apparel from crop tops and T-shirts to sweatpants and swimsuit sets, is sold exclusively through Hollister's website and stores.

In June, they presented Social Tourist's second clothing drop with a TikTok fashion show on Charli's TikTok account.

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