Social media sensation Addison Rae has topped Forbes’ list of TikTok’s seven highest-earning stars after raking in a whopping $5 million in one year thanks to her new makeup line, sponsored content, and endorsement deals, and, of course, her 54.2 million followers.
The 19-year-old Louisiana-native is actually the second most-followed star on the platform, but she out-earned TikTok’s top video-maker Charli D’Amelio — who has a staggering 76.9 million followers — by $1 million.
Charli has taken the second spot on the Forbes list with $4 million in earnings, which is certainly not bad for a 16-year-old. She is followed by her older sister Dixie D’Amelio, 19, who made $2.9 million.
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Sweet success: Addison Rae Easterling, 19, has topped the Forbes list of TikTok’s seven highest-earning stars after making $5 million in one year
TikTok sensation: The Louisiana-native is social media platform’s second most-followed star with 54.2 million fans
Famous friends: Addison has recently been seen palling around with Kourtney Kardashian
To rank the earners, Forbes estimated the stars’ pretax earnings from June 30, 2019, through June 30, 2020. The publication said it ‘talked to the influencers themselves, agents, managers, marketers, and investors’ to come up with the estimates.
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Forbes noted the list only focuses on ‘native’ TikTok stars and excludes Hollywood celebrities and YouTubers who are also popular on the video-sharing app.
The fate of TikTok remains unknown since President Donald Trump has threatened to ban the Chinese-owned social media platform.
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations, and while the president said he is likely to approve such a deal, he wants it done by a mid-September deadline or he’ll ban it.
But one thing is for sure, the platform is making its young stars a lot of money — and they’ll likely continue to earn even if it disappears.
Big deal: Addison was named a global spokesperson for American Eagle last month and has been featured in the brand’s digital and print campaigns as well as TV spots
The next Kylie? She’s now setting herself up to be a beauty mogul with the debut of her new clean makeup brand, ITEM Beauty
She’s everywhere! She has also launched a Spotify podcast with her mother, Sheri Nicole, called ‘Mama Knows Best,’ which focuses on their mother-daughter relationshipKourtney Kardashian with Addison Rae at Taverna Tony in MalibuLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:59FullscreenNeed [email protected]
1. Addison Rae Easterling (@addisonre)
Age: 19 Earnings: $5 million Followers: 54.2 million
Addison was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and as the oldest of three children, she has always enjoyed the spotlight. She started dancing at the age of six and traveled across the country for competitions.
The high school cheerleader joined TikTok in July 2019, the summer after she graduated, and built up a following as she entered her freshman year at Louisiana State University, where she studied broadcast journalism.
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Addison remembers the exact date she reached one million followers, telling Forbes it was October 27, 2019. By that point, people were starting to recognize her on campus thanks to her videos, which mostly show her dancing and lip-syncing.
‘My name would be called out when I was walking to class, which was pretty mind-blowing,’ she recounted.
A month later, she dropped out of school. Around the same time, she shared her first sponsored content post for the online retailer Fashion Nova. By December, she had moved to Los Angeles to turn her budding fame into a lucrative career.
She befriended other TikTokers and helped form Hype House, a content creator collective that calls an LA mansion of the same name home base.
As her star continued to rise, she scored branded merchandise and sponsored content deals. The two revenue streams count for two-thirds of her estimated earnings, Forbes reported.
In January, Addison signed with the WME talent agency, which also represents her parents, Sheri Easterling and Monty Lopez.
The agency is looking to get the star more ‘modeling, fashion, music, dance, TV, film, digital, podcasting, touring, books, licensing and endorsements,’ according to The Hollywood Reporter, and the plan seems to be working.
Addison was named a global spokesperson for American Eagle last month and has been featured in the brand’s digital and print campaigns as well as TV spots.
She has also launched a Spotify podcast with her mother, Sheri Nicole, called ‘Mama Knows Best,’ which focuses on their mother-daughter relationship.
Addison has most recently seen been palling around with her new friend Kourtney Kardashian, who knows a few things about being famous for being famous.
She’s now setting herself up to be a beauty mogul with the debut of her new clean makeup brand, ITEM Beauty, which is a joint venture with the startup Madeby.
The influencer has been teasing on social media since mid-July and is set to release six products on August 11, including her $14 Lash Snack mascara.
‘It has castor oil in it, so it’s a treat for your eyelashes,’ she told Forbes.
So close: Charli D’Amelio, who is the most-followed star with 76.9 followers, is number two on the list with $4 million in earnings, which is not bad for a 16-year-old
Claim to fame: The teen from Norwalk, Connecticut, is a competitive dancer and had a number of videos go viral thanks to her dances featuring choreography, montages, and lip-syncs
But of course: The influencer has her own Charli-branded merchandise, which includes T-shirts, crop tops, and hoodie
TikTok dynasty: Charli’s entire family boast millions of TikTok followers of their own, including her older sister Dixie @charlidamelio
2. Charli D’Amelio (@charlidamelio)
Age: 16 Earnings: $4 million Followers: 76.9 million
Charli reigns supreme as TikTok’s most-followed star after surpassing singer Loren Gray — who is number five on Forbes’ list — in March.
The teen from Norwalk, Connecticut, is a competitive dancer and shares a story similar to Addison Rae’s. She posted her first TikTok in June 2019 and had a number of videos go viral thanks to her dances featuring choreography, montages, and lip-syncs.
And it’s not just Charli who has earned celebrity status on the app; the rest of her family boast millions of followers of their own.
Charli’s older sister Dixie, 18, has 32.8 million, while their parents Heidi and Marc have 5 million and 6.2 million, respectively.
This has led to some lucrative sponsorships for Charli and Dixie, who have partnered with Hollister and makeup brand Morphe in the last few months alone.
Earlier this year, Charli became the first TikTok star to land a Super Bowl commercial when she appeared in an ad for Sabra Hummus.
As for getting paid for social media content, the reportedly charges up to $100,000 per post, according to Cosmopolitan.
Alessandro Bogliari, TikTok expert and CEO of The Influencer Marketing Factory, told DailyMail.com: ‘This is just the early era for TikTok and there is not a real pricing model for influencers yet, but in general someone with five million followers could make up to $1,500 for a single video asset, depending on their location and some other factors.’
In November, Charli’s TikToks caught the attention of singer Bebe Rexha, who asked her to dance with her on stage when she opened for the Jonas Brothers at the Barclays Center in New York City.
The teen queen, who moved to LA, has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and attended Paris Fashion Week, chronicling her adventure on TikTok for Prada.
Charli and Dixie had joined Addison Rae in making videos with Hype House, and two most recently partnered with Hollister as part of the retailer’s back-to-school campaign.
She also has her own Charli-branded merchandise, which includes T-shirts, crop tops, and hoodies.
The TikTok star reportedly hired full-time security last month after a social media user threatened her with the intention of showing up at her Connecticut home, according to TMZ.
Her family contacted law enforcement, and they are reportedly paying overtime for police to be stationed outside their property.
Making the top three; Dixie D’Amelio, 18, took third place after making $2.9 million thanks to her 32.8 million followers
Lookalike: Dixie’s fame goes hand-in-hand with her sister Charli’s as they both appear in many of each other’s video
Surprise! The day before Forbes published its earnings list, it was announced that the sisters have landed their first collaboration with the nail brand Orosa Beauty
Doing her own thing: Dixie released her first single, ‘Be Happy,’ in June amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the music video has been viewed more than 62 million times on [email protected]
3. Dixie D’Amelio (@dixiedamelio)
Age: 18 Earnings: $2.9 million Followers: 32.8 million
Dixie’s fame goes hand-in-hand with her sister Charli’s as they both appear in many of each other’s videos. While she has an impressive following of 32.8 million on TikTok, her older sibling has more than double that.
The lookalike sisters, who can easily pass for twins, are both living in LA and share partnerships with Hollister and Morphe.
The day before Forbes published its earnings list, it was announced that the sisters have landed their first collaboration with the nail brand Orosa Beauty, called Coastal Craze by Charli + Dixie D’Amelio.
Dixie is already making an impressive living doing what she’s doing, but she has separated herself from her little sister by pursuing a music career.
She released her first single, ‘Be Happy,’ in June amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the music video has been viewed more than 62 million times on YouTube.
Kanye West’s ‘Wash Us in the Blood’ video featuring Travis Scott was released on the same day, but it was Dixie’s that became the number one trending clip.
4. Loren Gray Beech (@lorengray)
Age: 18 Earnings: $2.6 million Followers: 46.1 million
Loren, who hails from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, has been in the TikTok game longer than most of her peers and has been making videos since she was a tween.
In 2015, the singer was in sixth grade when she joined Musical.ly, which later became TikTok. She eventually moved to Los Angeles to grow her other social media platforms.
Three years later, she was signed by Virgin Records, and over the past two years, she has released eight singles. She had the most followers on TikTok up until March, when Charli D’Amelio, and later Addison Rae, surpassed her.
Loren told Forbes that she missed out on early sponsorship deals at the start of her career because she had a number of bad talent managers. She now takes care of her brand herself.
‘The only person who knows how to brand Loren Gray and be Loren Gray is Loren Gray,’ she said.
While her videos are mostly playful, she has used the app to open up about more serious parts of her life.
In May, she candidly revealed in a TikTok video that she had been sexually assaulted when she was 12 years old. She received plenty of support from her followers as well as praise from fellow survivors.
Loren has had sponsored content deals with the likes of Hyundai and Burger King. Last month, it was revealed that she has teamed up with Revlon to create content for the makeup brand’s TikTok account as well sponsored posts on hers.
‘It’s more of a creator role than just doing what someone says for 60 seconds,’ she said. ‘They’re very flexible and give me a lot of creative freedom.’
Top guy: Josh Richards made $1.5 million, which put him at the number five spot
Heartthrob: He joined TikTok last year and rose to fame thanks to his videos in which he dances, sings, and, of course, lip-syncs
5. Josh Richards (@joshrichards)
Age: 18 Earnings: $1.5 million Followers: 20.8 million
In all teen dramas, there is a bad boy, and in the TikTok world, that would be Josh, the platform’s resident heartthrob.
The Canadian influencer signed with a manager at the end of 2017 and scored parts in the 2018 films Brother’s Keeper and Summertime Dropouts.
He joined TikTok last year and rose to fame thanks to his videos in which he dances, sings, and, of course, lip-syncs. He’s known to be a bit of a pot-stirrer as he has sparked some social media feuds in his heyday.
Josh cofounded Sway House, a TikTok collected that has a reputation for controversial personalities and parties.
‘It was chaotic there,’ he told Forbes of Sway House. He has since moved out of the group’s LA home. ‘I was going down a path I hadn’t planned on.’
The teen has had sponsorship deals with Reebok and HouseParty, but he is now focused on becoming a media executive. He has YouTube ad revenue, a song-making deal with Warner Records, and a drink company Ani Energy.
He also cofounded his own talent management company and is the chief strategy officer at TikTok’s smaller rival Triller.
Last month, Josh and fellow TikTok stars Griffin Johnson and Noah Beck disclosed to DailyMail.com that they came to a collective decision to slowly withdraw from TikTok a few months ago after becoming aware of reports the app’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, could be sharing user data with the Chinese government.
‘Obviously it made us feel a bit unsafe about the app we were using,’ Josh said. ‘But it was more than just how we felt. We wanted our audience to be watching our content on an app that’s safe.’
He made it: Michael Le, 20, tied for the sixth spot after making $1.2 million
Goal: Michael, who has 35.9 followers, said he is ‘pushing to be the top influencer on TikTok’
Making money: In addition to his sponsored content deals, he has a year-long partnership with Bang energy drinks
6. (Tie) Michael Le (@justmaiko)
Age: 20 Earnings: $1.2 million Followers: 35.9 million
Michael was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he developed a passion for dance and choreography.
He unabashedly told Forbes that he is ‘pushing to be the top influencer on TikTok’ and he has started a collective of his own, called Shluv, which is a play on ‘self-love.’ Michael and four others are renting an LA mansion that serves as Shluv’s headquarters.
Like many TikTok dynasties, his is a family affair. His five-year-old brother Jonathan makes appearances as a costar in his videos and the little boy is also a Shluv cofounder, despite being barely out of kindergarten.
Earlier this year, two of Michael’s videos that show him dancing on a descending escalator became among the most-shared TikToks on the platform, with a total of nearly a half a billion views.
In addition to his sponsored content deals, he has a year-long partnership with Bang energy drinks. He’s also looking to branch out, telling Forbes that YouTube is next for him and Jonathan.
Success: Spencer X, whose real name is Spencer Polanco Knight, tied for sixth place after making $1.2 million
Never too old: The 28-year-old, who dropped out of college to become a performer, is the oldest person on the list
6. (Tie): Spencer X
Age: 28 Earnings: $1.2 million Followers: 39.9
Spencer is the oldest person on this list by nearly a decade, but that doesn’t mean the 28-year-old is anywhere near old.
The TikTok star, whose real name is Spencer Polanco Knight, was born and raised in New York City, where he spent his childhood studying beatbox YouTube videos.
He dropped out of Purchase College to pursue a career as a performer, taking any gig that he could get. He has performed at the Vans Warped Tour, Bumbershoot Festival, and the 116th Street Festival, but his big break has been TikTok.
Spencer joined the app in February 2019 and moved to LA to help boost his career after earning millions of fans.
He is known for making music with original sounds as well as producing tracks and comedic sketches. His dream is to become the first really famous celebrity beatboxer.
In the meantime, he has had sponsorship deals with Uno, Oreo, and Sony that helped boost his earnings.
‘I’m here to show people that a lot is possible in what we thought was impossible,’ he told Forbes.