The end of an era. After two years and three months of 18-year-old Charli D’Amelio holding the title of most-followed content creator on TikTok, comedian Khaby Lame — known for his simplistic style of wordlessly reacting to ridiculous content — has now taken the throne.
If you’ve ever been on the quick video-sharing platform, there’s a high chance you’ve seen Lame’s face, and an even higher chance you’ve never heard his voice. The 22-year-old, who was born in Senegal and now lives in Italy, made his name by using nothing more than his trademark “Are you kidding me?” expression to react to various videos in TikTok’s feed of absurd life hacks, skits and stunts.
Now having hit a record-breaking number of followers — 142.9 million, to be exact — with that dry humor, the creator has long been earning hundreds of millions of views and interactions on his videos. His rise to fame has led to a number of exciting opportunities for him, from fulfilling his self-professed “dream” of meeting soccer player Lionel Messi to securing a collaboration with Ed Sheeran — who helped Lame make one of his signature videos back in November.
D’Amelio had previously held TikTok’s No. 1 spot since March 2020, when she surpassed Loren Gray’s follower count at the time of 41.3 million in the span of just nine months. That same year — in November 2020 — D’Amelio celebrated being the first creator to reach 100 million followers. “A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED ME REACH 100 MILLION SUPPORTERS!!! AND ANOTHER HUGE THANK YOU TO @tiktok I LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!” she captioned a video at the time. As of Friday (June 24), the young influencer — who came to fame by performing trendy, choreographed TikTok dances — has not yet reacted on social media to her new position in the TikTok leaderboard.
And though it was his devoted base of followers that helped propel Lame to the top spot with a recent fan-led promotional campaign, he’s said before that his supporters are important for reasons far greater than the numbers they generate. “My follower base is my family and I would not be who I am without family,” he told Forbes in March. “I would never see them as just numbers, as everybody is someone I want to build relationships with, both offline and online. I love to meet them in real life, and to engage them in my life. That’s the reason why I always try to keep my videos genuine and authentic.”