Meet Khaby Lame, the new most popular person on TikTok

Charli D’Amelio was the first person to surpass 100 million followers on TikTok, but she’s no longer the queen of the social media platform.

Senegalese comedian Khaby Lame, 22, now has nearly 144 million people keenly interested in what he has to say – or, more specifically, what he doesn’t say at all.

18-year-old D’Amelio broke the nine-digit follower mark on the short video platform back in November 2020 and has since added tens of millions more. But that wasn’t enough to stave off Lame’s international appeal, which has grown like gangbusters in the past year. As of Friday, he had 143.6 million followers compared to D’Amelio’s 142.5 million.

He had pulled ahead of her the day before.

As of June 2021, Lame — whose full first name is Khabane — had “65.6 million followers… and counting” on TikTok, according to The New York Times. He had lost his job a year earlier due to the pandemic and was looking for employment. At the same time, D’Amelio had 116 million.

Lame’s popularity on the platform began with him recording ridiculous videos — ones that theoretically show a better way to do something but actually complicate the process — and using TikTok tools to share his own videos.

In response to a guy peeling a banana with a knife, cutting off a lot of edible parts, Lame just peels a banana and voila! – A bare banana appears without being cut off. With his hands outstretched and his eyes wide, Lame stares stupidly at the camera in disbelief.

Or after a series of muscle-bound guys get golf balls in their elbows by flexing their burly muscles around them, he does something similar, dead, crushing a raw egg while bending his somewhat scrawny arm around it. And again with the hands, the eyes, the face. He’s obviously not impressed.

D’Amelio, on the other hand, built her following with choreographed dance videos. She and her family are mini Kardashians these days, too, with “The D’Amelio Show” on Hulu and their own influencer marketing deals.

Lame, who has lived in Italy since he was one, told Hypebeast earlier this month that although he started posting videos for his parents on YouTube years ago, TikTok “was the ideal platform for me to express my self-deprecation and my comic.” uploading videos.” And before that, he told the New York Times, “It’s my face and my expression that makes people laugh.”

Lame — which is pronounced “LAH-may” — has fan pages around the world and lands his own influencer work, like a gig pushing Nitro Pepsi when it debuted earlier this year.

“Since Khaby Lame is known for pointing out the obvious with his signature hand gestures,” said a Pepsi exec at the time, “we felt he was the perfect person to show the world that Nitro Pepsi was an easy fix.” for those who do prefer less fizz than a traditional cola.”

An Xbox confirmation came around the same time when he was still No. 2 in the TikTok sphere. The campaign spread beyond social media and onto billboards in places like LA Live.

“Loved by almost everyone who meets him, he naturally has a special appeal to Gen Z due to the platform’s demographics,” the two guys behind the campaign wrote on Muse by Clio, explaining how they decided to enlist Lame.

“He’s best known for doing TikTok duets that distill complicated life hack videos created by others into simple Khaby solutions. And a key to Khaby’s global success is that his content doesn’t feature spoken dialogue, instead relying on his hilarious facial expressions and a signature shrug at the end, inviting us all to join him in a community of ‘there’s a better way’. to join.”

In June, they partnered for a limited-edition capsule collection for fashion brand Boss. And these are just a few.

One place where D’Amelio still reigns supreme, however, is in the land of likes: She has 11 billion of them on TikTok.

Lame, on the other hand, only has 2.3 billion. Meet Khaby Lame, the new most popular person on TikTok

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