Shortly after President Trump threatened to ban TikTok last weekend, 19-year-old Addison Rae Easterling did what she does best. She posted a short-form video imagining her life without the wildly popular social media app: She’d return to LSU, where she started out as a freshman last year studying broadcast journalism.
But Easterling isn’t just one of the millions of TikTok teens who post goofy dance videos on the Chinese-owned platform for fun. She is its top-earning star, bringing in an estimated $5 million last year, thanks to her 54.1 million followers, her new makeup line (Item Beauty) and deals with American Eagle and Spotify. “TikTok is what got me to where I am,” Easterling says.
While the fate of TikTok’s ownership is still unclear, one thing is certain: Few people have gotten more out of the video-sharing app than Addison Rae and the six other young celebrities on Forbes’ first-ever list of TikTok’s highest-paid stars. These viral video creators—all of whom earned at least $1 million in the 12 months through June—have only just begun to monetize their fame, primarily through sales of personally branded merchandise and sponsored content for brands such as Sony, Chipotle and Revlon.
We estimated pretax earnings that these stars took in from June 30, 2019, through June 30, 2020. To estimate what they made, we talked to the influencers themselves, agents, managers, marketers and investors. This list focuses on stars native to TikTok, and for that reason, it doesn’t include traditional celebs like Dwayne Johnson and Jason Derulo or YouTubers like Zach King and David Dobrick, all of who have large followings on TikTok.
Read the full profile on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2020/08/06/tiktoks-highest-earning-stars-teen-queens-addison-rae-and-charli-damelio-rule/#375442125087
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