TikTok's highest earners are raking in just as much dough as they are likes and followers. While most of us have been busy using TikTok to perfect our cat eye, others are watching their income skyrocket into the millions.
Yes, you read that correctly—millions. The video-sharing app provides opportunities to explore different areas and embrace creativity, and a lucky few members of Gen Z have been able to take their social media handle to new professional heights.
The platform has birthed a career for several popular dancers-turned celebrities: Addison Rae broke into the beauty business, starred in the Netflix reboot He's All That and even developed a friendship with Kourtney Kardashian.
Then you have the D'Amelio sisters' Hulu show, concert appearances and Fashion Week debuts. Let's not forget the docuseries on Netflix, Hype House, which follows young content creators who are living under one roof—a very expensive roof of an LA mansion—while doing their TikTok thing.
Yes, it's safe to say that it pays to be a TikTok celebrity, quite literally. For the past several years, Forbes has been putting together info on each of the app's top earners. Just wait until you see what these viral sensations earned in 2021. (If you thought the richest Selling Sunset cast member reveal was intense, hold onto your hats.)
Who are the TikTok highest earners of 2021?
According to Forbes (opens in new tab), these popular TikTok personalities have catapulted themselves into various opportunities: acting, singing, book publishing and so forth. Get a sense of who's who with the 2021 findings:
1. Charli D'Amelio ($17.5 million)
@charlidamelio (opens in new tab) ♬ somebodys watching me - 🍒 (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 133 million
Charli might be one of the younger members on TikTok (she's 17 years old), but she's the one no one can beat in terms of followers and revenue...though her big sis is close behind.
In addition to the Hulu series and a joint venture with Hollister, Social Tourist, which she worked on alongside her sister, Charli has been sponsored by Morphe Cosmetics, Dunkin' and a handful of other notable brands.
2. Dixie D'Amelio ($10 million)
@dixiedamelio (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - dixie (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 57 million
Charli's big sis, who helped with their Hollister collab and Snap series, has taken things in another direction with the release of two solo singles, "Psycho" and "F–k Boy."
3. Addison Rae ($8.5 million)
@addisonre (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - Addison Rae (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 86 million
In addition to joining forces with Netflix for the She's All That remake and creating her own cosmetics line Item Beauty, she's scored sponsorship from brands like American Eagle and even recorded a few songs, most notably "Obsessed."
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4. Bella Poarch ($5 million)
@bellapoarch (opens in new tab) ♬ PRADA BUCKET CHALLENGE - PRADA (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 87 million
The former Navy helicopter mechanic has since scored partnership deals with Google, Prada and Tinder following her rise to fame on TikTok. Like Addison and Dixie, she's released music; her first single is titled "Build a Bitch."
5. Josh Richards ($5 million)
@joshrichards (opens in new tab)
Good old morning shoty for the grandmas bday♬ original sound - Josh Richards (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 26 million
The sports-minded Richards has earned himself a Barstool Sports podcast and Amazon sponsorships, and he sells energy drinks, Ani, via Walmart. And, in a somewhat unexpected twist, Richards also co-founded the venture capital firm, Animal Capital.
6. Kris Collins ($4.75 million)
@kallmekris (opens in new tab)
Not So Stupid Now👀🤚🏻♬ MATERIAL GWORL - Sam (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 42 million
The Canadian-based hairstylist picked up TikTok as a means of distraction, which has resulted in a makeshift sketch comedy career. Don't stress about her skits—she's family-friendly, and deals with Hershey are proof.
7. Avani Gregg ($4.75 million)
@avani (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - 𝓽𝓲𝓪<33 (opens in new tab)
- Follower count: 39 million
A Snap show, a book—Backstory: My Life So Far—and a role in various web series has made Gregg into one of TikTok's best success stories at the humble age of 19.