Khaby Lame Has Dethroned TikTok Queens Charli D’Amelio and Bella Poarch

TikTok sensation Khaby Lame took the world by storm when he started uploading hilarious reaction videos back in 2020. Since then, Lame has become one of social media’s most relatable content creators. He’s racked up millions of followers — including big names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Recently, Lame passed fellow TikTok star Charli D’Amelio for the title of most-followed account, which she’s held for years. He’s also well beyond popular TikToker Bella Poarch’s follower count. So what is Lame’s story, and how did he find himself swept up in internet superstardom?

Who is TikTok sensation Khaby Lame?

Khaby Lame dressed in black and waving at the About You Awards Europe
Khaby Lame | Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

Lame is a 22-year-old content creator whose rise to success is perhaps a little unconventional. In March 2020, Lame lost his job working at a factory in northern Italy, The New York Times reports. His father insisted he apply for a new job. But instead, he started posting videos to TikTok for hours every day. And, as they say, the rest is history.

In his TikToks, Lame pokes fun at elaborate “life hacks” and different internet trends. Unlike many other social media stars, Lame’s content is relatable. He chooses to film videos in his bedroom with poor lighting, as opposed to his colleagues who have embraced high-quality production equipment.

And even when he speaks Italian, viewers who don’t speak the language almost certainly can understand his reactions. “It’s my face and my expressions which make people laugh,” he told The New York Times.

Khaby Lame’s TikTok follower count passes Charli D’Amelio and Bella Poarch

In June 2022, Lame officially dethroned TikTok queens Charli D’Amelio and Bella Poarch as the most-followed creators on the app. Currently, Lame has over 145 million followers on TikTok. And over the course of his time on the app, he has earned over 2.3 billion likes.

In comparison, D’Amelio has 143.1 million followers. And Poarch has 90.4 million followers.

Other famous creators, such as Dixie D’Amelio and Addison Rae, also fail to come close to Lame’s subscriber count. They have having 57.4 million and 88.1 million followers, respectively.

What makes Lame so likable? 

While many influencers regularly flaunt their wealth, luxury vacations, and elaborate filming setups, Lame resonates with viewers by being one thing: down-to-earth.

“His content almost debunks or mocks the overproduced trends that happen across social media, whether it’s life hacks or other things like that,” Samir Chaudry, who founded a newsletter called The Publish Press that covers creators, told The New York Times. “He almost represents this authenticity over production. I think that’s very appealing at scale to people, this feeling of someone not trying too hard, it’s something that feels authentic.”

Lame’s success suggests a wider shift toward authenticity on social media, with many internet users craving content that actually reflects the average person’s perspective. His TikToks often don’t even feature his voice, only facial reactions, which he refers to as a “global language.” This means millions of people — regardless of potential language barriers — can have a laugh at Lame’s content.

And that’s why he got into content creation: to make people laugh. He hopes to do it for as long as possible and make enough money to buy his mother a house, he told the Times. “The secret is endurance above all,” he said.

RELATED: What Is Khaby Lame’s Net Worth? The TikToker Is Estimated to Earn Up to $22K Per Post