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To understand who Addison Rae Easterling is, it’s essential to understand what TikTok is, because that’s how not only she but also her parents got famous. 

Typically, teens latch on to the hottest new social media method and parents are on the outside looking in while they scratch their heads. TikTok operates a little differently. While it’s similar to existing platforms like YouTube and Dubsmash, it’s all about getting parents in on the act. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok | Chesnot/Getty Images

Here’s a primer for people just catching up on Twitter, Facebook or maybe Snapchat. Andy Warhol once famously said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame. Well, TikTok has pared that down to 15 seconds. 

Like so many companies today, whether it’s Sprint or T-Mobile or Disney and 20th Century Fox, TikTok is part of a merger. According to Slate, the whole thing started with a Chinese app called in 2014, which was dedicated to making short music videos. A similar app called TikTok was out there too, so when a company called ByteDance acquired for $1 billion, they merged it with TikTok. 

Remember Vines, the little videos that lasted six seconds? TikTok is similar, only with a musical focus and a duration of a comparatively lengthy 15 seconds. Those can be combined into to make stories of 60 seconds, like on Instagram, but brevity is the thing, to cater to those short attention spans older people accuse younger people of having.

Into this digital realm stepped Easterling and her folks. 

Who is Addison Rae Easterling?

Addison Rae
Addison Rae | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

It’s true that Easterling is a “19-year-old TikTok sensation” but there’s more to her than that, according to Elite Daily. Many famous people get called “overnight sensations,” never mind the often invisible years of work that went into that. But Easterling and some of her fellow TikTok stars are literally overnight sensations. 

“Well, I actually downloaded the app in July, made a post with a friend, and literally out of nowhere it got … 93,000 likes, and I was like woah. I like this!” she said. “I kept going, made videos with my mom, and then that was kind of the main thing that like blew up.”

It “blew up” thanks in no small part to none other than Mariah Carey, who liked one of the TikToks that Easterling made of one of her songs. Few things get you more attention, and more attention faster, than a celebrity endorsement. Easterling has around 12 million followers and counting. 

What about the parents?

More often than not, parents are on the sidelines when their kids become social media sensations, if they can be seen at all. But that’s not true of Easterling’s parents, particularly her talented mother, Sheri.

Sheri not only joins her daughter in some of her TikToks, but she has her own account, with an impressive 1.7 million followers. Her dad Monty Lopez got in on the act, attracting 329,000 followers. 

Lest one think this is all just for online fun only, Easterling and other TikTok-ers are part of a group based in Los Angeles called Hype House. In addition to being an online community, they also have a brick and mortar house as well.

“The Hype House is where 14 creators live and it’s really just about content and bringing each other up,” said Easterling. “It really doesn’t even matter about the followers in the house. It’s more just like making content together and doing what we love to do.”

So will TikTok stick around or go the way of MySpace? For now, it seems to be sticking all its dance moves.