Addison Rae Easterling, 19, is one of the top TikTok influencers in the world with over 33 million followers on the app.
She began posting videos in July 2019 for fun and by December she decided to go all-in and moved out to Los Angeles from Louisiana.
Easterling is known for her dance videos on TikTok and for being a member of the popular group, the Hype House.
She spoke with Business Insider about her rapid success online and how she is building a larger business with merchandise and lucrative brand partnerships.Before Addison Rae Easterling had millions of people watching her on TikTok, she was gearing up for her first year of college in her home state, Louisiana.
“I initially found out about TikTok through a lot of young girls at my school and in my dance studio,” Easterling, now 19, told Business Insider. “I remember being in a few of them, and after a while I downloaded it, not thinking I was going to post.”
She eventually posted a video for fun in July 2019 that landed on TikTok’s homepage, the “For You Page,” she said.
“I had never experienced that many likes or views,” she said, and she continued to upload videos of herself dancing alone, with friends, or with her mom.
In short order, she would experience more TikTok likes and views than nearly anyone on the planet. In only a few months, Easterling has become not only one of the biggest stars on TikTok, but one of the biggest stars across the internet, known to her fans as Addison Rae.
Easterling has over 33 million TikTok followers, 12 million Instagram followers, and millions of views on her YouTube channel. And with her star continuing to rise rapidly, those numbers will no doubt be higher by the time you read this.
What’s her secret? Was she simply the one most beloved by TikTok’s inscrutable algorithm?
There is always a bit of luck when someone sees the kind of overnight success Easterling did — like when her dance to Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” caught Carey’s attention and helped boost her budding fame.
But there are other elements that made Easterling particularly suited to rise along with TikTok.
Easterling has been dancing competitively since she was six years old, which has helped her put a spin on many of TikTok’s viral “dance challenges.”
She was also able to go all-in on TikTok a few months after her follower count began to catch fire, and her family has enthusiastically supported her online career, especially her mom who appears in a lot of her videos and runs her own TikTok page with nearly five million followers.
Easterling has a knack for connecting with the right people, as well. She has collaborated with a lot of other influencers on videos, like Kourtney Kardashian and her son, and with YouTube celebrities like David Dobrik (16 million YouTube subscribers) and James Charles (18 million YouTube subscribers). And she became of a member of TikTok’s first mega-popular group, the Hype House.
All this has led to Easterling turning a fun hobby into a lucrative career — one that is only increasing as TikTok continues to cement itself as the platform of choice for Generation Z, and its homegrown stars move to the forefront of pop culture.
The Influencer Age is a publication dedicated to motivating and inspiring people around the world by telling the real life stories of the Influencers in their respective fields, regardless of where they come from or who they want to become.