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The rise and fall of Charli D'Amelio: How the TikTok superstar went from stardom to fearing for her life

From being called the queen of TikTok to controversies, cancel culture and terrifying threats against her online — Charli has already gone through a lot for a 16-year-old
Charli D'Amelio (Getty Images)
Charli D'Amelio (Getty Images)

If you search on Google for Charli D'Amelio, there will be several headlines about how the 16-year-old TikTok star just hired full security for her home. Not what you expected, right? Such seems the harrowing reality of the prolific dancer who started posting dancing videos to the micro-video blogging app and soon grew to become the most popular account on the platform. But who is Charli D'Amelio?

Born on May 1, 2004, Charli became a household name and started making headlines for her dancing videos on Tiktok all the way in 2019. From the first clip where she's lip-syncing in video with her friend to gaining over 75 million followers on the platform, Charli has sure come a long way. With 1 million Instagram followers, 6.04 million YouTube subscribers, and 3.5 million Twitter followers, she soared to popularity with her dancing skills, especially freestyle improv that has seemed to appear masses unlike anything else. On March 25, 2020, Charli even toppled fellow TikToker Loren Gray to become the most popular account on the app.

Charli's journey on TikTok started quite eventfully too. After she began posting her videos, former Sony Music executive Barbara Jones signed her to her management company, Outshine Talent in 2019. In January of 2020 however, Charlie signed with talent agency UTA. Soon she appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Sabra Hummus along with other celebrities. An invitation arrived for her to attend Super Bowl LIV and meet Jennifer Lopez to create the 'J Lo Super Bowl Challenge' for TikTok. Soon, the very same month, Charli was crowned the "reigning queen" of TikTok by the New York Times.

Charli D'Amelio and Dixie D'Amelio arrive at iHeartRadio's Z100 Jingle Ball 2019 Presented By Capital One on December 13, 2019, in New York City (Getty Images)

Born to Connecticut politician Marc D'Amelio and his wife Heidi, Charli and her sister Dixie are both very, very popular names on Tiktok. The two of them, along with 17 others, were also a part of Hype House — a TikTok content house of sorts. Something didn't work out, and while there are no details out on that front, a representative for her confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Hype House becoming more of a commercialized venture than fun was the cause behind both the sisters quitting. Charli then went on to dance at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, collaborated on YouTube with Stranger Things' Noah Schnapp, and even scored a podcast deal with Ramble Podcast Network. The podcast will feature both Charli and Dixie, offering all the behind the scenes footage of their life and days.

By May of 2020, Hollywood Reporter had christened Charli as TikTok's "biggest star". She amassed more fans and followers by creating her alter ego Barley D'Amelio where she goes for her more personal hot takes for the 4.5 million followers worshipping her on that parody account itself. Known for her quirky faces and sense of humor, Charli also dated fellow TikTok star and Hype House co-founder Chase Hudson from January to April 2020. In their time away from TikTok, Charli and Dixie work with UNICEF to raise awareness against social media and bullying — something Charlie has admittedly been a victim of in the past. 

In this screengrab, Dixie Damelio and Charli Damelio speak during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, on May 16, 2020 (Getty Images)

Charli has also earned praise for giving back to the community. In April 2020, she reportedly donated $50,000 to her hometown's Norwalk Hospital to help secure critical supplies for the hospital's staff amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. But Charli makes headlines mostly for controversies and falling prey to cancel culture, ore recently. From accusations of her mocking anime cosplayers to murky waters surrounding her and Chase's relationship, cheating rumors, nasty Twitter exchanges and more — it's hard to fathom Charli's popularity in one arc.

The last time Charli was in the news, she had just shared why she needed to get a nose surgery. Breathing problems were causing her trouble dancing. But this time, as Charli appears on headlines again, one can't help but note the grim nature of the news. At just 16, the dancer has to worry about getting security at home at all times. Being popular on TikTok comes with a gigantic weight it seems.

Fans and followers often mistake a breach of personal space as devotion and loyalty. But when it turns to absolute hate online, it's understandable why the young teen panicked. According to TMZ, after a July 8 threat on her social media where a user claimed they would turn up at her house, cops are now investigating the incident. Nobody showed up but Charli and the family are still keeping security as this isn't the first that such an incident has occurred. The other experiences involve "swatting" where people call authorities for falsely alleging a disturbance at her home. It's a cruel world we live in and not even the queen of TikTok is spared.