TikTok star Charli D'Amelio is the youngest to make Fortune's 40 Under 40 list at 16 years old

·4 min read

Charli D’Amelio is just 16 years old, but she’s already ranking amongst big names like Beyoncé, Greta Gerwig and Ronan Farrow when it comes to her influence within the media and entertainment space, according to Fortune. The publication released its 40 Under 40 lists recognizing 40 leaders within five different categories that range from finance and technology to politics. Throughout all categories, D’Amelio is the youngest.

The teen, whose name you’ve likely heard from young people spending countless hours on TikTok, is well on her way to becoming a household name within just one year of posting on the short-form video platform. Using her own TikTok to showcase her skills as a dancer, the Connecticut-native became the app’s fastest growing creator with 84.4 million followers as of publication.

“Don’t worry I don’t get the hype either,” is what D’Amelio’s bio used to read on her TikTok account as the number of viewers and followers on her page rapidly increased. Now, with a Super Bowl commercial, Hollister partnership and a namesake drink “The Charli” at Dunkin’ Donuts under her belt, the same cannot be said about the teen who is quite frankly the most hype in the social media industry. The influence she’s garnered and opportunities she’s received in such a short amount of time is what put her on the list, according to Fortune.

“The list reflects both those who have established that impact over time and those who are rising stars in their respective industry. Charli D’Amelio is one of those rising stars,” the publication says in a statement to Yahoo Life. “In a little over a year, she has become the most-followed star on TikTok with over 80 million followers. She has fostered dance crazes, redefined how the platform is used and become one of the most visible faces of youth culture.”

It was just over a year ago in July 2019 that a video D’Amelio posted went viral for the first time, according to an interview she did with NBC News. Almost immediately after that post, she started receiving opportunities to dance on stage with Bebe Rexha during the Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins tour, perform at the NBA All-Star game, attend Milan Fashion Week with designer brand Prada and was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She and her now TikTok famous family — including sister Dixie D’Amelio, 19, and their mom and dad, Heidi and Marc D’Amelio — even packed up and moved to Los Angeles to pursue more opportunities brought forward by the girls’s expansive management teams.

Both Charli and Dixie even made it onto Forbes’s list of highest paid TikTokers, securing spots No. 2 and 3, respectively. According to the publication, Charli has made $4 million in the year since she first posted in June 2019.

Keith Dorsey, who has worked in the influencer space for over a decade and created his own management company solely for social media influencers, explains that Fortune’s recognition of D’Amelio is important to people everywhere pursuing careers in this space.

“Being in the influencer industry since Vine, I am super pleased to see that the trajectory of this industry is shifting into some amazing things. I have watched creators go from being given a pat on the back for making cute funny videos to posting one viral video and over night becoming celebrities amongst the celebrities, making millions a year,” he tells Yahoo Life. “Seeing Charli D’Amelio and many others get this type of credit from outlets such as Fortune is a game changer and a monumental moment for all of us in this industry. With this, many of the influencers who struggle to prove that this industry is a legitimate career choice can now have something to show as source of proof to those who doubt.”

With such a quick rise to celebrity, Charli has certainly received her fair share of hate and has publicly addressed cyberbullying. Using her platform and popular social media trends to speak out about these issues, including body shaming, is just another reason that the teen is so influential.

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