The TikTok Star Rich List

We’ve all dreamed of a million-pound jackpot, but what if you could make millions by recording yourself doing a lip-synced dance? 

Whether you’re a social media butterfly or not, you are sure to have heard of TikTok. Beloved of the youth, this video clip app seems to have divided people into either “love it” or “don’t get it”, but there is no denying that TikTok has become a social powerhouse. 

Those who have found success on TikTok have been rocketed to fame and fortune, their accounts followed by millions, but how much do the most popular TikTok stars earn? The answer is astonishing- the top TikTok creators are earning upwards of a million dollars a year. 




Est Annual Earnings 




charli d’amelio 


$4 Million 




addison rae 


$5 Million 




Dixie D’Amelio 


$2.9 Million 




Loren Gray 


$2.6 Million 




Josh Richards 


$1.5 Million 




Spencer X 


$1.2 Million 




Michael Le 


$1.2 Million 




Figures last updated 3 months ago 


What is TikTok? 

For those unfamiliar with the app, users on TikTok upload video clips (usually less than a minute or two), and then people ‘like’ the clips they find funny, entertaining, or useful. Users can also choose to follow specific accounts to keep up with their content. 

But what is the subject of these video clips? Well… basically anything. Very popular are singers demonstrating their talents, dancers showing off moves, and people lip-syncing to songs. However, there are whole swathes of TikTok dedicated to beauty tips and tutorials, cooking and recipes, comedy, wildlife, science, history and more. Specialists in everything from archaeology to zoology share interesting facts from their professions. People with disabilities share what their everyday life is like.  

The app’s diversity and variety are part of the reason it is so popular. Love animals? You can watch a horse having its hooves cleaned, a dog learning to talk using speaker buttons, or a wildlife sanctuary rescuing rattlesnakes. The possibilities are endless. 


TikTok’s Meteoric Rise to Popularity 

Two years ago, if you had said ‘TikTok’, people would have assumed you were telling them to hurry up! Now, TikTok is a global phenomenon, but when did TikTok come out? 

TikTok launched way back in 2016, but it didn’t begin to gather steam on a large scale until 2020. The coronavirus pandemic left millions worldwide in lockdown, and with little else to do, many turned to the video app for some much-needed fun and entertainment. All day everyday in the house left people with the time to learn quirky dance routines, and many documented their lockdown life with a comedic twist. 

Is TikTok here to stay like Facebook, or is it a fad that will fade as the lockdowns gradually disappear? Only time will tell if this hugely popular app will survive the test of time. 


The TikTok Rich List 

As TikTok soared in popularity, it made celebrities out of many of its stars. Whether for their talents, personality, or comedy, a number of TikTok users have been launched into the stratosphere, earning them millions in endorsements, sponsorships, and partnerships with other companies and products. 

Like stars of other social media, TikTok icons have found themselves in a strange new niche of celebrity, along with Instagram influencers, live streamers, Fortnite champions, and more. Whether you followed the astonishing climb of these stars or not, their success is undeniable. 

Those with followers in the millions often receive money for endorsing products, through sponsorships, and through partnerships with other big-name brands. Some social media stars have gone on to model, some appear in adverts online or on TV, and some have launched their own products, from makeup and fashion lines to apps and even singles. 


Has TikTok Gone to the Dogs? 

You don’t need two legs to become a TikTok star. Animals have shot to fame on the app too, with pets like Jiffpom (a sweet little Pomeranian pup) racking up over 21 million followers. Whether they’re wearing costumes, singing, or sampling their favourite foods, people cannot get enough of watching these critters do what they do. 

It’s not just pets who are popular on TikTok. Wildlife sanctuaries and rescues are hugely watched too, with many enjoying the wholesome feel of their videos. Alongside the dogs and cats with the most followers, coming in at number 9 is Juniper the Fox. Juniper was rescued from a fur farm by a sanctuary, and she and her ‘siblings’ (several other rescued animals including other foxes and a possum) live together as a hugely Instagram-worthy family. 

With the pandemic still raging, a daily dose of lovable animals playing, performing, and just living their best lives is certainly the feel-good solution many of us need right now; it’s no wonder TikTok’s animal videos and channels are so popular. 


Famous Faces Moving to TikTok 

Although many have found fame and fortune through their TikTok videos, some of the most-followed accounts belong to people you’ve already heard of. Many celebrities have leapt onto the TikTok wagon, giving followers a glimpse into their daily lives and letting their silly side loose for a few-seconds clip. 

Will Smith currently comes in at number 10 for most followers, and the Fresh Prince has found a whole new legion of fans with his posts featuring his family, his dance moves, and his forays into amusing special effects. Jason Derulo and The Rock are also high on the list, drawing in fans new and veteran alike with their TikTok posts. 

While Instagram often showcases the wealthy, impressive, and awe-worthy moments of celebrities’ lives, TikTok allows the masses to share in less posed moments- or at least, that’s how it feels. Instagram shows celebs flexing in strenuous workouts at their home gym, lounging on their Caribbean island holidays, and modelling fashion lines for magazine covers. TikTok shows them dancing with their kids. 


The Precursors to TikTok’s Success 

TikTok may be the hottest app this year, but it is certainly not the first to find success in sharing video clips. The original giant, of course, is YouTube. Launched in 2005, this video sharing site is hugely popular and is used daily for all kinds of videos, including music videos, how-to tutorials, true crime, science and history, and pure entertainment. The go-to response to any DIY task in many households is now to YouTube the solution! In February 2020, Google revealed that YouTube is a “$15-billion-a-year business”. 

Another forefather to TikTok is, an app that allowed users to upload videos of themselves lip-syncing to songs. Sound familiar? was launched in 2014 by ByteDance, the same company who own TikTok. In 2018, was absorbed into TikTok. 

Regular people were given a sudden glimpse into celebrities’ lives with the launch of Twitter and Instagram. Suddenly, we didn’t have to wait for a doctored, produced reality series or a photo in a magazine; we were privy to whatever thoughts celebrities happened to tweet, we got to see them in their homes, on holiday, and at parties. TikTok has a similar appeal; it lets people feel connected with celebrities they like, giving them a special glimpse into the private lives of the rich and famous. 


TikTok Quick Facts 

When did TikTok come out? 

TikTok launched in September 2016. 


When did TikTok get popular? 

It’s hard to say exactly when TikTok hit the big time, but by 2020, there were 800 million active users on the app. 


Is TikTok banned in the US? 
TikTok is currently banned in Pakistan and India, but currently no other countries have banned the app. The US attempted to ban TikTok under President Trump, but this was overturned and the app remains available. 


Who owns TikTok? 

A Chinese company called ByteDance owns TikTok. The Chinese version of the app is called Douyin (抖音), and is also owned by ByteDance. 


Who has the most followers on TikTok? 

Currently, Charli D’Amelio has the most followers on TikTok with 105,600,000. The title previously belonged to Addison Rae, now second with 74,100,000 followers. 


Is TikTok safe? 

As with all social media (and in fact everything online), caution and common sense should be applied when using TikTok. You should always be careful what you share about yourself for safety and privacy reasons. 


Is TikTok free to download? 

You can download TikTok for free from the Play Store or the iTunes store. The app works on smartphones and tablets, and the website is available on mobile, tablet, and PC. 

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