What You Need To Know About The D’Amelio Family

At times called “The First Family of TikTok” (via The Guardian), the D’Amelios are rising stars in the entertainment industry — but who are they, and better yet, how did they get so famous? The D’Amelio family were just another average brood from Norwalk, Connecticut, with regular lives, dreams, and plans for the future. Now, they have millions of views and followers between them.

The family first found fame on TikTok, where Charli D’Amelio saw early success when she was just a regular high school student. She was an early favorite on the fledgling app, rapidly gaining followers as more and more users joined the platform. Soon, Dixie joined TikTok, inspired by the success of her younger sister’s videos. Then, as Charli and Dixie grew as established creators, their parents, mother Heidi D’Amelio, and father Marc D’Amelio, both started using the app too. Though many people experience some kind of viral fame on TikTok, the app’s algorithm is famously unforgiving. It’s hard for anyone to find lasting success on TikTok, let alone keep it for so long. 

Somehow the entire D’Amelio family has managed to earn and keep a devoted following and even translate their success off TikTok. Just years ago, the D’Amelios could never have imagined their current social media fame, but they’ve since turned their TikTok notoriety into full-time jobs, multi-platform content creation, and a verifiable empire. But there’s more to them than their viral videos and large following. Here’s what you need to know about the D’Amelio family.

The D'Amelio family are the most followed family on TikTok

Chances are, if you’re on TikTok, you know who the D’Amelio family are. You’ve almost definitely seen some of their videos and you probably even follow them. Charli D’Amelio has the most followers on the app, and as of this writing, she has an incredible 112.9 followers (via Newsweek). Dixie D’Amelio has less than half of her sister’s followers with approximately 50.9 million fans, but it’s nothing to balk at — she is the 8th most followed creator on the platform. Each of their parents, mother Heidi D’Amelio, and father Marc D’Amelio, also have sizable followings on the platform of their own, often posting their own dance videos.

In an interview with Highsnobiety, Dixie said that her parents are “both really good dancers,” and even added that their fame has gained them notoriety even within their closest circles. “There’s a lot of pressure at family reunions, weddings, and birthday parties,” Dixie added. Heidi and Marc did not fall into dancing recently, they both have past experience which probably went a long way in inspiring their daughters to also love dance. In an interview, Charli told Highsnobiety: “My mom grew up a competition dancer and sometimes does TikTok dances with me, but my dad did breakdancing, and that’s raw, so if I had to ask someone to break it down in the middle of a party, I would have to say my dad.”

After Charli D'Amelio got TikTok famous, her family followed

Charli D’Amelio grew up dancing, so it seemed only natural that she translate her skills on the then-fledgling TikTok app. Joining the platform in early 2019, Charli used TikTok as a way to have fun practicing her hobby. Charli started dancing when she was three years old and grew up as a competitive dancer, like her mother, Heidi D’Amelio. Charli soon racked up followers after a series of viral videos. The video which launched her career was one of her doing a new dance, The Renegade. Charli was initially credited with creating the dance, but an article by The New York Times in early 2020 revealed that, in fact, Jalaiah Harmon, another creator, had pioneered it. Despite the minor controversy, Charli’s fame was established, and she was dubbed “the face of TikTok” (via The New Yorker).

In interviews, Charli often says that she has “no idea how she got so famous” (via Cosmopolitan). According to her father, Marc D’Amelio, Charli’s fame benefited from “the lightning in a bottle effect,” and the rest of the family’s success followed. In the family’s interview in The Guardian, the family is the product of timing and luck. “An app came along that prized a certain style of dancing … and a certain style of personality … and Charli and Dixie happened to fit the mold.” Early adopters of the app right before it became a global phenomenon, this clan’s growth continued as the number of TikTok users did.

The dark side of TikTok fame for Charli and Dixie D'Amelio

For anyone, fame can be tough. For regular teenage girls who suddenly have the world watching them, it can take some time to adjust. For Charli D’Amelio, one second she was making dance videos in her room, and the next she had millions of views and millions of followers. Though it seems glamorous, for the girls who never planned to get famous, it took some getting used to.

When Dixie D’Amelio first started making TikToks after seeing her sister adopt the platform, it wasn’t as normalized as it later became. “People at school made fun of TikTok,” Dixie told The Guardian. “It was looked down on.” At first, the two even hid their TikTok usage from some of their friends and peers, but soon it became too big to hide. Eventually, people started recognizing them in public, and Charli quickly got signed to a Hollywood agency, UTA.

Like everyone with a platform, the D’Amelios have dealt with their fair share of hate and criticism online. However, they try not to let it get to them. “I’m trying to show people that I’m a person, and I deal with the same things as you guys,” Charli said to NBC News, “I think I’m working on being a lot more positive in my everyday life because I realize comments and things can hurt.” She also credited her strong “support group” (via Cosmopolitan) for keeping her positive even when she considers quitting social media.

Why Charli and Dixie D'Amelio left the Hype House

As early pioneers of TikTok and some of the first people to become verifiable stars because of the app, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio joined The Hype House. The Hype House is a unique collective formed to help promote different TikTok stars on each other’s channels and be a place for famous TikTok teens to hang out. Founding members included Addison Rae, Avani Gregg, as well as Charli’s ex-boyfriend, Chase Hudson (aka Lil Huddy). Several prominent creators rented a mansion in Los Angeles and the Hype House was born.

In May 2020, Charli D’Amelio and Dixie D’Amelio confirmed that they had left the house. A rep for the famous sisters told The Hollywood Reporter, “When the Hype House started to become more of a business, Charli and Dixie stepped away from that aspect. While their businesses are separate, their friendships with the members continue.” Fans were disappointed but not surprised by the news, since it followed a period of speculation in which Charli and Dixie were notably absent from Hype House content, as well as the split between Charli and Chase.

They chose the right time to get out, it seems, because soon after, founding member Daisy Keech reportedly filed to trademark the house name, despite no longer living there. Legal discourse ensued, in which remaining members of the house allegedly received a cease and desist letter. The Hype House continues to thrive, however, and even signed a deal with Netflix in 2020.

How TikTok changed the D'Amelio family's life

Viral fame changed the D’Amelio family’s life in every way. Before they became household names, the D’Amelios were an average clan living in Norwalk, Connecticut. They were relatively well off, with their father Marc D’Amelio having been a Republican Senate candidate and their mother Heidi D’Amelio a photographer and former model. Charli and Dixie D’Amelio attended private school at The King School in Connecticut, but they lived regular lives. In their interview for The Guardian, Marc described their lives, saying, “We were kind of on autopilot as a family at the time … Dixie was about to go to college. She was driving Charli to school in the mornings.” He added that he and his wife were essentially “looking at the finish line of parenting.”

However, completely unexpectedly, the family stumbled into social media fame — throwing a wrench into their plans and taking them out of autopilot. Charli started attending high school remotely, and the family eventually moved to Los Angeles, cementing the move by listing their Connecticut home for sale. Still, the family has taken all this change in stride and is embracing their new life. With the level of their TikTok fame (especially Charli’s), the family’s net worth has skyrocketed. Charli alone is worth over $8 million and reportedly charges $100,000 for sponsored posts. The whole family makes their money from their social media and entertainment pursuits now, and it seems like it’s working for them!

The brand deals Charli D'Amelio said yes to, and the ones she turned down

Despite her unprecedented viral fame, Charli D’Amelio refuses to sell out and go against what she believes in. According to Marc D’Amelio in The Guardian, Charli is very selective about the brands she partners with and the campaigns she chooses to do. Heidi D’Amelio revealed her enviable gumption, saying: “I’ve seen her sit in a room full of executives and say no. I couldn’t have done that at her age.”

According to a 2020 roundup by Forbes, despite saying no to her share of partnerships, Charli was the second-highest-paid TikTok star of the year – and collaborations are a huge part of her net worth. When she was first climbing to her stratospheric social media heights, Charli was tapped by Sabra Hummus to appear in a Super Bowl ad. But that wasn’t all for the teen sensation. At Super Bowl LIV, Charli was offered the chance of a lifetime: dancing with halftime performance headliner, Jennifer Lopez. The two did the “JLo Super Bowl Challenge” together and Charli gushed about the experience to ET, saying: “A couple of years ago I decided that my dream is to dance with J.Lo. She was on top of my dreamboard and I’ve talked about her in almost every interview I’ve done, whenever they ask what my biggest dreams are.”

Charli also had the chance to promote one of her other favorite things: coffee. The Dunkin’ Donuts devotee now has her own menu item at DD, a cold brew concoction that lets fans try her usual order.

Fame brought the D'Amelio family closer

Fame can tear families apart — or at least start some drama. However, the D’Amelio family has become closer since their fame. Charli and Dixie D’Amelio don’t just look alike — their bond runs deep. “Dixie is my number one go-to person,” Charli said to Highsnobiety. “We’re just so close, and our fights usually last two seconds and then we’re over it.” Though they sometimes disagree, they’re also each other’s support system.

Their parents, Heidi and Marc D’Amelio, have admitted to taking a more active, protective role in their daughters’ lives since their social media success. “I protect my family online, offline and always,” Heidi said in an interview with Grazia. “As a parent, I try to be present, to always listen and to give them enough freedom so they learn and grow, but not so much that I’m not aware of what they are doing.”

Marc has even had to fend away marriage proposals! He told NBC News that he works hard to keep the many admirers in line, saying: “Every once in a while you’ll get someone who crosses the line, and I’ve gone back and checked them and it’s worked out fine. It’s all new to us but we’re figuring it out as we go and it so far is working.”

Dixie D'Amelio launched a music career

Since the D’Amelio family did not start out thinking they would ever be TikTok stars, they have interests and talents outside of the app. Dixie D’Amelio is passionate about music and has started her own music career. In January 2020, Dixie signed with United Talent Agency, the same agency as her sister. On June 26, 2020, Dixie released her first single, “Be Happy” to instant success. The song garnered millions of streams and the music video has millions of views on Youtube.

On August 7, 2020, Dixie signed a record deal with music producer L.A. Reid’s HitCo Entertainment. She has since released multiple singles with high-profile collaborations, boosting her success and gaining even more fans and followers. Her second single was a collaboration with rapper Wiz Khalifa called “One Whole Day.” And as if that co-sign wasn’t enough, she also has a single with former One Direction heartthrob and mega popstar, Liam Payne called “Naughty List.”

Dixie’s success in the music industry shows that she’s not just another TikTok star and that she’s not living in her younger sister’s shadow but paving a way of her own. In August 2020, Forbes reported that Dixie had earned over $2.9 Million so far that year from her various pursuits: sponsorships, merchandise, and deals. This officially made her the third highest-earning TikTok star, with only Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae outearning her. With her empire growing, Dixie is even venturing into acting and we can only expect more success.

The D'Amelio family have a reality show in the works with Hulu

The moniker “The First Family of TikTok” (via The Guardian) is not just a cute nickname — it’s true. People don’t just follow Charli, Dixie, Heidi, or Marc D’Amelio just for their smooth moves and comedy videos (though that’s the main part of it); their fans are interested in their lives. The public fascination with the rich and famous is even more pronounced with social media stars, but the lack of privacy can get to the D’Amelio family. “The worst part is that I’ve lost having a personal private life,” said Dixie D’Amelio in an interview with Grazia. “When your life is on the internet there is no privacy. Normal teenage and young adult stuff unfolds in front of a huge audience.”

However, this has not stopped them from being enthusiastic at the prospect of appearing on a reality TV show. Charli D’Amelio told ET that having a show was “definitely something that would be super fun.” She continued, “I feel like no one really gets to see, but, people are always talking about how they think our family dynamic is pretty cool.” Marc D’Amelio agreed that the public hasn’t really seen behind the curtain, adding: “if we’re gonna do it, we’ll go all in with it. And like Charli said, let everyone get to know us a little bit more closely.”

In late 2020, Hulu announced that they had picked up an eight-episode docuseries with the D’Amelio family, so the dream is coming true!

The truth about Addison Rae and Charli D'Amelio

Nowadays, people know Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae as good friends and frequent collaborators. The pair are the two most followed and highest-earning stars of TikTok and have amassed similar audiences and levels of fame. They were also both founding members of the Hype House and have done many videos together. However, this wasn’t always the case. Early on in her TikTok career, fans dubbed Charli D’Amelio “The Prettiest Girl on TikTok” — but not everyone agreed. Charli had a rocky relationship with Addison Rae, who, before getting a platform of her own on the app, liked a comment which said Charli did not deserve the moniker or to be verified (via Seventeen).

Dixie saw the drama and rushed to her sister’s defense, firing out a series of tweets about Addison’s jealousy. After the shade-throwing, Addison ultimately looked back and recognized that she was at a dark point in her life. “I had just gotten out of an extremely toxic and mentally abusive relationship,” she revealed on Instagram, adding that she no longer harbors any jealousy or animosity towards Charli. “I’ve loved and supported Charli since the day I met her. I think Charli deserves everything she’s done.”

Now, it’s all water under the bridge. Addison and Charli are often spotted together, and have been friends since the two finally met in person. Apparently, they hit it off and all was forgiven. “Once you’re friends, you just stay friends,” Charli said to TikTok Room. “No hard feelings from me, whatsoever.”

Charli D'Amelio has had her share of controversies

Being a teenager in the public eye often means slipping up, making mistakes, and being heavily berated by the internet. Charli D’Amelio has had her share of controversies. Her first big bout of backlash came with the Renegade dance. Though some fans criticized her for not officially crediting the creator, Jalaiah Harmon, Jalaih told The New York Times that she “doesn’t harbor any hard feelings against Charli D’Amelio for popularizing the Renegade without naming her. Instead, she hopes she can collaborate with her one day.” Charli made it happen, and in February 2020, Harmon posted a video of herself doing the Renegade challenge with both Charli and Addison Rae.

Though her first major controversy was resolved, Charli has continued to face some backlash. For example, many called her and Dixie D’Amelio obnoxious for their behavior on the first episode of their series, “Dinner With The D’Amelios,” in which they mocked the food, and Dixie even vomited when she learned she was eating snails. However, this was cleared up when they explained that they are good friends with the Chef and did not mean to be rude.

Another sore spot for fans is Charli’s friendship with James Charles. Charles is a prominent social media creator and collaborates with Charli often, even appearing in the “Dinner With The D’Amelios” episode. However, Charles is a controversial figure with lots of beef and baggage, so some fans are not happy with the friendship.

The D'Amelios are going to be around for a long time

Though some people doubted that TikTok would ever really last, it has become a global phenomenon. Likewise, the D’Amelio family have become extremely influential TikTok stars and are not going away any time soon. Charli D’Amelio has been called the “voice of a generation” (via Highsnobiety), and both she and Dixie are part of the zeitgeist of a new era of social media stars; people who aren’t trying too hard or overly produced by Hollywood. The reason they appeal to so many people is because of their authenticity, and there’s so much more in store for them.

With their show in the works as of this writing, the D’Amelio family are ready for a new phase of their success and will likely reach an even wider audience than TikTok has given them. Dixie and Charli already have a podcast on which they talk about their lives, providing further insight into their personalities off TikTok. The family has also found success on Youtube and Instagram as other social media platforms, alongside brand deals and sponsorships. Their fame has already transcended TikTok and shows just how loyal their fans are. The future looks bright for the First Family of TikTok, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.

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