These stars are turning their TikTok fame into record deals!
TikTok stars aren't just making lipsyncing videos anymore -- now they're showing off their real singing talent! Since rising to fame on the short-form video app, many of its stars are crossing over into the world of music and having major success thanks to their massive followings.
Social media celebs like Huddy and Dixie D'Amelio have accumulated millions of streams on their songs and have the support of some major names in the music industry, like Blink-182’'s Travis Barker, not to mention the collaboration opportunities to double their listeners, like Nessa Barrett's song with ex-boyfriend Jxdn, "La Di Die." And no matter what direction TikTokers chose to go in the music industry, it seems like they’re truly set up for success.
Find out which TikTok stars are now making music...
Charli D'Amelio is the latest TikTok star to make the leap to the music industry. Following the Season 2 finale of "The D'Amelio Show," which chronicled Charli's decision to pursue music, she debuted her first single, "If You Ask Me To." The song has already racked up over two million streams on YouTube alone. While she's not sure if she’ll end up making music her full-time career, she says she’s having fun along the way.
"I think for me, I would like for this journey to be ever-changing and grow with me. You know, I wanna be able to try and experiment within styles and everything, and I feel like that’s the best part -- working with the people that I work with. They’re able to give me that freedom to create whatever comes naturally to me and go from there and never have to feel like I’m stuck in a box where I have to make one type of music. And I think that’s something that really means a lot to me," Charli told Billboard.
Jaden Hossler, AKA Jxdn, got his start on TikTok and found his fanbase making comedic videos on the app. He racked up nine million followers and even landed a spot in the Sway House. In February 2020, he released his debut single "Comatose" and got a call from Travis Barker the next morning. Travis signed him to his record label and since then, Jaden has seamlessly transitioned to a rockstar on the rise.
"Travis took a chance on me because he saw my heart, and he knew that I would be searching for the right perspective on this new music...As soon as Travis hit me up, man, every label in the f---ing country did too. I didn’t even know what s--- was, like I genuinely felt like Justin Bieber," Jaden told Variety.
Nessa Barrett has over 10 million followers on TikTok for her lipsyncing and dancing videos, but says she never joined the app in order to be an influencer. She says she always had music on her mind and she's finally been able to make it a reality with the release of her first three songs. In 2022, she dropped her debut album "Young Forever," which has helped earn her over eight million monthly listeners on Spotify.
"I never really went into social media wanting to be a social media influencer if that makes sense. While I was gaining a huge following and posting often, I never wanted it to be my job and I never really took it full force. And so as soon as I made the decision that I was 100% following my dream of doing music all the way, I started to find myself," Nessa told Variety.
Addison Rae surprised fans when she dropped her debut single "Obsessed" in March 2021. While she decided to first delve into the world of acting, she says that her singing career had actually been in the works for a year before she made her first release. Addison hasn't shared any new music since then but in August 2022, several unreleased tracks were leaked. Although she never addressed why she didn't actually release the songs, she said she was glad fans liked them.
"I love that a few of the songs I made that I would’ve never let see the light of day are some of peoples favorites," Addison tweeted.
Dixie D'Amelio followed in her sister Charli’s footsteps as she rose to fame on TikTok but was able to make her own mark in the entertainment world when she started releasing music. Her first single "Be Happy" was released in 2021 and landed her a deal with L.A. Reid's Hitco Entertainment. Since then, she's released her debut album, "A Letter To Me,: toured across the U.S. with Big Time Rush and even won Favorite Social Music Star at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
"I feel like I've learned a lot through this whole process. Music has been a huge part of my life, but never recording. Once I did, I fell in love. Now, writing I love. I'm falling in love even more in the whole process. Even though everything has happened so fast, I've never been overwhelmed by the speed of everything. I just want to keep going, keep getting better, keep putting new stuff out," Dixie told THR.
Chase Hudson, who now goes by Huddy, got his start on TikTok and rose to fame as a member of the Hype House. He's now made the move to release his own music and, like Jxdn, he's collaborated with Travis Barker. In 2021, he dropped his debut album "Teenage Heartbreak" and has since racked up millions of streams.
"I feel like I'm just getting started now, to be honest. I always wanted to do music, but I started on social media and made a fanbase before I did what I really wanted to do. I wanted to take my time, make sure I knew what I was doing and that I was doing everything correctly. I feel like this is the new era of me, and kind of where I'll start to be known," Huddy told Paper.
Loren Gray may have gotten her start on Muiscal.ly but has built her following on TikTok to over 51 million fans. At one point, she was the most followed person on the app! She released her debut single "My Story" in 2018 and has since released several songs including a collab with Saweetie as well as with Reese Witherspoon's son Deacon.
"I'm still sort of finding my way, but I've worked really hard to understand music beyond just singing a song. Like, writing, music theory, production, vocal engineering, mixing, and mastering. So, yeah it feels good! And I feel like I'm only going to keep learning and improving, which I'm really excited for. I'm still young, so I have some time!" Loren told MTV.
Tayler Holder rose to fame on TikTok and as a member of the Hype House and now boasts over 18 million followers on the app. Throughout his social media career, Tayler has had music on his mind and when he posted a short cover of Tate McRae's "You Broke Me First," it went viral. After fans demanded he release original music, he decided to drop a Christmas song. Then in early 2021, he finally released his first single "100 Rounds" and has released several more songs since then.
"It’s been a passion for me my entire life, but I just never had the right team around me, or even know how to do it myself. But with getting more established in the social media industry and meeting producers or writers or other artists, it’s brought me more into it...Whenever you're an influencer and trying to make that transition over to being a musician and being taken seriously, it’s very hard. I hope people see that I’m not just some influencer trying to make music. I actually love this. I have a passion for it. I hope they see something different in me as an artist and not just a TikTok star," Tayler told Variety.
Mia Rodriguez gained a following on Musical.ly and then joined TikTok, where she shared funny and relatable content from her life. By 2019, she signed a record deal with City Pop Records. She’s released several songs so far and gained millions of streams.
"YouTube didn’t really work out for me. I found Musically, which is what TikTok was called before. I really liked making videos, so I downloaded it and I made a video and it got 600 views...I used to not be a good singer, but because I just love doing it, I kept doing it and I got a lot of compliments," Mia told ABC.
When Peach PRC joined TikTok, she was working as a stripper and telling chaotic stories about her life. Her endearing and genuine personality gained her a following and pretty soon, she even landed a record deal with Island Records in Australia. In February 2021, she put out her first major label release, "Josh," and has now released several other songs.
"It's still all very crazy to me. The songs I had put out were literally done with an ex of mine who was a producer, and I got him to help me with putting together my music. I kind of started releasing everything on TikTok, and then s--- just went up from there," she told Billboard.
Jufu got his start posting videos on Vine and when the 6-second video app shuttered, he eventually moved over to TikTok. He gained a following for his funny videos and now boasts over three million followers. His first song to go viral was "Woahh," a track inspired by the popular dance move. It was only 30 seconds long but got so popular that he created a full-length version. When his follow-up song "Who R U" went viral, it earned him a record deal.
"At first I was making just music for people to enjoy on social media. But I realized that I have a lot within me that I want to put out there, music that’s putting out a vulnerable piece of myself," Jufu told Variety.