Many of TikTok’s most popular influencers came from the app’s predecessor, Musical.ly. One such personality is 18-year-old Loren Gray, who rose to fame back in 2015, long before many of her fellow TikTok stars.
Loren Gray has certainly capitalized on her audience as it’s grown exponentially over the years. Keep reading to learn more about the social media personality-turned-singer.
Loren Gray started on Musical.ly.
When she was only in middle school, Loren Gray created an account on Musical.ly, which merged into TikTok in 2018. However, at the time, Gray had no plans to become an influencer — she was just having fun.
“I wasn’t using it as a platform,” she told Forbes. “I was just using it as a way to create videos for Instagram. But then people started following my Instagram … I was getting all these new followers and then I realized that my videos were getting featured on Musical.ly.”
Because of her overnight success on Musical.ly, Gray said that she got bullied in school and, as a result, had to drop out and start homeschooling.
“In the last year it has become more mainstream to be a social media influencer, but back then, Musical.ly was not cool,” she said to Forbes. “I definitely got a lot of backlash in school. I lost a lot of friends.”
She and her mom moved from their hometown of Pottstown, Pa., to Los Angeles in 2015 to focus on Gray’s career full-time.
She is very honest and open on her social media accounts.
Gray has always been very candid about her past and the reality of her less-than-glamorous life behind the scenes.
“I’ve decided that I’m not going to filter as much of what I post, because what’s the point?” she told Interview in 2019. “Five days ago, I posted a photo of me having a mental breakdown on New Year’s Eve. It ended up being one of the most-liked pictures on my account … I want my fans to be able to approach me in public and not think that I’m some robot who only exists online. I’m a silly girl. I want to make a stupid video. I want to cry on the internet.”
She’s a singer.
In 2018, then-16-year-old Gray signed with Capitol Records and released her debut single, “My Story.” She’s come out with several hits since then, including “Cake,” “Queen,” and “Can’t Do It” feat. Saweetie. At the time of writing, she boasts more than 1.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
She is one of the most-followed people on TikTok.
Up until March 2020, Gray actually was the most-followed individual on TikTok. However, since then, three people have surpassed her: Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Zach King.
At the time of writing, Gray has 48.2 million followers, making her the fourth most-followed person on TikTok.
She’s also one of the highest-earning TikTok stars.
In August 2020, Forbes used pretax earnings from June 2019 through June 2020 to determine the highest-paid TikTok stars to date. The site estimated that Gray earned $2.6 million during that time period, making her the fourth highest-paid person on TikTok. Cha-ching!
Her fans are called “angels.”
Gray lovingly refers to her fans as “angels.” Explaining how the fandom name came about, she once explained that she stumbled upon the name by mere happenstance and just really liked it.
“I was like, ‘I like that. That’s cute. I claim that,'” she said, according to PopBuzz. “And I kind of said, ‘OK, this is our thing now,’ and everyone went with it.”
In 2019, Gray even got a tattoo of angel wings on the back of her neck to symbolize her devout fans.
If you enjoyed this story, read about another influencer who got her start on Musical.ly — Danielle Cohn.
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