Khabi Lam, a 22-year-old Senegalese content creator, has become the most followed person on TikTok, surpassing American platform star Charlie D’Amelio, who has held the title since 2020.
Having reached 142.5 million followers, he surpassed Di Amelio’s following after a long battle that lasted for months. The Italian-based Lam now has more than 143.2 million followers, compared to De Amelio’s 142.4 million.
Lam became famous for using the Duet and Stitch features to respond to clips of people who complicate simple tasks for no reason through silent videos of him doing the same task in a simple way.
Lam now posts mainly comedies and has garnered millions of views and likes. His followers started spreading last year, and fans in recent weeks have launched efforts to push him to the top.
The rise of Lahm and the decline of Di Amelio are significant. Di Amelio and her sister Dixie are two of the central figures on TikTok, as they built an entire media brand.
Their rapid rise to fame through seconds of dance videos has baffled people not on TikTok, and inspired millions of followers to try to do the same. The sisters earned an estimated $27.5 million last year.
Lam joined the platform in 2020 after being laid off from his factory job. He has since met celebrities, been invited to events, and struck sponsorship deals with the likes of Hugo Boss.
In 2020, Lahm was working as a machine operator at a factory in Turin. As the pandemic drained Italy in its early days, he was laid off from his job and left unemployed. He started making videos after that because he was bored and unemployed during quarantine.
Lam’s simple videos struck a chord with viewers and quickly gained tens, hundreds, thousands and even millions of followers. As the number of Lam’s followers increased, his followers started a campaign to raise him to the top of TikTok by creating the hashtag #KhabyToNumberOne.
The Senegalese comedian has become the most followed tik tok star
His fame has transcended the mobile phone screen. He met celebrities such as singer Ed Sheeran, Lionel Messi, and a number of professional football players.
In 2021 he was invited as a special guest to the Venice Film Festival, walked the red carpet at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and earlier this year appeared in Hugo Boss’ #BeYourOwnBoss campaign after signing a partnership with the fashion line.
Lam’s rise to become the most popular character on the platform is notable given the previous issues that users have raised across the platform about how to treat non-white content creators, especially black content creators.
In response to accusations that TikTok’s algorithm is suppressing black content creators, the company pledged in 2020 to take steps, including creating a Diversity Council and donating money to non-profit organizations that help the black community.
Last year, some black content creators went on an unofficial strike, refusing to create dances that might disproportionately benefit white content creators.