The Untold Truth Of Addison Rae – Nicki Swift
In 2019, TikTok exploded in popularity. The social media platform had regular people turning into overnight celebrities based on various talents — like visual illusions from Zach King to miscellaneous lip-syncing from Loren Gray. Another notable example is Addison Rae Easterling, who “hit the woah” and danced her way to millions of followers on the app. In the summer of 2020, Rae’s account @addisonre had around 50 million followers. Showing the massive growth of TikTok, as of December 2020, she was the second most-followed account behind teen dancer Charli D’Amelio (via Brand Watch). To put that into perspective, this put Rae at roughly the same follower count that rapper Drake has on Instagram, with over 70 million followers.
Rae’s future looked grim when President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok from the United States, per ABC News. Luckily for the influencer — and the millions of users — the app remained available. Thanks to TikTok, Rae has made the news for her public relationships, both romantic and friendly. And she’s also stayed occupied with many other side projects outside of making 15-second TikTok clips.
What’s your favorite video from Rae, and what would you like to see her do next? Grab your phone and light ring, because this is the untold truth of Addison Rae.
Addison Rae's life before the invention of TikTok
A true Southern belle, Addison Rae was born in Lafayette, La. in the new Millennium, according to WSJ Magazine. Throughout her childhood, Rae had to deal with ups and downs in her family life.
On Rae’s joint podcast with her mother, Sheri Nicole, called Mama Knows Best, the influencer has opened up about what it was like growing up in the South. In a July 2020 episode, she “revealed that her parents actually got divorced when she was younger and were on-and-off for most of her childhood,” Yahoo! Money reports. As a result, the family often relocated back and forth between Louisiana and Texas. At one point, Rae’s family lived in a mobile home with just “one main room and a bunkbed.”
As a teenager, Rae continued to deal with difficulties while setting her sights on attending Louisiana State University. As a dancer, she tried out to be a part of the university’s dance team, the Tiger Girls. Rae was so serious about securing a spot on the crew that she skipped her own prom. “It was kind of a priorities thing at that point,” she said in an August 2020 episode (via Seventeen). “I obviously would love to have gone to prom and I just never did, but it was really important for me to make this tryout and try my best to hopefully become a Tiger Girl.” After making it past the first round, Rae ultimately failed to land a spot on the team.
How did Addison Rae learn to dance?
Addison Rae has clearly mastered the art of dancing in short video clips. Even more impressively, the camera typically just shows the star from her waist up. How did she learn her hypnotic moves? Rae fell in love with dancing at a young age. She was so good that, soon after she started to dance for fun at age six, she “entered the world of competitive dance, traveling across the country to attend competitions,” per WSJ Magazine.
While Rae’s dances would also be seen around the country — just virtually through TikTok — later in life, she remembered her days as a young girl dancing around the US in an interview for Allure. Rae’s mother, Sheri Nicole, was a makeup artist and would help her daughter get ready for the competitions. “Being in competitive dance, for performances, we would always wear super flashy makeup,” Rae said, “like the shiny eyeshadow and bright red lips and lots of blush.”
Instead of continuing to get feedback from judges, Rae eventually became the one teaching others how to dance … TikTok style. For example, July 2020 saw Rae give a virtual “master class” in TikTok dancing to a writer for People. After breaking a sweat, the reporter claimed, “TikTok dancing is not for the weak.”
An atypical university experience for Addison Rae
In 2019, Addison Rae grabbed her textbooks and laptop to start her college experience like thousands of other students. In her home state of Louisiana, Rae enrolled in LSU — but in her free time, the student began to create TikTok videos. By the end of October in her first semester, Rae already had 1 million followers on the app. At that point, her fellow classmates began to recognize the familiar face and some would even ask for photos at LSU’s popular football games. “My name would be called out when I was walking to class, which was pretty mind-blowing,” Rae recalled to Forbes.
Even though Rae was only at her university for a few months, she told Forbes it “was a really fun and exciting time.” Her studies weren’t too far removed from her unique career path. While in school, she focused on “broadcasting and TV commercial work.” Once she blossomed from TikTok and moved to Los Angeles, Rae essentially achieved her goal of working in the entertainment industry.
However, LSU or another school could see the influencer return one day. “I would like to go back to finish my degree,” Rae revealed. But in the meantime, she said, “I feel the opportunities I have are very close to where I was heading and what I was looking to achieve.” Indeed, she’s already checked off dream goals, “such as being on ESPN and working with brands.”
Addison Rae reveals why she joined TikTok
As TikTok began to grow in popularity, Addison Rae watched her friends use the social media app. “They were constantly playing all the sounds from it, doing all the trends, and making all these videos,” she told Forbes. Rae considered them to be “obsessed” with the app, but after appearing in the background of several uploads from her friends, she decided to try TikTok for herself. “Instantly, I became addicted,” Rae admitted.
Rae’s success can partly be attributed to not a dancer but a singer: the self-proclaimed diva, Mariah Carey. Thanks to the integration of music in the app, Rae decided to dance along to Carey’s song, “Obsessed.” The then-teenager asked her mom, Sheri Nicole, to join her, and the two danced together on screen. The video grew in popularity and made its way to the Grammy-winning singer, who gave her virtual seal of approval. According to Seventeen, “Mariah’s ‘like’ made Addison go viral.”
Looking back at her success, Rae believes consistency is the main reason for growing her social media presence. “I am always really active. Daily, I post three to five pieces of content on each platform,” she explained to Forbes. Her Twitter, Instagram, and, of course, TikTok accounts are indeed full of content. Rae added, “People notice how often I post, how much I interact with them, and people really like that.”
How TikTok became a dating app for Addison Rae
Any social network is designed to easily find others with similar interests. As an extension of the entertainment business, people love when two celebrities pair up together. So, fans went crazy over the romantic possibility of two of the biggest stars on TikTok: Addison Rae and Bryce Hall, both popular for their charm on the app, merged together to form a power couple. The same day the pair announced their relationship in a YouTube video, Rae posted photos of the two getting cozy in a pool on her Instagram in late November 2020.
Hopefully, things work out better the second time around, as Rae revealed that the couple had dated for “three days” one year earlier, but claimed that she broke up with Hall. After the two started talking again in the fall of 2020, Hall gave her a gift and a handwritten letter for her birthday. Following the “sweet” gesture, Rae explained, “We were hanging out every single day, and he asked me out [on] Oct. 13 to be his girlfriend.” With a complex history, Rae still remained optimistic about their relationship, and added, “This is gonna be really interesting to see where this goes.”
Of course, the two make TikTok videos together. Entertainment Tonight even posted a video detailing the short but “flirty” TikTok clips created by these young stars.
What is Addison Rae's association with the Hype House?
As TikTok began to grow in popularity, more and more teenage users became stars on the app. Similar to popular vloggers on YouTube, creators began to live together to be around like-minded individuals and hopefully create something better than the sum of its parts. Thanks to the big paydays and opportunities as an influencer, these “collab houses” are often mansions, according to The New York Times.
The first popular TikTok mansion was the Hype House. In December 2019, a group of influencers posted “a Backstreet Boys-esque photo shoot,” the outlet notes, “and within minutes #hypehouse began trending; videos including the hashtag #hypehouse have accrued nearly 100 million views on TikTok.” Addison Rae was among the original members, alongside the most-followed influencer on the app, Charli D’Amelio.
Rae continued to increase her follower count while in the Hype House, but the relationship was nearing an end. First, D’Amelio and her sister, Dixie, left the “TikTok collective” in the spring of 2020, and Rae apparently left afterwards, Seventeen reports. That May, Rae’s on-and-off boyfriend, Bryce Hall, explained the status of the Hype House in a TikTok video, saying, “The Hype House? Charli and Dixie left and Addison doesn’t really associate with the Hype House, so they really kind of just — I don’t know what they’re doing exactly.”
Addison Rae's family life
Followers of Addison Rae know that her social media presence is not a one-woman show. The creator isn’t afraid to share the screen with her two brothers or her parents. In fact, Rae’s parents have a healthy following themselves on TikTok. By the end of 2020, Rae’s mom, Sheri Nicole, boasted over 12 million followers on her account, while dad Monty Lopez had more than 4 million followers. Not to mention, according to Seventeen, “Addison signed with WME in January  to build her brand with projects such as modeling, dance, TV, licensing, and endorsements. Her parents are also repped by WME.”
As previously mentioned, Rae’s first viral video happened thanks to a dance with her mom on TikTok to a Mariah Carey tune — but as the popularity of the two women continued to grow, both decided to give fans a more intimate look into their relationship by launching their weekly Mama Knows Best podcast on Spotify. “We want to break the barrier and get into conversations that most kids would feel uncomfortable asking their parents about,” Rae told Forbes.
Addison Rae is focused on the music
In the summer of 2018, users of Musical.ly, a lip-syncing focused app, woke up to a “surprise.” All users “found the app replaced with a new logo and name: TikTok,” per The Verge, after ByteDance (a Chinese company whose platform was used to create and share short videos) bought Musical.ly and merged both apps. Obviously, music plays an integral part in the experience of TikTok — and Addison Rae has played an integral part in the popularity of the app, as well.
All worlds converged when Australian artist The Kid Laroi released a song called “Addison Rae” in June 2020. In a video for Genius, Rae commented on the lyrics of the song. Laughing while reading the line, “I need a bad bleep, Addison Rae,” the influencer (who self-censored the word “b**ch” in that lyric) admitted the “lyrics are obviously very heartfelt to me” and called it “amazing that there is a song that even mentions my name in it in the slightest bit.” In a very TikTok style, beatmaker Tiagz later created a new song based on a sound bite of Rae’s “bad bleep” quote.
Rae might be considering another avenue with music outside of TikTok. During shutdowns across America due to the COVID-19 crisis, Rae stayed busy by learning more tricks than just dancing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the dancer spent part of her time taking voice lessons. Virtually, of course.
Will Addison Rae be a future business mogul?
Addison Rae has clearly mastered the art of TikTok. With the perfect choice of dance moves and background music, she’s turned the platform into her personal business. What’s next for the influencer? She’s been working in more traditional fields like fashion and beauty, such as promoting jeans for American Eagle in July 2020.
“I love a low-rise moment, and everyone is going to realize that low-rise jeans are superior in the near future,” Rae predicted to InStyle at the time. “Very soon, it’s totally going to be a trend to just fully bring back the early 2000s.” (Rae may want to look at some terrible fashion moments from the era before completely diving in, though.) The influencer even admitted she could borrow from her mom, who “has kept plenty of clothes from that time.”
Rae is also building her entrepreneurship skills. In August 2020, the TikTok star launched Item Beauty — a cosmetics line — in collaboration with Madeby Collective, WWD reports. Rae told Allure that her mother “was a makeup artist … so I feel like I was kind of always around makeup growing up. I loved her love for makeup and … it really just fueled my love for makeup.” As the co-founder of the brand, Rae helped design products that she felt were hard to find, all while boasting the title of “chief innovation officer” in order to dream up new ideas. Maybe the line will one day have its own Kylie Jenner-esque luxurious makeup offices.
The multi-talented Addison Rae
It appears that living near Hollywood may have influenced some of Addison Rae’s career moves. After relocating to the city of stars to focus on building her personal brand, she hit a roadblock along the way. Much like the rest of the world, COVID-19 disrupted all traditional forms of entertainment and media. But it also helped drive the popularity of TikTok, and in turn, Rae — so the influencer turned the extra time at home indoors into a positive.
While under lockdown, the dancer took acting lessons, per The Hollywood Reporter. Coupled with her singing lessons and already deep dance skills, it appeared Rae was on her way to being a triple threat — singer, dancer, actor. And Hollywood is betting on her star power.
As reported by Vulture, Rae would be making her film debut as the star of He’s All That. The plot is a “gender-switch remake of the 1999 teen comedy She’s All That,” the outlet notes. But Rae and the film production soon found themselves in hot water with the public while filming at certain locations during the pandemic. After backlash, the city of Los Angeles reversed its “decision to close down a prominent COVID-19 testing site to accommodate the filming of He’s All That.”
The truth about Addison Rae and Kourtney Kardashian's friendship
One of Addison Rae’s besties is fellow influencer and TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio. There’s been rumored feuds between the two, “but the girls are totally BFFs,” according to J-14. Rae and D’Amelio even fought each other in a boxing ring to symbolically put their differences aside, and at the end of the bout, the two hugged.
However, another pal of Rae is much more surprising. Kourtney Kardashian, a “41-year-old reality star,” and Rae “inexplicably and confusingly” became friends, Cosmopolitan summarized. Because of the 21-year age gap, some speculated this friendship was an arranged match to boost each other’s careers. After sharing an Instagram post of the two hanging in a swimming pool in September 2020, Kardashian threw shade at comments about the age difference, per Cosmopolitan.
As for Rae? She’s only had positive things to say about famous Kardashian sister, telling Forbes that “she’s so sweet and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” The TikTok star also talked about a dream collaboration with billionaire Kylie Jenner, saying, “If she’s anything like Kourtney, I’m sure I would love her.”
How much is Addison Rae worth?
Is being an influencer actually profitable? For Addison Rae, absolutely. The TikTok star has capitalized off of her success on the platform and earned big bucks along the way. According to Forbes, Rae was the highest-earning star on TikTok by June 2020. (Not too shabby for someone who joined the platform in 2019.)
Two big contracts with Reebok and watch company Daniel Wellington “accounted for two thirds of her estimated earnings,” the outlet notes, on top of sponsored posts, numerous ads, nabbing the role as “the main global spokesperson for American Eagle,” launching her Item Beauty makeup line, and scoring the lead role in He’s All That. As of this writing, Rae has an estimated $5 million to her name.
With all this money, she selflessly spends some on gifts for her loved ones. In a December 2020 interview with People, Rae talked about what she planned on giving to those closest to her for the holidays. This included jeans for her “BFF,” gifts for her fans, and adorable treats for her dog, Maui. Plus, a gift for herself — well-deserved rest and relaxation. Rae explained, “2020 has been such an incredible year and I am so grateful for all the opportunities that I have had. But for Christmas, I’m asking for some time off. I find that that’s the most rewarding after working so hard!”
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