In June 2022, the Senegalese-born TikTok star Khabane Lame made the global headlines as he broke a new TikTok follower record at 142.7 million, dethroning a long-time, leading creator on the platform, Charli D’Amelio, a competitive dancer from Stamford, Conn., who held the number one spot with her videos for two years.
Lame, who is based in Italy, is now at 146.7 million followers. He rose to fame through his “reaction” videos in which he brings simplicity to overcomplicated lifehack videos with his humorous facial expressions and iconic body language. He uses wordless reactions to demonstrate more sensible ways to do things than what was done in the videos he was dueting through TikTok’s “stitch” feature and tops it off with a silently mocking wide-eyed stare. Without uttering a word, he made his comedic content appeal to the worldwide community.
Lame’s becoming King of TikTok is not only noteworthy but also momentous as it happened after Black creators went on strike on the platform complaining that the TikTok algorithm was discriminating against them. In 2020, TikTok users, particularly BIPOC creators, noticed that the viral dances originally choreographed by Black creators disproportionately benefit non-Black creators who monetize them.
Having their work appropriated and not receiving the credit due them, the Black creators began a movement by refusing to participate in dance challenges. In response to the callout, in June 2020 TikTok committed to support Black creators by establishing Creator Diversity Collective, a diverse group of creators who help ensure diversity, inclusion and representation on the platform and its programs.
The BIPOC content creators prove time and again how fundamental their presence is to TikTok’s ecosystem and how the latter is never the same without them around.
Khabane Lame is only one of the BIPOC creators who are shaping TikTok and whose extraordinary influence have reached millions across the globe.
With over a billion monthly users today, TikTok is here to stay. With a global pandemic and months-long lockdown that went with it, TikTok made the most of an opportunity to establish its relevance to the virtual world and be a home to millions of people who turned to social media for comfort. The app’s ease of use, community inclusiveness and entertainment made it rise to prominence among a wide range of users from all backgrounds and ages, particularly Millennials and Gen Z.
Because of this, the short-form video hosting service has proved to be one of the foremost platforms used not only by content creators to build their audiences but also by agencies and brands to grow their businesses.
Marcom Weekly compiled a list of BIPOC TikTok creators on the rise who possess remarkable talent, wield extraordinary influence, and cultivate a sense of “belongingness” to their millions of followers through their timely and relatable content. The rising stars who made the list are certified influencers who have over millions of followers, get millions of views and likes per post, and are sought-after creators by the world’s biggest brands for collaborations and sponsorships. They work with brands by showing the products on their video posts.
We are proud to announce Marcom Weekly’s Top 10 TikTok Rising Stars:
Daily life, relationship advice, and coping
Comedic mockery and parodies
Animal trivia and survival tips in the wild
Life humor, travel vlogs, beauty and makeup tutorials
Comedy sketches, family activities, and rap
Dance, duets, and dubs
Fashion and modeling
Lifestyle, self-love, and do-it-yourself tutorials
Dares, dance challenges, and comedy skits
Vegan lifestyle, motivation, and motherhood
The Marcom Weekly Top 10 TikTok Rising Stars
A born influencer: That’s what Salice Rose is. The model and social media personality began creating content on Instagram when she was trying to get out of an abusive relationship and turning to social media to cope. What was only intended to be an escape turned out to be Rose’s safest haven.
Rose is loved by her followers for her positive energy, robust personality and authenticity. She inspires them by sharing her own struggles and her example of how she overcame them. Finding out that the people who continued to believe in her and their unwavering support had become her comfort zone, Rose met the challenges and decided it was time to love herself and know her worth. From then on, there was no stopping her. By combining photos, videos and relatable short skits about everyday life, the TikTok star of Peruvian heritage grew her following, which has now amassed 19 million on TikTok alone, making her one of the most-followed Latina content creators on the platform.
In her most viewed TikTok video, she gets a mug out of the oven, which obviously should be hot, with the intro of Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” playing in the background (somewhat like the sound one makes when getting burned!). The video now has 34.1 million views.
Rose, who is based in Los Angeles, has featured several product brands on her TikTok videos, including beauty products service Boxy Charm and NYX Professional Makeup, a cosmetics company that is a subsidiary of L’Oréal.
If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to see your life through someone else’s eyes, Danté Williams has to be your Holy Grail. From the secret grins that you and your sibling share across the room over something funny to the way that your mom goes off like a bomb when you leave your sock on the floor, this TikTok star does it all, only more exaggerated and funnier.
Williams, who lives in North Carolina, is well known for his parodies and creative, original dance videos. He amuses his 15.5 million TikTok followers with his skits that portray real-life situations hilariously and—more importantly—with almost unbelievable accuracy. In some of Williams’ videos, he collaborates with his brother, Devin Williams—also a TikTok @devin.known star with 3.4 million followers—mostly for playful content on pen tapping and beatboxing.
In his most popular TikTok video, now at 29 million views, he shows us a classroom scenario where he is called in front to answer a mathematical question. As a student unsure of his would-be answer, he turns to his classmates for help and ends up drawing a hand that is holding up four fingers—because the answer is four.
Williams has worked with brands such as Bojangles, a chicken fast-food chain; Panera, a bakery-café restaurant and Walmart, the mega-retailer.
Do you ever wonder how to determine which tigers want to be petted and which ones don’t? Whether you are a pet lover or fall on the other end of the spectrum, Mamadou Ndiaye has the answers to all your animal questions.
The animal lover and expert from New Jersey has had a heart for the animals—and learning everything about them—since he was a young boy. Ndiaye entertains his 14.9 million followers with his jaw-dropping videos of animals—tamed or otherwise—and mind-blowing trivia such as “Why You Should Never Run from A Bear.”
Ndiaye, a graduate of Rutgers University, established his prominence in the TikTok animal community because of the non-technical and simple way he delivers his commentaries. With his increasing popularity, he has been receiving more videos of animals from users asking him to shed some light on their behavior.
In one video, he responds to a zoo visitor’s observation of a dog being in a cage with a cheetah. The animal kingdom guru reveals that cheetahs are in fact anxious beings that grow up under severe stress from their environment. He explains that zoo parks assign “emotional support” dogs to introverted wild cats for the latter to model their social behavior after the dog and increase their morale. The wholesomeness of this content made it Ndiaye’s most viewed video at 38 million.
Ndiaye has collaborated with several developers of games that have animals as characters, including Guns of Glory, State of Survival, and King of Avalon.
Bretman Rock, a beauty-savvy TikTok creator whose content expands from makeup tutorials to travel vlogs, connects with his audience with his stunning fashion sense, quick-witted banter and comedic perspective about life. His remarkable brand of vibrancy finds the perfect blend of boldness, humor and genuineness.
At 17, Rock had no idea that life as he knew it would never be the same. Since posting a makeup contouring tutorial video in 2015, he has been dominating the influencer space and has now earned 14.2 million followers on TikTok alone. The video went so uncontrollably viral that Instagram had to take down his account, leading the hashtag #bringbretmanback to trend worldwide. The Filipino American influencer is based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Known for breaking gender stereotypes and double standards, Rock made history in October 2021 by appearing on Playboy and being the first openly gay man to be on the cover of the lifestyle and entertainment magazine.
While Rock has one of the most sought-after faces in the makeup industry, his prowess goes beyond beauty. At the Cannes Lions, International Festival of Creativity, Logitech CMO Najoh Tita-Reid announced Rock’s appointment as the company’s new creator director who will support a network of influencers. He is also working on the premiere of the second season of his reality TV show, “MTV’s Following: Bretman Rock.”
His makeup brand collaborations include Morphe, ColourPop, and Wet n Wild, marking the latter’s first-ever collaboration with a social media personality. He also works with footwear brands Nike and Crocs, as well as fashion brands, Versace, Michael Kors, and Barbie, among others.
In his 50 million-view TikTok video, he dances to Charli XCX’s “Unlock It,” while introducing his dog Tora to the platform.
Dominic Toliver is an influencer, model and artist all rolled into one award-winning TikTok creator. His content is noticeably family oriented. He has fun with his wife, their baby and friends trying out different TikTok trends, challenges, pranks, Q&As and outdoor activities. He is also known for his rapping style and beatboxing skills.
Toliver, who is from Houston, Texas, first built his audience on the now-obsolete entertainment platform Vine and took his short-form video ideas to TikTok where he now has 11.4 million followers. At the 11th Annual Shorty Awards—the first international awards program honoring creators, brands and organizations that produce great content across the social web—he was one of the finalists in the TikToker of the Year category.
His videos are engaging and interactive. They initiate conversations, allowing his followers to gravitate toward his content. Taylor Swift tapped Toliver to appear in the music video of her track “The Man.”
Toliver’s top-viewed video has a total of 153.1 million views. Two of his friends hold a pair of pants on both ends, Toliver rides on a swing and jumps right into the pants flawlessly. As soon as he lands on the floor, they dance to the beat of the “Just Keep Goin” challenge.
Some of Toliver’s brand promotions on his TikTok profile include Nivea Men, G Fuel energy drink, and State Farm Insurance.
Popular for his extraordinary talent in dancing, Jean Victor-Mackie is another young superstar who rose to fame on TikTok through his original choreography and covers of the latest dance challenges. He also makes comedic sketches, duets and lip-syncing videos. In creating lifestyle posts, he shares his travel stories and glimpses of his workout routines.
Before becoming a social media personality and content creator, Victor-Mackie was a YouTuber who incorporated dubs and memes in his skits. He started creating and sharing his own short-form videos on TikTok and grew a massive following of 8.5 million TikTok followers.
Victor-Mackie, born and raised in Georgia, is a professional dancer whose genres of expertise span from hip-hop, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance. He has also participated in various dance shows and performed in musical theaters. His mastery of the art was a result of his innate interest in dancing from the age of 12. His mother encouraged him to pursue his interest and enrolled him in dance classes.
Victor-Mackie has made several media appearances including the Netflix show “The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” a car commercial for CarGurus, and worked with American actress and dancer Debbie Allen in the musical drama series “Fame.” He also participated in the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s “Summer Intensive” show.
His top viewed video with 23.5 million views is in collaboration with Ralph Lauren where, upon spraying the Polo cologne Intense on his shirt, he is taken to a different place, ever so gracefully dancing. Other brands he has worked with include Walmart, Converse, and BooHooMan, a menswear collection.
Considered a god in the fashion industry, with 8.2 million TikTok followers, is model and style guru Wisdom Kaye. One can give him a pair of baggy pants and a faded shirt, and he would create something that’s made for the runway. His knack for artistry shows in his impressive fashion sense and unmatched level of creativity in styling outfits.
Kaye’s entertaining content on fashion tips and advice for his audience led him to work with the biggest names in the industry including Dior, Ralph Lauren, Revlon and Netflix. At 21, the Nigerian American model already had his runway debut in September 2021 at Balmain’s Spring 2021, Vogue’s Spring collection fashion show. He was also recognized by Vogue as the “best-dressed guy on TikTok.”
The mix-and-match pro, based in Houston, Texas, inspires users with his defiance of today’s hyper-masculinity by proving that fashion has no gender. He encourages them to wear what they want to and to be who they really are.
As a time traveler in his top-viewed video, he shares the outfits he would wear in different eras, and, lo and behold, he owned each one of them. Truly a scroll stopper! The video has 22.8 million views as of this writing.
Because of Kaye’s exceptional style in dressing up, he has sealed paid partnerships with luxury fashion companies, including Prada, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Dior, Saint Laurent, and Rick Owens. The brands send him apparel packages with selections to make stunning different looks. Some other big names he collaborates with are Amazon, Coach, Revlon, Crocs and Sony.
If you are looking for relatable lifestyle content, self-love advocate Nabela Noor is someone you shouldn’t miss. Noor, a New York-born Bangladeshi American, kickstarted her career on YouTube where she radiates positivity with her makeup tutorials and do-it-yourself videos for anything from organizing the kitchen counter to redesigning her reading nook.
Now a champion for body celebration, an entrepreneur, designer and author, Noor also engages in important revolutionary work by challenging society’s standards about beauty and body shapes.
The home-styling and aesthetic design expert, based in Pennsylvania, owns the women-empowering and size-inclusive clothing line, Zeba; the recipe sales site “Love and Noor”; and lifestyle and homewares brand, Saara and Begum. She is the founder of Noor House, a non-profit organization that provides free housing to communities in Bangladesh and young girls with a scholarship program. In 2021, she published her debut children’s book, “Beautifully Me.”
On TikTok, Noor has built a safe space for her followers to celebrate who they are, love themselves no matter what and maintain their confidence. She is an inaugural member of the Creator Diversity Collective, TikTok’s arm in advocating for a more inclusive platform and fostering representation in its programs.
Noor and her husband, Seth Martin, have always been open about their lives to their audience, who have been supportive through their six-year infertility journey, including one miscarriage. When they announced in July 2021 that they were expecting their “rainbow baby” (one conceived after a pregnancy loss), their followers shared their emotional and warm congratulations in the comments section. Their announcement video has now a total of 46.5 million views and is her top -viewed video on TikTok.
On brand collaborations, Noor has featured Japanese beauty company Tatcha, the American cosmetics line Maybelline and Target.
Marquay Collins is another comedian creator whose content consists of sketches, trending dance covers and fun dares from his 5.5 million followers who fill up his comments section with sometimes unimaginable requests. From making fried watermelon to revealing what’s the latest in his P.O. box to trying out McDonald’s secret menu for the day, Collins has two words for them: “Challenge accepted.”
His readiness to take on any challenges, combined with his quick-witted ways of executing them, helped establish his strong presence. The Columbus, Georgia, 21-year-old is well on his way to TikTok stardom. His top-viewed video is now at 36.4 million views. In it, he tries a challenge that combines candies, food color, gummy worms, Gatorade, Sprite, and cotton candy on top to melt in a drink. It was almost supposed to be a prank challenge by a follower but turned out to be good—according to Collins’ caption that is.
A New York Times best-selling author, actress, entrepreneur, social media personality, motivational speaker, wife, and mother— there seems to be almost nothing vegan lifestyle content creator Tabitha Brown cannot do.
The inspiration that Brown’s 4.9 million TikTok followers get from her wholesome content, energetic and cheerful personality, have earned her the fanbase-coined title of “America’s Mom.” She has cultivated a following of millions across her social media platforms.
Brown began her plant-based cooking journey in 2017 after battling depression, anxiety and chronic pains. Now, she is ready to take her vegan passion to TV as host of the recently announced culinary competition series “It’s CompiPlated,” which will both premiere on Food Network and stream on Discovery+ on August 11. Brown has also recently collaborated with U.S. retail giant Target on “Tabitha Brown for Target,” a line featuring size-inclusive apparel, accessories and homewares. The collection release on June 11, 2022, marks the first of four collections which will launch throughout the year.
With her joyful online presence, Brown’s influence on her audience touches faith, health, well-being and achieving dreams with perseverance and authenticity. Brown is from North Carolina and lives in Los Angeles.
In her top viewed video, she makes carrots taste like bacon with just a combination of condiments and a bit of her magic. At the beginning of the video, she asks her viewers, “Do you see carrots, or do you see bacon?”
Brown has worked with vegan food companies such as Field Roast, Sabra and Daily Harvest. In May 2022, Brown announced the release of her all-purpose seasoning “Sunshine” with garlic and ginger and the flavors of pineapple and mango in partnership with McCormick, and it sold out in 39 minutes, according to her social media posts. The Body Shop, Reebok, and Orro are among other brands that have worked with her on collaboration projects.
Karen is responsible for editorial support and covers agency, digital content, and D&I news.