You've probably already heard about the couple who became overnight celebrities: Savannah Rose and Cole LaBrant. Their popular Youtube channel, The LaBrant Fam, invited the world into their everyday lives, but stepping into the spotlight may have exposed a little more than they wanted...
Cole's Life Before Fame
Cole Labrant grew up in Troy, Alabama, with four brothers and a sister. His parents, Sheri and Ken, brought up their kids in a religious Christian home and they had always considered themselves a traditional family. So, back in 2013, the thought of Cole becoming famous wasn't even a factor.
It all started with the app, Vine. Before TikTok ever took over, this was the go-to platform for hilarious short videos. Cole didn't have much experience with Vine - but that would all change one faithful afternoon when he and his two best friends were a little too bored.
The Post That Changed the Game
Baylor Barnes, John Stephen Grice and their longtime buddy, Cole, were just hanging out when they found a trending challenge on Vine. "It was all girls entering the Vine contest, and we're like, 'This is so dumb … how funny would it be if we entered it, guys?'" recalled Cole.
So, without much thought, the three of them got busy and put together a short clip. None of them could have expected the overwhelming response. But, “After one week, we had 100,000 followers,” LaBrant recalled. “We did it as a complete joke, we really thought that it was gonna go nowhere.”
They decided to call themselves Dem White Boyz and initially thought “that it was just our fifteen seconds of fame with a couple of videos. We weren’t trying to get social media famous, we honestly didn’t even know that it was a possibility or that it was a thing,” as Cole admitted.
The internet moves at the speed of light, and without any time to process their newfound fame, the boys were put on a flight to Hollywood for a meet and greet. Cole was a natural, he took well to the spotlight. However, his fellow members of Dem White Boyz felt otherwise.
Attacked By Hackers
John and Baylor got bored of the Vine world pretty quickly. Making new content everyday became too time-consuming, but Cole was in his element. He wasn't ready to give up just yet. So, his best friends allowed him to 'rebrand' their social media accounts and handed them over to Cole.
LaBrant became a solo act and put the days of Dem White Boyz in the past. Considering his journey thus far, Cole thought it would be easy. But branching out on his own, proved to be a lot harder than he thought. Especially when Hackers almost cost him everything he had worked for.
Like Realizing Stuff
Things seemed to be going great for the aspiring vlogger. Cole enjoyed every minute of his newfound fame until one day, when his account was stolen by online hackers. “They deleted all my pictures,” LaBrant recalled. “I lost 100,000 followers in less than a week.”
Suddenly, Cole was faced with the very real possibility, that he would have to start from scratch all over again. This humbling experience forced him to do some soul searching. So, while he was locked out of his accounts, LaBrant began to see his fame in a whole new light.
Why Cole Changed His Content
“It was just so humbling to see that, everything that I’d worked for, for about two years, just to see it all crumble,” said Cole. “And it’s like, all this could literally be gone at any second.” LaBrant decided that when he finally regained control of his account, he would use the platform differently.
Cole grew up in a religious home and considered himself to be a God-fearing man. He realized that there was no point living by this only in private. So, when he managed to steal back his account, he didn't return as a “twerking Vine boy.” But rather, someone who talks about God.
He Lost His Followers
“It was a hard transition,” said Cole. “Because we didn’t start out proclaiming the gospel. Making the transition from being a secular social media person to a Christian social media person, it was tough. Because people knew you for dancing or making funny videos, and now you’re talking about Jesus.”
However, Cole never gave up and posted on Vine, as well as, Musical.ly. Then in 2015, he embarked on a completely different project. He and his mother, Sheri, entered the 28th season of The Amazing Race. While they may have come close, the LaBrants still went home empty-handed.
The LaBrant duo came second place in The Amazing Race, and of course, they were disappointed to have missed out on $1 million. However, Cole had no idea that things were about to get much better for him. Which brings us to Savannah Rose Soutas...
Savannah grew up in Orange County, California. But sadly, her childhood was a little bit different to Cole's. Growing up, Savannah experienced a lot of heartbreak and at times, it became rather heavy for someone so young. You see, her parents loved her dearly, but their marriage was in a bad place.
Savannah's Troubled Past
Savannah's parents got divorced when she and her sister were still toddlers. Their marriage became irreparable due to infidelity, and the messy split-up caused their father to move out. Growing up without a dad affected Savannah, even when she was too young to realize.
“Especially as a teenage girl,” said Savannah. “I think it’s so important to have your dad in your life if you can. I think that definitely made me kind of go down a darker path.” On the bright side of things, she always had her sister Chantelle by her side. They went through everything together, being each other’s most immense support and friend.
“The Thought of Having a Baby Scared Me to Death”
Savannah finished high-school and went through a too confusing period in her life during college. More precisely, she fell pregnant at the age of 19. And this event was a total surprise. At the time, she was dating former boyfriend Tommy Smith. However, their relationship was far from stable.
Considering Savannah couldn’t rely on him, “The thought of having a baby scared me to death. I didn’t know how I’d continue going to college and take care of a baby. And if I didn’t finish college, what kind of life could I have?” Savannah grew terrified of the future.
Savannah's Broken Heart
Speaking about her pregnancy, Savannah explained, “Tommy, seemed oddly excited about it. He even talked about us getting married. My parents never would have gone for that because they were not overly fond of Tommy” wrote Savannah. Even so, this was far from the truth, as Tommy had proven to be unfaithful several times.
It was like history repeated itself. Suddenly, Savannah was reminded of everything she went through as a child. According to her, “Not choosing the right guy and also just being cheated on by [my] boyfriend, I think it helped me understand how hurt my mom was [when she was] cheated on.”
An Uncertain Future
Savannah admitted, “Telling my parents I was pregnant with [Tommy’s] child was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.” However, her family decided to put their differences aside for the sake of Savannah's pregnancy and help her raise the child.
“They were really supportive of me, and they loved the idea of becoming grandparents. I was beyond thrilled” recalled Savannah. Her parents were so determined to support their daughter that they even tried to make their marriage work again. Her father “asked all of us to forgive him and give him a second chance.”
Without a Father
At this point, everything seemed to be looking up for Savannah. But, “It didn’t last. Two weeks later, my dad went back to the woman for whom he left my mom.” The baby wasn’t enough to make up for all the bad events of the past. Once again, Savannah was left disappointed and heartbroken.
She wrote, “I didn’t speak to [my father] for months; not until after Everleigh was born”. However, things would only become worse for the young mother-to-be. Without even realizing, Savannah was living out her mother's story.
Baby Everleigh's Bittersweet Birthday
During her pregnancy, Savannah revealed a devastating truth. She remembers, “Around my sixth month of pregnancy, I learned Tommy, who had been eager to get married when he found out I was pregnant, was now cheating on me. I was done.” However, there was no time to process this...
Savannah gave birth to a healthy baby girl on the 14th of December, 2012. Of course, she was thrilled to finally meet her daughter, but the thought of raising Everleigh alone- terrified her. So, when Tommy begged to come back into her life, Savannah took him back with open arms.
The Never-Ending Cycle
Speaking about their vicious cycle, Savannah explained, “I dumped [Tommy], but we got back together when Everleigh was born. He promised me he’d changed, and I let myself believe him because I felt like I had to do everything I could to try to make a relationship with Tommy’s work for our daughter’s sake.”
But nothing seemed to change. “Within a matter of weeks after Everleigh was born, Tommy left me. Again. I felt horrible about myself. It wasn’t the last time. Tommy came back around whenever something big with Everleigh happened, like Christmas or a birthday” said Savannah.
Hiding her Anxiety
For years, Savannah kept letting Tommy back in her and her life. “A lot of times, I asked [Tommy] to come back because I felt like our daughter needed her dad to be there. He came, and both of us were so focused on Everleigh that we didn’t argue, and we had what felt like happy family times.”
“Just give me another chance,” Tommy would say, “And I always caved,” said Savnnah. She continued, “We always got along great if Everleigh was with us. However, whenever she was with my mom or asleep, the arguments started, the same old arguments we always had.”
Savannah Was Stuck In A Dark Place
After everything she had been through, Savannah found herself in a terribly dark place. She admitted, “I was left feeling ugly and worse than worthless, like no one else would ever want to be with me because I had a kid.” The fear of being alone pushed Savannah to do explainable things.
“I had a kid. I could not live with that, so Tommy and I would split up again. After every breakup, when Ev was asleep, I’d break down in tears before God, begging Him to bring me a guy who’d love and respect me and love Everleigh like his own. That guy never showed up.”
How Savannah Started Vlogging
Savannah knew that Tommy wasn't right for her, but she couldn't admit it. She remembers, “My family begged me to give up on Tommy, which only made me mad at them and more determined to change him. My mom and sister told me over and over, you deserve better than this, Sav.”
Yet, she remained stuck in this relationship. “I told them that they didn’t understand. But they did.” Savannah was in one of the lowest times in her life. Years went by, and Everleigh was now a toddler. Suddenly, Savannah had a new best friend and they found the perfect hobby to do together.
Behind Closed Doors
Savannah had always used the app Musical.ly, but it was that much more fun now that she could record little dance routines with her daughter. She loved showing off their matching outfits and more importantly, their unbreakable relationship. In the videos, Savannah truly looked happy.
She built quite a large fanbase, but noone knew what was really going on with Savannah. “I wasn’t a happy person,” she admitted. “I acted happy in the videos Everleigh and I made on musical.ly, but overall there wasn’t a lot of joy in my life. My family saw how miserable I was.”
Cole Asked Savannah for A Favor
At the time, Cole and Savannah were strangers. But they had one thing in common- their love for the app Musical.ly. While Sav was racking in her followers, Cole was still struggling since he changed his content. “Not gonna lie; I’ve lost a lottttt of followers for passionately tweeting about my faith and things I believe in.”
So, when Cole came across Savannah's profile, he suggested that they both give each other a shoutout on their platforms. Savannah actually responded and agreed, but Cole didn't really know how to use the app and he forgot to check his inbox. Luckily, fate had a mission to bring these two together...
How Sav & Cole Met
After a while, Cole casually decided to spend some time in California in June. One day, he was at the mall with his brother when he suddenly saw a familiar face. “The first thing I thought was ‘wow, that’s a pretty girl” remembered Cole. But he couldn't figure out where he knew her from.
“Then I realized, that’s the girl from Musical.ly," said Cole. Savannah, on the other hand, recognized him straight away. She was too nervous to approach him. So, she sent her sister instead. When Chantelle went in to play cupid, she told LaBrant to come to meet Savannah.
They Didn’t Have Much In Common
At the time, Savannah was a 23-year old single mom, whereas Cole was still a teenager. At first sight, they had nothing in common. Cole admitted, “I don’t think that anyone would ever pair us together.” Their initial goal was to spend some time together to promote each other’s profiles and increase their following.
Considering they came from different cities, Savannah and Cole tried to take advantage of the time while he was in California. Thus, they spent several days together, mainly focusing on their social media platforms. And without even realizing, they slowly developed feelings for one another.
When Love Takes Over
Considering her unfortunate history with Tommy and her parents’ unsuccessful marriage, it was challenging for Savannah to let her guard down. What’s more, Cole was younger than her. They lived far away, and their relationship would never work. Well, at least that’s what she thought!
Savannah explained, “I had put in my head that nobody would accept me since I had a kid. I never thought I would find somebody who would not only choose and love me but choose and love my daughter even more.” Cole proved to be loyal, faithful and consistent, no matter how anxious Savannah became.
A Match Made in Youtube Heaven
For the first time in her life, Savannah felt like she could let her guard down. After months of long distance, they quickly decided to move in together. “I think it just comes to show you can never doubt who God has for you. [You should] always be open to his possibilities," said Cole.
So, they decided to join forces online, along with their offline relationship. Without a doubt, we can say that they were a match made in Youtube heaven! The couple continually posted videos on all platforms, and the Internet couldn’t get enough. Especially of their Youtube channel.
Likes for Money
After spending much quality time together, Cole decided to ask Savannah to marry him. He proposed in 2017 and the couple got married only six months later. Thus The LaBrant Fam Youtube channel was born and slowly but surely, they were taking over the Youtube world...
Today, the LaBrant Fam account has more than 12.6 million subscribers. As you can imagine, they started to earn big money from Youtube, Instagram, TikTok and everything in between. Brands became eager to work with this instafamous family and according NailBuss, their estimated net worth currently sits at about $12 million.
Cole and Everleigh’s Relationship
Without a doubt, the couple got enormous attention for their romantic relationship. However, people mostly loved how Cole naturally took on the father role with Everleigh. “The fact that I wasn’t [Everleigh’s] real dad would get in my head a lot.” He loved her like she was his own.
“Obviously, I never want to take the spot of [Everleigh’s] real dad. She knows she has two dads who love her so much. I had to put aside my pride and just know my goal is to love her and for her to see how a dad is supposed to treat her mom, how a dad is supposed to treat her… and let her figure out the rest.”
Facing Negative Backlash
Cole and Savannah loved posting videos of their day-to-day lives and did their best to keep their fans entertained. Vlogs of hilarious pranks covered their page/ However, when the couple recorded an April Fool's joke on their toddler Everleigh, fans believed they had taken it too far.
They tried to trick their daughter into thinking that they were giving away the family dog, Carl. “Because we feel like we can’t take good enough care of him,” Savannah joked. However, little Everleigh was devastated, and by the time her parents told her that they were kidding, the 4-year-old was too upset to speak.
A Controversial Topic
Fans from all around the globe quickly criticized the LaBrants for making their daughter cry for no reason. Their subscribers had built quite a strong connection with Everleigh and seeing her so sad broke their hearts. Viewers argued that the Youtube couple had simply gone too far.
The incident got a lot of attention. So much so, that Dr. Azmaira Maker, a clinical psychologist, spoke on the issue. Saying, “We need to reflect on why would grown-ups put children in that situation and how can such a situation disrupts a child’s development.”
Is Everleigh being Used for Publicity?
Though it was a joke, Dr. Azmaira stressed that children are extremely fragile. The LaBrants made a video apologizing to their fans, as well as to Ev. However, this wasn't the first time that Everleigh's loyal fanbase grew worried about how her parents were treating her.
There have been a few occasions where fans have been concerned that the LaBrants may be exploiting their child. Cole and Sav often made Everleigh the center of their posts because they knew how much their fans adored her. Including their wedding video which they titled, “Vows to My 4-year-old daughter.”
The LaBrants Were Accused of Lying
Many grew concerned that they were 'using' their daughter for likes. However, Cole continued to reassure his genuine love for Everleigh. The LaBrants continued to grow. Later on, Cole and Savannah had two more children. And fans loved being a part of their journey.
However, they were pushed back into the negative spotlight after posting a vlog titled: ‘We left our house because of fires in California.’ The video showed the family leaving their neighborhood as they received evacuation orders due to the “huge fire right by our house.”
Back in the Negative Spotlight
However, Cole and Sav's neighbors from Orange County of Ladera Ranch, found that rather disturbing, considering they lived a few houses away and received no such notification. The LaBrants were accused of lying in order to get more views which aggravated many people considering how serious the situation was.
One of the their neighbors said, “I just think it’s really sad they would exploit a situation that’s as serious as a fire that so many people were evacuated just so they could get more likes or more hits on their channel.” Fox 11 tried to get the family to comment on the criticism, but they never responded.
Cole's Offensive Tweets
Fans continued to fall in love with the family, but their rise to fame was so sudden that many people were curious as to who these overnight celebs were before fame. Their followers started digging through Cole’s and Savannah’s history on social media, including their tweets.
Followers found a tweet where Cole bragged about his wedding night with Savannah. Many found it disturbing that he would tweet about such personal information. One follower tweeted, “Don’t understand why that’s supposedly info for all of Twitter to know… yikes.”
Taking Selena Gomez to Prom
It isn’t easy to keep things a secret when you are in the spotlight, especially with millions of followers worldwide. So, as time went by, more of their dirty laundry kept coming out. Back in Cole's Vine days, his biggest dream was to take Selena Gomez to prom. And he did everything in his power to realize his wish.
“My senior year came around, and I was like ‘Oh, prom’s two months away, and I have nobody in mind. And I thought I’d ask Selena Gomez” said Cole. The celebrity may have been out of his reach at the time. But even so, he pulled every stop to get her attention. Cole decided to make a vlog for Selena.
The Greatest Promposal
Cole was eager to get Selena's attention. So, “I took her most popular songs and mashed them into one mega song video type thing, and at the end of the video, I asked her to prom” says LaBrant. Unexpectedly, the video received an overwhelming response.
Fans all over the world went crazy for the video. After all, it was quite a fabulous proposal for a prom date. Selena Gomez also received many messages, all of which were begging her to accept Cole’s offer. “I was like, ‘Oh snap, this is for real,” admitted Cole.
Could it Be?
Selena and Cole's fans became obsessed with bringing them together. But would Selena make Cole’s dreams come true? After a while, the video even got Ryan Seacrest’s attention. So, he spoke of it on his radio. Perez Hilton was another celebrity who decided to promote the video on his blog.
According to Cole, “The video got picked up by likes Teen Vogue magazine, and it was on Billboard, and E! News called me and did a story on it and put it on TV.” LaBrant remembers, “really started to get my hopes up.” But sadly, things didn't go as planned...
Rejected by Selena Gomez
At the time, Selena Gomez was dating Zedd, and the two of them were preparing a new song. The couple was so busy working that the singer didn’t have the time to attend Cole’s party. Eventually, “I received a phone call from someone who was a part of her team.”
They told him that although she thought the video was cute, Selena was too busy to attend. However, Cole had photoshopped some images of him and her, which lead people to believe that it actually happened. But Cole set the record straight in one of his vlogs.
A year ago, Cole was pushed back in to the negative spotlight after posting a rather offensive tweet. He released a video that featured his adopted cousin “Peanut,” being used as a stepping stool, so that Everleigh could reach the swings. Fans were quick to report the post.
The caption read: “This is my adopted cousin, Peanut, helping girls get off and back ON the swings. We all need to be more like Peanut.” Cole quickly deleted the post, but it was too late. Thousands of his followers had already reported the video as disturbing and left comments expressing their disgust.
The LaBrant Fam Empire
Cole and Savannah aren’t the only influencers in the family. Their three children are slowly, but surely, taking over the internet. Their eldest, Everleigh, has developed a following of over 5 million followers on Instagram. Keep in mind, she's still 7-years-old!
What’s more, the toddler grows a more extensive fan base with each passing day. According to NailBuzz, this kid already has an estimated net worth of about $1 million. Many brands are eager to collaborate with her, as it guarantees them massive exposure. Safe to say, this family is building an empire.
Harassed by Fans
Over the years, the LaBrant family has always tried to maintain a positive relationship with their followers. However, there were several incidents where the couple feared that they were too exposed as a family. They spoke of a frightening incident in a vlog titled: ‘Our Family is Being Harassed.’
In the vlog, the couple exposes an anonymous person who is continuously ordering pizza under their name. At first, they took it on as a joke. However, when the person sent pizza to Everleigh’s school, Cole and Savannah grew concerned about their daughter’s safety. They quickly contacted the police.
No Signs of Slowing Down
The Internet can’t seem to get enough of the picture-perfect family and their fanbase is growing daily. Whether its for their religious faith, good looks, or because they're constantly a topic of controversy, the Labrants are building an empire, much like most of our viral Youtube families.
At the moment, the vloggers earn an estimated $5.5 million per year, solely from advertisements on their channel, says The List. The LaBrants are taking over social media, which leaves us with one question: Are the LaBrants really all they make themselves out to be? Well, that's for you to decide....