"When you do what you love, playtime never ends,” Ondreaz Lopez once said. But with viral scandals, vanishing acts, and vicious hoaxes, is that really the case? Hang on as we walk you through Tik Tok's viral trendsetters' sudden rise to fame - and all of the scandals that came with it…
Before we walk you through the brothers' bumpy ride, let's start at the very beginning, right where it all began: April 4, 1997, the day Ondreaz Lopez was welcomed into this world. Born to a Hispanic father and European mother, the little child's life would be taken for a wild ride in a mere matter of days.
"I was born in Thornton Colorado, for like 3 or 4 days living there, and then I moved to Las Vegas,” he revealed of his family's move out West. But he wasn't the only child embarking on this new adventure; His older brother Xavier was right by his side - and remains that way to this very day.
But there was another face he'd soon become attached at the hip to - you guessed it, Tony. Come two years later, on a summer day in August, 1999, young Ondreaz would welcome a baby brother into his life, and life as he knew it would never be the same again...
Meet Antonio Levi Lopez, who you already know as Tony. From the minute he was born, Tony and his brother shared a bond like no other. In fact, in only a matter of time, the two would go on to join forces, as they'd morph into two of the most famous faces in the online world. But where did that start?
If you ask their older brother, they've got their dad to thank for that. As Xavier put it, "he made us the men we are today with dancing, music, and comedy." From a young age, the brothers would watch their talented father do what he did best, entertain, and they'd soon come to follow in his very footsteps.
But their man of the house wasn't the only one responsible for their impressive genes. Their mother, consisting of both German and Italian decent, had both the charisma and beauty that would help propel them front and center in only a matter of time.
"To those of the people that have been following me since day one," as Ondreaz himself put it, they already know that the talented middle brother has been "doing dance stuff," right from the very beginning. But what exactly did that once call for?
Dance studios, competitions, and lots of dedication. And so, at "around like 6th grade, 7th grade, anytime in middle school, I was dancing," Ondreaz explained of his blooming passion for performing. "I used to be in competitions at both the school and outside of school."
Tony Was Once Insecure
Unfortunately for his baby brother, he'd face lots of dark days before he, too, began to dominate high-school gatherings and studio stages. "Before I was doing social media, I was in a horrible place, and I felt like my life was over," Tony revealed of his troubled times. What was causing him so much pain?
"I used to have bad acne - horrible acne - and I went through depression because of it," he continued. In fact, Tony's life eventually got "to a point where I didn't want to be seen, and I never went on my phone," as he put it. For the torn child, every day with his very own nightmare, forever "trapped in his own mind."
That was, until the day he experienced a life-changing epiphany. After endless days feeling "like he couldn't be myself," Tony decided he was done living a life of shame. As he put it, "it's so superficial, nobody cares." What was his new outlook on life? "I'm not gonna let you take over my focus, my happiness."
And so, as he said goodbye to his troubled days, Tony looked ahead with a newfound hope, as he opened the pages of his latest chapter; What did that call for? He was going to follow in both his father's, and now, his brother's, footsteps: he was going to be a dancer.
The Start of It All
With a newfound perspective and a growing passion, Tony wasted no time catching up to his talented brother. In fact, it was only a matter of time before the two began to take Las Vegas High School, “the soil where we started this all in the first place,” as Ondreaz put it, by storm.
"At school dances… I liked to show off, and I liked to show my little moves, stuff like that," Ondreaz revealed. From school dances to pep rallies, to everything in between, these teens were no longer your regular high school kids: They were officially, "the Lopez brothers."
And so, as the brothers' high school reign slowly reached its end, the newly graduates had to make a decision, one that would determine the rest of their lives. Would they put their dreams on hold to get a degree? Or, would they take the risky route, and finally go after what they so desperately wanted?
Sure enough, it wouldn't be easy, but the decision was soon as clear as ever: "I said I don't think college is for me," Tony revealed. For him and his brother, "we chose the route of following our dreams… becoming a dancer and becoming what we wanted to do."
Written in the Stars
But, as they'd soon find out, "it takes a lot of hard work," as Ondreaz put it. So, what was their first step towards reaching these dreams? Well, if you ask the young dreamer, he and his brother, Tony's fate was literally written right before his very eyes.
On July 2nd, 2013, the elder brother finally joined the world of Instagram with a message that would soon come back to haunt him: “Fame is in your future," read a fortune cookie's fortune. “Call me crazy, but I believe this fortune," he wrote. "Dance is life."
Entering New Territory
And so, with all signs pointing the brothers in the direction of their very dreams, it wasn't before long that Ondreaz's Instagram feed soon consisted of his very own dance videos. From self-choreographed clips to captivating dancing shots, the entertainer and his brother soon brought their talents to an entire new territory: the world of YouTube.
"The first of many more videos to be uploaded," The Lopez Brothers' channel read in July of 2013, as they uploaded their very first clip: a self-choreographed dancing video with their close friend, David Aguilar. From that point forward, they'd go on to regularly post videos over the next four years, as well as on Instagram, which Tony, too, would come to join.
"It was interesting, at one point, I actually developed some sort of dance group," Ondreaz recalled. You see, while the two were busy blessing their followers with captivating choreography, they were also dedicated to perfecting their craft. That's why they took up local classes at the Prodigy Training Center, where they soon formed the 'Prodigy Dance Crew.'
From 1st place at the annual 'World of Dance' competition, to a standing ovation while on stage at the Showtime at the Apollo, the dancing prodigies were just getting started. "It just goes to show despite all of the false negative forces that may try to alter your life and get in the way, you will prevail through god's blessing," Ondreaz explained.
And he couldn't be more right. In only a matter of time, more and more people began to lay their eyes on Instagram's most promising talent; But it was the dancing brothers' December 2018 upload that would officially change the name of the game for the aspiring stars.
Yes, their previous dance videos were finally landing the attention that they deserved, but it was their 'Thotiana' upload that officially put their names on the map. Blueface himself, the artist behind the famous rap, reposted their clip, landing over a million views - and the online world couldn't get enough of the talented teenagers before their very eyes.
Never Be the Same
That's why mere months later, come February, Ondreaz decided to take a gamble and join the tricky world of Tik Tok. It had only been months since Musical.ly first morphed into the lip-syncing phenomenon we all know today, so he had no idea what to expect from the up-and-coming application.
Unfortunately, he'd soon find out the hard way, that things would be far from what he and his brother had anticipated. At this point, their Instagram feeds were buzzing with attention, so why couldn't Ondreaz's Tik Tok account do the same?
Trial & Error
"I did the most at first, and everybody was like, not f*****g with it," the struggling star revealed of his initial endeavors. "Nobody really cared." But why? Both Ondreaz and his brother needed to change something fast, before they blew their shot on the promising platform.
Suddenly, after seemingly endless silence, it hit him: "It took me a while for me to realize that's not what's gonna get you to grow on the app," Ondreaz revealed of his complicated moves. "You have to utilize what you have—your skillset—but simplify it so, that way, a lot of people can, you know, f*** with it," he finally understood.
And so, as the dancer continued to cater to his growing fanbase, his follower count, too, changed - drastically. In seemingly the blink of an eye, the Las Vegas dreamer went from struggling entertainer to superstar, as he began to dominate the world of Tik Tok, one dance at a time.
That's why it was only a matter of time before his brother, Tony, too, decided to take a leap of faith. On July 30th, several months later, the dancing star, too, joined in on the lip-syncing fun. Of course, users also couldn't get enough of him, as the two continued to grow their new identities as 'The Lopez Brothers.'
"Such an unexplainable feeling to witness our own growth," Tony recalled of their seemingly sudden taste of stardom. With their follower count jumping by the day, a new, A-list status within the world of Tik Tok, and sought after dance workshops in their Las Vegas stomping grounds, things couldn't be going better.
The Lopez Brothers were giving the people exactly what they wanted, and they officially had the followers to show for it. From starting the infamous 'Dresway' dance trend, to collaborations with other Tik Tok stars, like Addison Rae and Jason Derulo, they'd soon hit a new milestone.
Reaching New Levels
"Thank you guys for following us on this journey. This is crazy," an emotional Tony revealed. On October 30, 2019, the viral brothers took to their old stomping grounds to show appreciation in the best way they know how: a new-and-improved dancing YouTube channel.
As their new platform, 'The Lopez Brothers,' put it, they had officially reached new levels within their whirlwind of a ride: 1 million followers on not one, but both, of their individual Tik Tok accounts. The online world was officially at their feet, which is why their next announcement was practically a long time coming...
All Hyped Up
What comes next once you've cemented your name as one of the 'founding fathers' of the world of viral trends? You link up with other Tik Tok celebrities to maximize success and exposure, of course. Well, at least if your name is Ondreaz or Tony Lopez, that is.
In December of 2019, the trendsetting brothers made a move like no other, one that would propel their stardom to heights they couldn't even imagine: The Hype House. For those already familiar with Tik Tok, that name instantly rings a bell. For those that don't? Consider it a palace, where only the online world's royalty could call home.
With a swanky new zip code, the new California natives continued to make viral content, all from the comforts of their infamous new mansion - a content house, where fellow Tik Tok icons lived together, as they continued to dominate the online world one upload at a time.
Unfortunately, as they'd soon come to find out, their heightened fame would come with a hefty price; One filled with lots of scandal, as the Hype House members would be met with in only a matter of time. What was once a dream come true for the viral entertainers would soon be their very own nightmare...
“This past week has been insane, let me tell you,” Tony revealed in a viral YouTube video come February 15. “It was trending on Twitter and memes were all over Tik Tok,” the dancer continued. So, what exactly happened that left the online world buzzing?
"Let me start off by saying this is something that I feel stupid about," Tony continued. "It happened 6 months ago… before I had all of these followers." As he put it, after being catfished by an online account, explicit pictures of the young star were leaked all over the internet. "I didn't know what to say… at first I was kind of shook… what do I do?"
"You Are Who You Are"
What would you do if your most personal pictures were exposed - spreading like wildfire - in front of the watching eyes of the online world? “The best advice that I can give to somebody that’s watching this… is to not care about opinions, man,” an unbreakable Tony revealed.
"Know yourself and love yourself and know your worth because you need to hold yourself to a standard. You can't let other people alter who you are… you are who you are." Unfortunately for Tony, that'd be a lot easier said than done, as more controversy would soon come to haunt him.
While Tony's next scandal would make headlines for very different reasons, it still left the online world in the ultimate frenzy. What exactly went down? It all started on May 24th, as close friend and viral influencer, Nikita Dragun, shared a loved up picture of the two stars.
"I just wanted to ride the helicopter," she wrote. After prior cameos in each other's Tik Toks and online uploads, dating rumors had been swirling around for a while - but this post pushed fans over the edge. Tony and Nikita's potential romance was all the online world could think about. Soon, though, they'd get their answers...
"We Are Just Homies"
"We are all friends. Honestly, you know what it is," Nikita told The Hollywood Fix weeks later, clearing up the rumors once and for all. "I feel like girls and guys can be friends. You know what I mean? We are just homies, we are cool." Even Tony himself decided to step in and set things straight.
"Guys, I'm very much single stop playing," the Tik Tok star tweeted on June 9th. While, to this day, the two have yet to admit to being anything more than friends, the speculation has yet to die down. Unfortunately for Tony, though, a new rumor would soon emerge, swapping dating rumors for dancing 'thefts…'
Who's Responsible For This?
It all started on June 13, as Tekashi69 took to Tik Tok to post a promotional video for his latest song, Trollz: “Me and Nicki Minaj are doing a challenge,” 6ix9ine said in the clip. “Whoever has the best TikTok, I will wire $10,000. Second place, $5,000. And the third place gets $1,000,” he put it. What went wrong?
According to Tik Tok user, @ouuitzjaida, the Tik Tok superstar stole her choreography. "People only don't believe me because Tony Lopez is famous and 'attractive looking,'" she wrote. How did he react? "Imagine thinking I stole your dance," he shaded the situation, in a now-deleted tweet.
He Said, She Said
While the drama left the online world divided, it'd eventually fade away, as brother, Ondreaz soon became the face of a new, more scandalous headline. On July 21, the Twitter world was left scrambling for answers, as an anonymous user, named 'AI,' pointed the finger at the elder brother. What'd they claim?
According to the then-17-year-old, back in 2018, Ondreaz made them feel very uncomfortable, acting inappropriately as the two shared a bedroom one night. While Ondreaz swore that "some of the claims… simply are not true… regardless of whatever happened… it was never my intention to hurt [them] or make [them] feel that way."
Gone, But Not Forgotten
Little did the brothers know, that their run-in with scandals was just getting started. In fact, just a few weeks later, as Ondreaz tried to put his disturbing accusations to rest, his little brother was met with yet another controversial claim - one that, to this day, has the online world in the ultimate debate.
So for 'straight Tik Tok,' is it that you guys are annoyed by the dances?" the now-deleted tweet on July 9 read; But it was too late: Tony's post - referencing a Tik Tok dominated by mainstream influencers, as opposed to 'alt Tik Tok,' which basically means 'the good part' of TikTok - was spreading like wildfire, as rumors swirled of a judgmental Tony Lopez.
"Exposing Tony Lopez"
As a matter of fact, all it took was 2 hours - a mere 120 minutes - before Twitter user, @evrytingiwanted, unleashed a thread "exposing Tony Lopez." What did they share? Endless screenshots of Lopez's past tweets, which contained comments that users found too offensive.
Of course, it was only a matter of time before Tony himself raced online to issue an apology. "Just wanted to apologize for any old childish tweets that I made 5-6 years ago. If I offended anyone, I apologize deeply," he wrote. "It offends me reading those now as well." But his problems were about to get a whole lot worse...
The Plot Thickens...
As weeks went on and the outcry against Tony Lopez continued to rise, the claims against him were about to get worse - a lot worse: "I guess it never clicked in his head that I was not 20 years old," 15-year-old user, 'Cay,' revealed about her encounter with the now 21-year-old Tik Tok star.
As the underage fan put it, "he would snap me everyday at random times," both inappropriate texts and pictures. But she wasn't the only one to speak out. It wasn't before long that several other underage girls shared their own stories with the viral dancer. Tony's problems weren't going away anytime soon...
"I've got a lot to talk about," the Lopez brother spoke out on Twitter, shortly after the latest allegations. "I love you guys, stay happy." But the reality? People were far from happy - and they wanted justice. Well, mere days later, they were about to get some of it.
"We take these accusations seriously and will not work with Tony Lopez going forward," Bliss Spa, a cosmetics brand - and former sponsor of Tony's -shared on Tik Tok on August 17. "We're committed to working with partners who uphold our brand values."
And so, with newly-failed partnerships and an angry army of online users, things for the former Tik Tok star were not looking too hopeful. Perhaps that's why the dancer took brief hiatus from the online world. Little did he know, fans would soon swoop in, as they tried to fill in the missing pieces for themselves.
Where did Tony Lopez go? Fake news outlets like Channel22News and The Arts of Entertainment had answers - or at least their own versions of them. As they put it, the star was involved in a fatal car crash, as Tony soon fell victim to a viral death hoax. How did he take it? "Lmao y'all got me "☠" literally," Lopez took to Twitter to set the record straight.
While the vicious rumor was now cleared up, loyal fans still needed answers. Where did their favorite influencer go? Tony Lopez had gone from posting almost daily, to days haunted with complete silence. Lucky for these fans, though, they'd soon have their answers from the star himself...
"I am new to entertainment/LA scene and am quickly learning that you can't believe everything you are told," he posted on August 22nd, in the form of a notes-app apology. "I'll be posting regularly soon, I just took some time to my self to really take care of myself and remind myself who I am."
Where Do We Go From Here?
Well, I guess there's only one question that remains. What do you think? We've watched the Lopez brothers go from regular teens with a dream, to (two of) the 'founding fathers' of Tik Tok - and like it or not, they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
As Ondreaz once said, “when you do what you love, playtime never ends,” but is that really the case? From invasions of privacy to vanishing acts, one's got to wonder: what's really going on when the cameras stop rolling? Are the Lopez Brothers simply the latest to fall victim to the rumors that come with fame? Or is there something far more sinister going on behind those Hype House doors?