close-button

Feel Old Yet? 35 Viral Stars Then Vs. Now

Dylan Henson

funny /
YouTube via Viral Media Instagram via @bhadbhabie

Our digital age has allowed us to enjoy many people's 15-minutes of fame, such as Bhad Bhabie threatening to take out the audience and King Curtis dominating Wife Swap's episode at age seven? But where are these stars today? Let us dig into details!

The Tragic Story of Antoine Dodson

As a resident of the Lincoln Park housing project, Antoine Dodson was the one to put the area on the map back in 2010. Remember the time when we 'had to hide our kids and wives?' Sadly, though, Dodson's fame is long gone.

Antoine Dodson Viral Stars
CrazyLaughAction via YouTube/ @antoine.dodson via Instagram

Only this February, Dodson has kicked-off a GoFundMe to support him and his 5-year-old son. Additionally, Dodson wrote, "Last year we lost our house due to financial reasons and our car. I'm in school for real estate trying to pass this state exam and have a new job." Hopefully, this living legend will fulfill his goals!

The Apartment Fire Survivor’s Legendary Footage

Back in 2012, just about everybody heard, “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That.” And we have Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins to thank for this blessing! More specifically, Brown was an apartment fire survivor whose legendary KFOR-TV interview flooded the YouTube platform. So, where is she now?

Kimberly Wilkins Viral Fame
Vanessa C via YouTube/ @realsweetbrown via Instagram

Kimberly has been MIA over the last couple of years. However, she managed to exploit her 15 minutes of fame by appearing in local ads and Tyler Perry’s 2014 film, A Madea Christmas. And on top of that, someone made a fire song remix out of her interview.

Things Never Change For ‘The Turtle Guy’

Sitcoms seem to have taken a backseat as reality TV became more popular. Undoubtedly, people tend to get weird, and we love to witness it. Take, for instance, Jonathan Ware, the 10-year-old little legend who won over the internet with his bizarre interview back in 2007 when he said, "I like turtles."

Jonathan Ware Turtle Guy
KGW News via YouTube/ Courtesy of Jonathan Ware via KGW

Time went by, but the funny guy never switched on his preference toward turtles. Even today, when he has developed a liking to online gaming, he still loves to drop a video on his own YouTube channel, dubbed, shocker, 'it's turtle time.' Sadly for us, he's since deleted his account. At least it was fun while it lasted.

‘Hey Guys, It’s Nichole’

Even today, we can still hear her saying, “Hey guys, it’s Nichole.” And it’s for a reason! Nichole’s memorable YouTube videos have either blessed or haunted our childhood. No matter the case, we will forever appreciate her effort and singing covers of our favorite 2010 tracks. But where is she today?

Hey Guys It's Nichole
Nichole337 via YouTube/ @nichole337 via Instagram

The former teen YouTube star is almost 30; Do you feel old yet? What’s more, Nichole is married to a man named Bryan Burr. So, unfortunately, she is off the market. On the bright side, though, the Ohio native still drops updates on her YouTube channel weekly. Safe to say, she truly inspired us with her content!

The Legend: King Curtis Holland

‘The man. The myth. The legend: King Curtis Holland’ or as we all know him, the ‘bacon is good for me’ king is one of the greatest hits in reality TV history. Years ago, in 2009, Curtis was the real Wife Swap savage, one that wouldn’t let his new ‘mom’ Joy get in the way of bacon at any cost.

King Curtis Wife Swap
YouTube via Curtis Holland / Facebook via Curtis Holland

He inspired many viewers when he threatened to leave because of all the rules. Maybe that’s why, a decade later, when the little king has become a 20-year-old welding prodigy, fans still follow his steps. But what about Joe? “She added the family on Facebook. But we blocked her after she talked about going on Dr. Phil,” said Curtis.

Fred Figglehornn’s Near-Psychotic Antics

Fred, aka Lucas Cruikshank, is one of the YouTube stars who took off during his teenage years. Back in the day, we all recognized him primarily for his high-pitched voice and near-psychotic acts. But even though the 2010s were weird, he had millions of video viewers following him around.

Lucas Cruikshank, Fred, Viral
IMDb via Fred 2: The Movie / Instagram via @lucascruikshank

Without a doubt, Fred's come a long way since he was 13. A decade later, he is among the most famous figures within the LGBTQ community. He is a shining example of self-love and acceptance. Plus, his new YouTube account, named 'Lucas,' has brought in an impressive 3.1 million subscribers.

David Post-Tooth Removal

The painful trips to the dentist usually don’t come with many perks. Well, except for the laughing gas, or in David’s case, the wooziness after the anesthesia. The 7-year-old was wholly put out for the procedure, so his parents decided to film the iconic clip of his reaction. Years later, we still remember the viral hit!

David Dentist Viral YouTube
YouTube via booba1234 / Instagram via @daviddentist

The little legend cashed in over $100,000, consequently appearing on Jimmy Kimmel and Today and gaining international fame. As for today? These days, he lives a low-key life as a University of Florida Innovation Academy student. He even said, “I don’t want ‘David After Dentist’ to be all I’m ever known for.”

Gingers Do Indeed Have Souls

In 2010, Michael Kittrell came up with the ultimate comeback to South Park’s “Ginger Kids” episode. He posted a video on his YouTube channel, CopperCab, saying that gingers do indeed have souls. His unique video highlighting that ‘Gingers Do Indeed Have Souls’ brought Michael millions of views and many response videos.

Michael Kittrell CopperCab Ginger
YouTube via CopperCab / Instagram via @copper_cab

Well, folks, a lot has changed since then. In 2016, Kittrell underwent a sex change, opting to go by Claire. But the notorious ginger has since detransitioned and is back to being Michael. He's also back to his ranting ways and dropped a 'gingers still have souls' follow-up video this past January. You might want to check it out.

Daniel’s Series of Comedic Twitter Snaps

Do you remember hearing, “Damn, Daniel?” Or even better, the following “Back at it again with the white Vans?” A few years ago, high-school student Josh Holz dropped a series of funny snaps on Twitter when his signature phrase spread like wildfire. And so did the newfound fame of these two friends!

Damn Daniel, Josh Holz
Twitter via @daniel_laara / Getty Images via David Livingston

But what happened when the hype suddenly died out? The then 14-year-old Daniel Lara explained to Rolling Stone, “My life hasn’t changed all that much.” The Cali star graduated in 2019 but “still gets people coming up to him, but it’s not to the point where he needs security guys.” Pretty impressive!

The Target Employee Alex Lee

Alex Lee’s path to stardom is a relatively unusual one. He was a regular guy working at Target when one customer decided to take a picture of him, promoting him as the new Bieber. And in 2014, he blew up our Twitter feeds. Young girls were going crazy for Lee, and things quickly exploded.

Target Employee Alex Lee
YouTube via ABC News / Pinterest via Brian Vice

However, the rising star wasn’t prepared for his newfound fame. He simply couldn’t imagine himself in the role. “Everything just started getting crazy,” he recalled. Eventually, his fame has died down, and Alex could go back to school in 2018 with his sights set on being an EMT. So, not everyone aims for the Hollywood way of life.

The Journey of the Backpack Kid

Russell Horning was a bored teenage Southern boy when he entered the spotlight. At first, it was 'the Dougie,' then it was the Mannequin Challenge and 'the floss,' and today it's SNL gigs with Katy Perry. However, it was 2016 when he debuted a new dance trend on his Instagram, and things quickly took off.

Backpack Kid Russell Horning
YouTube via Inside Edition / Getty Images via Prince Williams

Today, the little legend is 18-years-old and makes "at least six figures" per year. Horning still uploads videos, only this time on his YouTube account. His mom has explained, "Being the mom of the backpack kid is the most stressful…thing I've done in my life." Yet, it still seems like an exciting journey!

GloZell Went From Anonymity To Infamy

Pretty much every YouTube user in the early 2010s recognized GloZell. Do the phrases "Is you okay? Is you good? Cuz I want to know" sound familiar? You might remember the infamous 2008 comedic videos on YouTube as "she was having trouble one day uploading a video on her blog."

GloZell Green Viral YouTube
YouTube via GloZell Green / Getty Images via Steve Granitz

Undoubtedly, the OG YouTube legend has significantly changed from her early days of fame. Today, she is a single mom that has dropped almost 100 pounds. GloZell even leads her own podcast, called Glowing Up. And even though her latest clips barely broke 10,000, the icon has a steady 1.3 million Instagram followers.

The Brains Behind the Bars

Nicholas Fraser was a 21-year-old New York native who blessed or plagued (depending who you ask) the 2015 song of the summer Too Close. Specifically, the brain behind bars did a twist and swapped the original lyrics with “why the ___ you lying? / why you always lying?” And in no time, the video took off like wildfire!

Nicholas Fraser, Too Close
YouTube via Nicholas Fraser / Getty Images via Gary Gershoff

People worldwide caught wind of the post, including big names such as Diddy, Chris Brown, and Wiz Khalifa. Fraser copped millions of views, landing himself as a viral meme. Not only did he become famous overnight, but he also managed to keep his fans, considering he now has almost 400 thousand followers on Instagram.

The Iconic “What Are Thoooose?” Clip

Most of us can still hear Brandon Moore mocking the cop for wearing pretty questionable shoes. Specifically, the legend dropped the video in 2015 and somehow managed to guarantee his place in internet history with three simple words. Five years later, people worldwide can still hear, “What are thoooose?” ringing in their heads.

What Are Thooose, Viral
YouTube via Top Vines/ What are Those / Instagram via @youngbusco

The video quickly reached millions of likes, as well as several parodies, remakes, and memes. However, the father of nine promptly got sick of the clip, stating, “it’s official, I’m ready to let #whatarethose burn in hell.” Unfortunately, his family and fans were devastated when the comedic MVP tragically passed on from an OD.

The Victim Speaks Out Against Cyberbullying

Ghyslain Raza was only 14-years-old when his classmates found the video of him dancing on stage with a 'lightsaber' and secretly shared it online. The Quebec high school student's video dated back to 2002. But, Raza unintentionally hit internet fame, becoming one of the top OGs in clips' history. So, what happened to the shy boy?

Ghyslain Raza Viral YouTube
YouTube via Ghyslain Raza / Twitter via @GhyslainRaza

Even though Raza didn't want anyone to see the video, it went viral with more than a billion views. And what would a bullied child-star do when he grows up? Evidently, Raza is here to show us so. Today, upon graduation from McGill University, he's dedicated to helping other victims by speaking out against cyberbullying.

One of Youtube’s First VIPs

Gabby Londe, the ‘where’s the chapstick’ mastermind, initially posted a video solely for her friends’ entertainment. However, this iconic video quickly became a viral hit. Gabby developed instant fame her 2007 song about a missing chapstick, making Londe one of the first YouTube VIPs.

Gabby Londe Chapstick Viral
YouTube via CrazyTrumpeterG1

The former star shined once again a decade later with an ‘anniversary edition’ of the famous bop. But it was probably the last time we’ll see Gabby on YouTube, as supposedly she despises the new trend of influencers. According to TheMaddness22, bloggers nowadays are in it for the money, instead of the clips’ voice or sense.

The ‘Who Is She?’ Viral Clip

The beginnings of Chloe Woodard date back to 2015 when she uploaded a parody clip on Vine. More specifically, she dropped the clip titled 'Who is She?' and instantly developed a massive following of more than 450 thousand users on Twitter and TikTok. So, our only advice for the Kardashians would be to take notes!

Chloe Woodard Viral YouTube
YouTube via Chloe Woodard / Getty Images via Frazer Harrison

Years later, Chloe is still focused on music and video creation and regularly posts on Twitter and TikTok. Many would say she has become pretty high-class, considering she's in a back-and-forth beef with the YouTube star Jake Paul. On the other hand, Paul has a thirst for controversy, so this doesn't say much for Woodard.

The Infamous Bop ‘Chocolate Rain’

The American-Studies grad student Tay Zonday gained instant fame after dropping his video, 'Chocolate Rain.' "I did about 30 radio interviews in…a week," he recalled. "Three…major labels wanted to sign me. People contacted me to sing at…parties, their kids' Bar Mitzvahs." So, Zonday will always remain a GOAT in YouTube history.

Chocolate Rain Tay Zonday
YouTube via TayZonday / Instagram via @tayzonday

He also said that he “Believes about 20% of people who watched it at the time appreciated a deeper social message.” Even today, Tay uses his YouTube account for discussing trending events. His platform accounts for more than one million subscribers, including big names such as Yeezy and South Park.

The Numa Numa Guy

It's no secret that the internet can be a cruel place. But who could've guessed that 'The Numa Numa Guy' would blow up in the way he did? Gary Brolsma dropped a video of him lip-syncing a Romanian track when the Twitter world spread rumors that he took his own life because he felt embarrassed by the clip.

Gary Brolsma Numa Numa
YouTube via Gary Brolsma / GaryBrolsma.com

But this was far from the truth. Brolsma, the living legend, is still busy living his life, despite the hateful comments. He is confident in himself and even released a Numa Numa 10-Year Reunion video in 2014. Today, Gary is a Tech Entrepreneur and a music enthusiast with an active Twitter account.

World’s Most Dramatic Freakouts

Remember Stephen Quire, the guy best-known for his pretty dramatic 'freakouts?' If not, the question is, what were you doing during 2009? After all, this was the only entertainment we needed, along with the man behind the camera, his brother Jack Quire, who posted on his YouTube account, Wafflepwn.

Stephen Quire Dramatic Freakouts
YouTube via Stephen Quire / Instagram via @steviequire

So, where is the 16-year-old today? A decade later, the Wafflepwn account has more than 2 million subscribers. They released Stephen's latest freakout video in May 2019, and despite this dropout, the brothers keep their life on the down-low. Not everyone can become Gordon Ramsay, no matter how much they want it.

The Chewbacca Mask Mom

Was your mom embarrassing while you were growing up? Imagine being the child of Candace Payne, the Texas mom who took over Facebook with her reaction to the Chewbacca mask she purchased from Kohls. The video quickly landed over 200 million views, catching the eyes of people worldwide, including Hollywood's VIPs.

Chewbaca Mask Mom Viral
Twitter via @Forbes / Pinterest via GuidePosts

Not only did she gain global recognition, but she also appeared in James Corden's Carpool Karaoke segment. Since she released the clip, Candace has also developed her own action figure and published several books. Eventually, she joined the Instagram world, and today she has around 60,000 followers.

The Internet’s New Lady Gaga

Charlotte Awbery was an aspiring singer for years, yet, she somehow went undiscovered for years. Well, until Kevin Freshwater accidentally filmed her singing on his YouTube channel in February of 2020. Thanks to the prankster, people witnessed her talent, and Awbery had her big break, being recognized as Internet’s new Lady Gaga.

Charlotte Awbery Lady Gag
YouTube via Charlotte Awbery / Instagram via @charlotteawbery

Charlotte sang Shallow, and she was so ‘on point’ that the video landed her instant fame. She was flown out to perform on the Ellen Degeneres Show, where she caught the attention of big names in the industry, such as Ariana Grande. Today, Awbery is working on her career, with over 700 thousand followers.

The Bieber Fever

During the 2010s, many girls worldwide were swooning over the 13-year-old small-town singer from Canada who essentially took over the internet. It was when the Bieber Fever was in full motion that Laina Morris dropped her parody video. With this simple step, she guaranteed her place in the YouTube hall-of-fame.

Laina Morris Bieber Fever
YouTube via Laina

The 3-minute video went viral, followed by additional parodies and memes. Morris was smart to milk her 15 minutes of fame and continued filming such parody clips. Over the years, she made her TV debut and got an invite to the 2012 AMA’s. However, in a 30-minute farewell video in 2019, she said goodbye to her vlogging days.

The Yodeling Boy in Walmart

Remember 12-year-old Mason Ramsey, who yodeled in the middle of Walmart in 2018? The internet is indeed a weird place. The Illinois native singing a Hank Williams track practically broke the internet. In other words, Ramsey’s clip spread like wildfire when the cover was dropped on YouTube by ViralHog, launching his career.

Yodeling Boy Walmart Viral
Twitter via @Kid_From_Walmar / Getty Images via David Crotty

Not only did Ramsey gain the attention of people worldwide, but also of several big names. Ultimately, he got an invitation to perform at Coachella in 2018. Over the years, he also dropped his debut track, Famous, and developed a following of almost 2 million on Instagram. What a time to be alive!

Rebecca Black’s 'Friday' Music Video

Are you ready to rehash the wild times of Rebecca's Black Friday? It definitely takes some mad skills to make someone hate the weekend, but apparently, Rebecca managed to do so. Her particular song, along with the music video, was everywhere, and needless to say, it made some people not look forward to the end of the week.

Rebecca Black Friday Video
YouTube via rebecca / Instagram via @msrebeccablack

The question is, where is the notorious singer now? She's releasing more singles, the latest one being Anyway in 2019. Black has also opened up about the infamous scandal regarding her debut single from back in the day, including from "almost every producer/songwriter who'd tell me they'd never work with me."

The Self-Titled ‘Bhad Bhabie’

Who would think that a young girl could gain instant fame for threatening to take out Dr. Phil’s audience? Well, as unusual as it sounds, that was exactly what happened with the “car-stealing, knife-wielding, twerking 13-year-old” Danielle Bregoli. Back in 2016, she was a wild teen, but this landed her overnight fame.

Bhad Bhabie Dr. Phil
YouTube via Viral Media / Instagram via @bhadbhabie

Today, we all recognize the Florida native as ‘Bhad Bhabie,’ the title she gave herself. But what’s remarkable for Bregoli is that she successfully exploited her infamy with several tracks, becoming the youngest person to sign with Atlantic Records music label and ever hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart. What an upturn of events!

The Story of Jenna Marbles

In 2010, the Internet was overwhelmed with FaceTune and Tide-Pod Challenges when Jenna Mourey started sharing satirical 'how-tos' and comedic gems. The New York native developed worldwide recognition, gaining millions of followers and instant fame for her YouTube videos. She also achieved millionaire status from a young age.

Jenna Marbles YouTube Viral
YouTube via JennaMarbles / Getty Images via David Livingston

Today, she still drops wild videos on her platforms regularly. Jenna's managed to retain her loyal fanbase, considering she has 5.7 million followers that keep up with her content. Additionally, Marbles is active on her Jenna & Julien Podcast, where she shares her experiences and "talks about all the things."

Miss Teen South Carolina’s Brainy Answers

Whoever said 'pageant queens aren't the brightest' might not have been entirely wrong. Well, at least based on some people's opinion on Miss Teen South Carolina's responses during a Q&A segment back in 2007. Caitlin Upton was racing for Miss USA when she blessed the YouTube platform with iconic content.

Teen South Carolina 2007
YouTube via IRamzayl / Instagram via @caiteupton

Unfortunately, the then-18-year-old didn't perceive the interview flop in the best way. She recalls, "I went through a period where I was very, very depressed." Time went by, and the model managed to overcome this obstacle. Today, she has almost 40,000 Instagram fans, a baby boy named Vin, as well as a modeling and TV career.

When Curling Your Hair Goes Wrong

Back in 2013, the Internet was overwhelmed with various YouTube tutorials, specifically Tori Locklear's. The 13-year-old at the time dropped a video called 'How to curl your hair.' Things definitely didn't go as planned, and Tori ended up with burnt hair and overnight fame.

Tori Locklear Hair Curler
YouTube via Tori Locklear / Pinterest via Refinery29

Today, the child star has been linked with many big names from the industry, including Ellen Degeneres. She also returned to YouTube to drop a sponsored video by the famous hair-care empire Pantene in 2019. Locklear later entered the music industry, telling Refinery29, "I want to start posting [song] covers. I love singing."

The Chubby, Little Gangster

Remember when this pudgy little gangster took the internet by storm? Well, we certainly do! In 2007, the 11-month-old Sammy Griner was on the beach with his family and blessed us with a funny pose. The baby simply grabbed a fistful of sand, bringing him instant international fame. So, what's Sammy doing today?

Sam Griner Chubby Gangster
Sam Griner, Success Kid via Facebook

Shockingly enough, he is 13-years-old today. According to an interview with New Statesman back in 2016, Griner was home-schooled by his mother after getting into trouble for talking in class and high-fiving a friend in the hall; He also loves skateboarding. Most likely, his 'gangster days' have been left in the past. 

The Quirky Days of YouTube

Back in the day, YouTubers weren’t flaunting their extravagant lifestyles on the platform. Instead of luxury, we were used to seeing bizarre content posted by innocent users whose sole purpose was to make us smile. Yet, some of them, such as ‘alonzochadwick’ with the song “Sittin’ On Da Toilet,” became overnight A-listers.

alonzochadwick Sittin on Toilet
YouTube via eedabc123 / Twitter via @eedabc123

Specifically,’ alonzochadwick’ posted a video of her sister as a friendly prank in 2009. Chances are, neither of them expected it to become a viral hit. The clip quickly gathered millions of views, along with many remakes and memes. Today, the toilet queen has her own account, ’eedabc123’, where she regularly posts content.

The YouTube Legend Keenan Cahill

It all started back in 2009 when 13-year old Keenan Cahill received a swanky iMac as a birthday present. Shortly after, he began providing self-produced, lip-syncing clips. His quality content immediately caught people's eyes, including celebs such as 50 Cent and Bieber, which made Keenan one of YouTube's greatest legends.

Keenan Cahill YouTube Viral
Keenan Cahill via YouTube/ @keenancahill via Instagram

And it's almost unbelievable that it's been a decade since these memorable days. In the meantime, Keenan has graduated from college, and he's started working on electronic dance music. Today, he even dropped a lyrics video to his song, City. If you haven't already heard it, go check it out. 

When Baby Charlie Bit His Brother

On a summer night in 2007, Howard Davies-Carr decided to take out his video camera to capture his baby sons on the sofa. But he didn’t realize that Charlie, the younger child, was about to bite his brother’s finger. Expectedly enough, the video took off quickly, and the family became an international hit.

Charlie Bit My Finger
YouTube via HDCYT / YouTube via StoryTrender

Flash forward to today, Charlie is 13-years-old, whereas his brother Harry is 15-years-old. Feel ancient yet? Speaking of the family, they have landed over $1 million in royalties. And ironically enough, ‘baby’ Charlie has already gathered over 300,000 followers on YouTube, breaking into the video blogging industry.

Britney’s Superfan-Turned Legend

Chris Crocker’s infamous scandal occurred after Britney Spears’ unexpected VMA performance in 2007. And it would probably be an understatement to classify him as an obsessed superfan. At the time, Crocker was a quirky star with an unsuccessful celeb comeback. What did he do? He fired back at his idol’s haters.

Chris Crocker Britney Fan
YouTube via longlivechriscrocker / Instagram via @itschriscrocker

The YouTube clip, dubbed ‘Leave Britney Alone,’ immediately dropped him in the headlines. A decade later, he has reached 1 million followers on his Instagram account. However, he was ‘canceled’ back in April when he dropped some offensive phrases. Crocker revealed that he’s doing great now, though.

Chloe’s Unimpressed Side-Eye

Do you remember this iconic photo of the 2-year-old looking unmoved from a Disneyland trip? Chloe was a toddler when her sister decided to surprise her with a fun day at the park. Anyhow, she didn’t seem to love the Disneyland surprise, which ultimately brought her massive social media attention and instant fame.

Chloe Disneyland Side Eye
Chloe's reaction at Lily's Disneyland Surprise video via Youtube/ @chloeclem via Instagram

The question is, where is Chloe today? Considering her 600+ thousand followers on the Instagram account that she shares with her sister, Chloe is still enjoying her 15 minutes of fame. Additionally, the now 9-year old traveled to Brazil in 2017, where she filmed her own Google commercial.