the unstoppable addison rae
lil shawty the badde$t
You are cordially invited to this week’s brew of High Tea, your dispatch of 🔥 internet culture served piping hot. This week: we revisit the continued media takeover of TikTok it girl Addison Rae, from beauty to boardroom to Billboard.
Drink up! 🐸☕️
p.s. if you’re not a paid subscriber, here’s what you missed from this week’s Bucks Fizz: our Thursday dispatch covering the best of TikTok’s unsigned and emerging talent.
what we’ve been sipping on:
No, I don’t think you understand, we’re OBSESSED. Unless you’ve been living under a large boulder the size of a small boulder, TikTok’s finest, aka bad bleep Addison Rae stunned the world this week with a surprise drop of her debut single “Obsessed” and a music video that would have Doja Cat quaking in her Chanel boots. But don’t just take our word for it:
So, why are we so gassed?
We devoted a dispatch to Addison back in July 2020 (🐸☕️long time readers we 👀you!), pre-empting her media domination and it’s only taken her *checks notes* 8 whole months to drop a beauty line, drop a single...and (fingers crossed) Bryce Hall.
Just in case you’d forgotten 😌, we said:
“This TikTok powerhouse isn’t a social empire waiting to happen, she’s *been* making those money moves while we watch, in real time, as she dances her way into the celebrity canon. Rest assured, she’s here to stay.”
Baddie Adi’s numbers speak for themselves:
TikTok followers 👉 78.4 million
Instagram followers 👉 36.7 million
YouTube subscribers 👉 4.7 million
Spotify streams 👉 1.1 million (watch this space)
Her secret sauce? Addison has kept herself firmly top of mind in the zeitgeist, capitalizing on every internet moment since joining TikTok in July 2019. Now she’s cashing out her hard earned social coin in more ways than one – and we’re not talking Cameo, NewNew or PearPop monetization. Addison Rae was crowned Forbes’ Highest Earning TikToker in 2020 for good reason folks. Our bad bleep earned a cool estimated $5M USD last year and looking at how 2021 is stacking up so far, we’re betting she’s about to extend that well into double digits Ms. Let’s dive in:
Enter the Addison Rae empire: From TikTok to mic drop
🎙️ Mama Knows Best with Sheri Nicole. Dropping days after our first Addison dispatch, our bad bleep and her mama, Sheri (aka 🧿👄🧿) signed an exclusive partnership deal with Spotify, for a tell-all poddy. Who else has an exclusive with Spotify? Well, HRH Harry and Meghan ofc – rubbing shoulders with royaltie$.
💄 Item Beauty. A mere month later Addison added two new title strings to her bow: Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Item Beauty. A beauty line so fresh, so clean, and so close to Gen Z hearts, fans have been lapping up the goods anywhere they can.
🦅 American Eagle. Shortly after announcing Item Beauty, Addison also partnered with American Eagle as the new face of American Eagle's #AExME Back to School campaign. The stats are out: Rae generated $4.26 million in Media Impact Value for American Eagle over a six-month period. But go off and say that influencer marketing is dead 🐸☕️
🎬 He’s All That. Nah, she’s all that. In September last year Addison announced her acting debut in a remake of the 90s teen movie She’s All That. And she’s bringing someone else in for the ride. Enter: Kourtney Kardashian, Addison’s pal, who will also star in the upcoming Netflix movie, who picked up the rights for north of $20M 👀. Addison really said: dw sis, Bible, I’ve got u. TG Kourtney has friends in high places.
💖 Obsessed. The irony wasn’t totally lost on us that Addison’s first viral moment on TikTok happened when Mariah Carey found the video of Addison and her mom Sheri dancing to her own song “Obsessed” and “liked” it. There’s some deep foreshadowing here tea drinkers if ever we saw it. Not to mention Addison’s debut is produced by superstar team Benny Blanco, Blake Slatkin and Ryan McMahon. “Obsessed” was unleashed on the world on Thursday and our gal has already garnered 7.2M views on YouTube for the music vid which we INSIST you watch.
Why music? Why now?
Bad bleep alert: an excerpt of singles named after our TikTok 👑
2020 was all about “I need a bad bitch, Addison Rae”, a term coined by The Kid LAROI following the release of his single “Addison Rae”, just as the world went into lockdown. Since then, Addison has been name checked in more songs than you can shake a stick at, most recently by Lil Yachty in “E-ER”:
“I want Addison Rae to become my doctor and check on my problems”
It girl doesn’t even begin to cover it.
In 2021, however, Addison said: lemme get a piece of that industry pie. After dipping her toe into the entertainment biz across the poddy, TikTok, YouTube and err...literally Hollywood, are we really that surprised that Addison’s final form is that of the humble TikTok musician?
Let’s set the scene. If 2020 belonged to TikTok, it was also the environment in which the ~TikTok musician~ began to blur the line between industry ingenue and certified rising star. Following the phenomenal success of “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion, “Say So” by Doja Cat and “Lottery (Renegade)” by K CAMP, TikTok has established itself as the unrivalled domain for career-defining bangers.
The relationship between influential TikTok creators and the success of a new release is undeniable: Zoi Lerma’s choreography for BENEE’s “Supalonely”, Haley Sharpe for “Say So” and Keara Wilson’s “Savage”. Cheers, TikTok teens, for the lunch money...and millions upon millions of streams. In an official capacity, look no further than the D’Amelios, TikTok’s first family, and their partnership with Epic Records (a subsidiary of Sony), paid to promote the archive.
Now, we’re seeing more and more creators sidestep into the musical spotlight with debut singles on a scale of one hit wonder to popstar in the making, from the likes of Hype House member LILHUDDY, Nessa Barrett, jxdn, Dixie D’Amelio and Tayler Holder. But here’s where Addison hits different, releasing “Obsessed” independently via Kasher Hindlin’s Sandlot Records.
“A lot of people assume that just because of TikTok, I get things handed to me. By doing it this [independently], it feels so much more organic.” – Addison Rae, Rolling Stone
Regardless of the fine print around fifteen minutes of fame and PR stunt speculation, if there’s one thing we do know for sure it’s that Addison is redefining the relationship between TikTok tastemaker and industry troublemaker – seemingly overnight. Is there anything this gal can’t do? Well...you already know the answer. 🐸☕️
kettle’s on: ones to watch
Crossed the one year mark! We can’t believe this is the case, but the dates do not lie. Yesterday Nintendo Switch’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons celebrated its one year anniversary. You’ll remember when we covered its launch in our April dispatch, but now we celebrate Animal Crossing as a quarantine staple, providing comfort and familiarity in times of unease and unpredictability over the past year. Some highlights of this year include: AOC making house calls, Fashion brands creating in-game garments and Biden launching his New Horizons political campaign.
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Okay, you made it. Now you can go back to waiting for the first ever performance of “Obsessed” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon incoming Friday, March 26th.