Despite Khaby Lame Dethroning Charli D'Amelio As TikTok's Most-Followed User, He's Still Not The Top-Paid TikToker
Photo Credit: Claudio Lavenia /Jerritt Clark

Despite Khaby Lame Dethroning Charli D'Amelio As TikTok's Most-Followed User, He's Still Not The Top-Paid TikToker

Khaby Lame has come a long way from his “modest” beginnings. 

As the most-followed user on TikTok, Lame — a native of Senegal who currently calls Italy home — has been tapped by Mark Zuckerberg to promote Meta, secured a multi-year deal with Hugo Boss, and even got paid to promote the world’s first-ever nitrogen-infused soda. 

Yet, despite all of these accomplishments, Khaby Lame isn’t the highest-paid TikToker.

Let’s take a look at why that might be.

Khaby Lame: By The Numbers

As of this writing, Khaby Lame has 143.4 million followers on TikTok, unseating such popular content creators as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae.

@khaby.lame

If @50 Cent had to do a casting in the 19th century. 🤣 #learnfromkhaby #learnontiktok @tiktok @tiktokcreators

♬ sonido original – 0riginal_G7

But despite having more followers than D’Amelio, Lame makes far less than her on a sponsored post. According to a report from HopperHQ, D’Amelio makes more than $105,000 per TikTok post, while Lame only makes about $90,000 per post.

A Persistent Problem

When AfroTech first reported on Khaby Lame back in August 2021, we pointed out that he’d had one of the largest TikTok accounts on the platform.

And that’s all good and fine. Certainly, it’s good to see that he’s held onto the title of most-followed accounts.

But we also pointed out that the math wasn’t mathing — that, despite being one of the most-followed accounts on TikTok, he wasn’t one of the highest-paid celebrities.

In fact, as AfroTech previously pointed out, though Lame and D’Amelio are the top two users on TikTok, only one of them is on the Forbes list of highest TikTok earners … and it’s not Lame.

“Companies have been known to pay $200 to $20,000 per branded video promoted by influencers, depending on the individual’s level of influence,” says Influencer Marketing Hub, a longtime company specializing in social media sponsorship procurement.

But for each Black TikTok sensation like Lame on the app, there are several white “influencers” on the app that are making tons, as we explained in our original report.

While we certainly need to celebrate wins like Lame’s, we also need to remain vigilant about the wage gap between Black and white influencers, especially on such a popular app as TikTok.

According To HopperHQ, Here Are The Top Five On The TikTok Rich List:

  1. Charlie D’Amelio –142.4m followers – $105,100 per post
  2. Khabane Lame – 143.2m followers – $90,490 per post
  3. Bella Poarch – 90.2m followers – $66,830 per post
  4. Addison Rae – 88m followers – $65,200 per post
  5. Kimberly Loaiza – 64.3m followers – $47,380