Khaby Lame

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Khaby Lame
Lame in 2022
Born
Khabane Lame

(2000-03-09) 9 March 2000 (age 24)
Dakar, Senegal
NationalityItalian
OccupationInfluencer
TikTok information
Page
Followers161.8 million
Likes2.4 billion

Last updated: 16 December 2023

Khabane "Khaby" Lame (French: [kabi lam], Italian: [ˈkaːbi ˈlam]; born 9 March 2000) is a Senegal-born Italian social media personality. He is known for his TikTok videos, in which he silently mocks overly complicated "life hack" videos. In 2022, he was listed in Fortune's 40 Under 40 and Forbes' 30 Under 30. He also served as a juror on the 2023 edition of the television show Italia's Got Talent. As of 2024, he is the most-followed user on TikTok.[1]

Early life[edit]

Lame was born in Senegal on 9 March 2000.[2] His family moved to a public housing complex in Chivasso, near Turin, in Italy, when he was one year old.[3] He has three siblings. He studied in Italian schools until he was 14, when his parents decided to temporarily send him to study at a Quranic school near Dakar.[4] Lame worked as a CNC machine operator at a factory near Turin, before getting laid off in March 2020.[5][6][7]

Career[edit]

Lame performing his signature hand gesture while dressed as a mail carrier

After he was laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lame began posting on TikTok.[5] His early videos showed him dancing and watching video games.[7] He rose to popularity with his video responses in the form of TikTok's "duet" and "stitch" features to videos depicting complicated "life hacks", in which he performs the same task in a simple way, without saying anything, followed by a signature hand gesture.[6] In April 2021, he surpassed Gianluca Vacchi as the most-followed Italian on TikTok, and he subsequently surpassed Addison Rae, to become the second most-followed personality on the platform overall.[8][9] In August 2021, Lame appeared as a co-star for Juventus F.C.'s announcement of Manuel Locatelli.[10][11] In September 2021, he attended the Venice Film Festival as a special guest for the first screening of the French film Lost Illusions, by Xavier Giannoli.[12] In January 2022, Lame signed a multi-year partnership with Hugo Boss and was featured in the #BeYourOwnBoss campaign.[13][14]

In 2022, he was listed in Fortune's 40 Under 40[15] and Forbes' 30 Under 30.[16]

In March of that year, he was awarded the Premio la Moda Veste la Pace, a recognition that the African Fashion Gate organization awards every year at the European Parliament.[17]

On 22 June 2022, Lame became TikTok's most-followed creator, surpassing Charli D'Amelio, with 142.1 million followers.[18][19]

According to Alessandro Riggio, the social media manager who signed Lame when he had only 1,000 Instagram followers, the TikToker was earning up to $750,000 per post and was on track to make $10 million by the end of 2022.[20][21][22]

Lame was a juror for the Cannes Festival alongside Rithy Panh in 2022, where he judged TikTok short films.[23]

Since 2023, Lame has served as a judge on the television show Italia's Got Talent.[24][25]

In August 2023, Lame was added as a cosmetic outfit in the 2017 video game Fortnite Battle Royale, as part of the "Last Resort" Battle Pass.[26]

Public image[edit]

Taylor Lorenz and Jason Horowitz of The New York Times have attributed Lame's success to his "universal exasperated everyman quality" and described his rise to fame as different from most TikTok stars in being "entirely organic". Samir Chaudry, founder of The Publish Press, a newsletter focused on the creator economy, stated that Lame's appeal derived from his emphasizing "authenticity over production" and "not trying too hard".[6] Christina Ferraz, founder of American marketing agency Thirty6Five, stated, "His exasperation is relatable, and feelings are universal." Lame has credited his popularity to his humorous facial expressions and his silence, which he has described as "a way to reach as many people as possible".[27] As of January 2024, 6 of the 25 most-liked videos on TikTok are his.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Khaby Lame is a practicing Muslim.[29][30]

He announced his engagement to wife Wendy Thembelihle Juel in November 2023.[31]

Lame has lived in Italy since he was a year old, and he is fluent in Italian. He was a Senegalese citizen living in Milan with his manager until August 2022, when he became an Italian citizen in Chivasso, after the Italian Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior Carlo Sibilia announced that he would be granted citizenship.[7][32][33] Lame said he "always felt Italian"[34] and has previously stated that he "did not need a piece of paper" to define himself as such.[6]

Filmography[edit]

Lame has a voice cameo in the Italian-dubbed version of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).[35]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Il diario di Khaby. C'è sempre il modo di non complicare le cose [Khaby's Diary: There's Always a Way Not to Complicate Things] (in Italian). Segrate: Mondadori. 2022. ISBN 978-88-0475-024-6.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bertoni, Steven (26 September 2023). "How Top Creator Khaby Lame Became TikTok's Most Popular Influencer". Forbes. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  2. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (1 March 2023). "Khaby Lame, World's Most-Followed TikTok Creator, Joins 'Italia's Got Talent' as Juror". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  3. ^ Pasqui, Giulio (13 May 2021). "Khaby Lame, ecco chi è l'italiano che ha più follower di Mark Zuckerberg ed è diventato una star dei social senza mai dire una parola". il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Khaby Lame è il più seguito al mondo su TikTok: 'A scuola facevo casino'". Skuola.net – Portale per Studenti: Materiali, Appunti e Notizie (in Italian). Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b Vinci, Alessandro (23 April 2021). "Khaby Lame è l'italiano più seguito su TikTok: dalle case popolari al sorpasso su Gianluca Vacchi". Corriere.it (in Italian). Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Horowitz, Jason; Lorenz, Taylor (2 June 2021). "Khaby Lame, the Everyman of the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Karimi, Faith; Mezzofiore, Gianluca (2 October 2021). "He's the most popular man on TikTok. And he doesn't say a word". CNN. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  8. ^ Waite, Thom (16 July 2021). "Khaby Lame is set to overtake Charli D'Amelio as TikTok's biggest star". Dazed. Dazed Media. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  9. ^ Web, Redazione (26 April 2021). "Khaby Lame supera Gianluca Vacchi: con 27M follower è il più seguito in Italia su tiktok". Radio DeeJay (in Italian). Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  10. ^ Beltrami, Marco (18 August 2021). "La Juventus ufficializza Locatelli con Khaby Lame: svelate tutte le cifre dell'affare". Fanpage (in Italian). Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  11. ^ Bo, Marco (20 June 2021). "Khaby Lame, Dybala e Del Piero: anche il re dei social tifa Juve". Tuttosport (in Italian). Nuova Editoriale Sportiva. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  12. ^ americanpost (11 September 2021). "TikTok star Khaby Lame walked the Venice red carpet". American Post. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  13. ^ Gardner, Chris (26 January 2022). "Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Lee Min-ho and TikTok Star Khaby Lame Star in BOSS Rebrand Campaign". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  14. ^ Leitch, Luke (11 February 2022). "TikToker Khaby Lame and the big Boss rebrand in the Dubai desert". Vogue Business. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  15. ^ "40 Under 40 | Khaby Lame". Fortune. 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  16. ^ "Forbes 30 Under 30 2022: Art & Culture". Forbes. 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Premio La Moda veste la Pace al tiktoker Khaby Lame - Moda". Agenzia ANSA (in Italian). 2 March 2022. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  18. ^ Karimi, Faith (23 June 2022). "This wordless comedian is now the most-followed person on TikTok". CNN. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  19. ^ Sato, Mia (23 June 2022). "Khaby Lame is now the most-followed TikToker in the world". The Verge. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  20. ^ Toresson, Gustaf Lundberg (27 June 2022). "Alessandro Riggio on How to Manage and Grow the World's Biggest Social Media Personalities". Forbes. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  21. ^ Horowitz, Jason; Lorenz, Taylor (2 June 2021). "Khaby Lame, the Everyman of the Internet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  22. ^ Sternlicht, Alexandra (14 September 2022). "The world's most followed TikToker gets paid as much as $750K per post, but to reach his greatest business goal Khaby Lame is binge-watching American cartoons". Fortune. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  23. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (21 May 2022). "Cannes Diary: The Content Creators Have Conquered the Croisette". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  24. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (1 March 2023). "Khaby Lame, World's Most-Followed TikTok Creator, Joins 'Italia's Got Talent' as Juror". Variety. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  25. ^ "Khaby Lame, world's most-followed TikTok creator, joins 'Italia's Got Talent' as juror". NBC News. 2 March 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  26. ^ Sabarwal, Rishabh (23 August 2023). "TikTok star Khaby Lame Fortnite skin teased for new crossover". Dexerto. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  27. ^ Onukwue, Alexander (17 August 2021). "Senegal-born Khaby Lame is Europe's first TikTok megastar". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  28. ^ Tapia, Amancay (8 October 2021). "The 17 most liked TikTok videos (all in one place)". Newsweek. Dev Pragad. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  29. ^ Hazari, Usama (6 October 2021). "Famous TikToker Khaby Lame reveals that he is a 'practicing Muslim'". The Siasat Daily. Siasat Press. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Most-followed TikToker in the world". globalvillagespace.com. 6 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  31. ^ Angeleri, Francesca (9 February 2024). "Khaby Lame: "I come from public housing, there you feel abandoned. A friend of mine was found dead in the river"". Corriere Della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  32. ^ "World's most followed TikToker to get Italy citizenship". Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  33. ^ Atkinson, Emily (21 August 2022). "TikTok star Khaby Lame granted Italian citizenship after moving there as an infant". The Independent. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  34. ^ Giuffrida, Angela (17 August 2022). "Khaby Lame, TikTok's most followed star, granted Italian citizenship". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  35. ^ Brancher, Davide (5 November 2022). "Black Panther Wakanda Forever avrà un cameo di Khaby Lame". Vigamus magazine (in Italian).

External links[edit]