The comedian from Senegal is now officially the TikTok star with the most followers worldwide. American Charli D’Amelio, who held the top rank until Thursday, June 23, was surpassed by 22-year-old Khabane Lame, who tweets under the handle @khaby.lame.
The 18-year-old dancer has 142.2 million followers, whilst Italian-born Khaby increased his following over night to 142.5 million after months of intense competition.
With her popular dance moves, Charli quickly rose to the top of the site after joining in 2019. By 2020, she had amassed over 100 million fans.
During the pandemic in March 2020, Khaby joined the platform, and his following swiftly rose as a result of his amusing films.
At the time she took to the platform to say that the achievement was ‘like a dream’.
In a video, she added: ‘I can’t believe there’s 100 million supporters following me right now. That is insane, oh my goodness.
‘Y’all can’t grasp that this is real, I still feel like it’s a dream, kind of waiting to wake up. Very insane. Oh my goodness, thank you!’
The social media platform congratulated her on the news and said it was ‘so proud’ of her achievements.
In a statement, TikTok said: ‘In less than 18 months, Charli has grown into one of the most recognized and beloved TikTok creators in the world.
‘While we’re extremely proud of Charli and all that she has accomplished since she shared her first TikTok video in May 2019.’
TikTok also announced it would be donating $100,000 in Charli’s name to American Dance Movement, an organisation aimed at increasing access to dance education in the US.
In March 2020, during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Khabane lost his job and moved back in with his parents. He capitalized on the lockdown and set up a TikTok account and quickly climbed his way to the top of the platform.
Speaking to Forbes the star said: ‘The pandemic had just started, and I was bored with a lot of time on my hands so I started making videos on TikTok.’