Compared to the World Wide Web, YouTube hasn’t been around for a very long time. The site launched in 2005, but, much like the internet itself, the video-sharing platform has staying power. YouTube has only gotten more popular since its launch. As of 2018, an astounding 1.8 billion users were visiting the site each month (via Business Insider). While plenty of people have started their own YouTube channels, a select few have been able to rake in millions of monthly visitors, which has resulted them in earning millions of dollars.
In 2018, Forbes released the names of the highest-paid YouTube stars. Of the particularly profitable bunch, some stars made over $20 million. These figures are even more impressive considering the YouTubers’ ages. Not a single person over the age of 40 made the cut. One YouTube personality was just 7 years old when he pulled in $22 million. Although YouTube is very much led by young stars, there are YouTube stars who are older than they appear to be. Here are some stars whose ages may surprise you.
Baking extraordinaire Rosanna Pansino
YouTuber Rosanna Pansino started her baking channel back in 2011. According to her site, her videos have since been viewed billions of times and she has become “one of the most-watched and followed personalities on the internet.” As of March 2019, Pansino has over 11 million subscribers.
The YouTuber’s channel is cloyingly sweet — and it’s not just because of the treats she so beautifully bakes. The star’s channel is squeaky clean and the epitome of family-friendly, which is great for both young and older viewers alike. Pansino revealed to Business Insider that she was just a young girl when her grandmother taught her how to bake, so it’s fitting that she’s started to inspire other people to begin baking at a young age.
By simply looking at the YouTube star and her channel, you might have a hard time telling her age. Perhaps 24 or 25? Believe it or not, Pansino will celebrate her 34th birthday on June 8, 2019.
Funnyman and gamer PewDiePie
Even those who know very little about YouTube personalities have probably heard of PewDiePie. Born Felix Kjellberg, the star created his first YouTube channel, PewDie, just a year after YouTube launched. He didn’t stick with the platform at the time, but he ultimately ended up returning to YouTube under a different — but similar — name in 2010: PewDiePie. Two years later, Kjellberg’s channel reached 1 million subscribers, and, by 2013, his channel had the most subscribers on the platform. Within just a few years, PewDiePie had become a household name. As of this writing, he’s still one of the most successful YouTubers. Forbes reported that he earned $15.5 million in 2018 alone.
If you subscribed to the YouTube personality’s channel years ago, you likely noticed that he doesn’t seem to age. It must be all those video games. Despite being the boy who never grew up, the star’s biography confirmed that he was born on Oct. 24, 1989, which means he’ll be celebrating his 30th birthday in 2019.
Beauty vlogger Michelle Phan
As of 2019, Michelle Phan’s YouTube channel has more than 8.8 million subscribers. Like PewDiePie, Phan created her YouTube account and channel in 2006. In doing so, she earned the title of the “first YouTuber,” according to Biography.com. But unlike PewDiePie, Phan’s videos haven’t been about gaming. The internet personality instead became the “Beyoncé of the beauty-vlogging world.” In addition to sharing her excellent makeup tutorials on YouTube, Phan also created the popular subscription-based beauty product service Ipsy — a business venture that Forbes valued at over $500 million in 2015.
By 2016, though, Phan’s YouTube channel went silent. Phan came back to the platform in 2017 to share a video explaining some of her reasons for quitting YouTube. “I’ll return when I’m inspired to share new ideas,” she wrote in the caption of the video. Phan’s fans can still keep up with her on Instagram. In the years since she gave up vlogging, the YouTuber still looks as youthful as ever. You might not believe us, but Phan will turn 32 in April 2019.
Colleen Ballinger and her alter ego Miranda Sings
Colleen Ballinger uploaded her very first Miranda Sings video in 2008. At the time, Ballinger was studying vocal performance at Azusa Pacific University in California. There, she encountered peers who, despite reportedly not being all that talented when it came to singing, were allegedly incredibly rude. As an inside joke of sorts, Ballinger invented Miranda as a way to poke fun at her snarky classmates.
Miranda Sings has since attracted a cult following of “Mirfandas” and Ballinger’s Miranda Sings YouTube channel has over 10.5 million subscribers, as of this writing. Whether she’s wearing Miranda’s signature exaggerated bold, red lipstick or the much more subdued look that is the real Colleen Ballinger — who has attracted her own 8.4 million subscribers on her other, self-titled channel — the YouTube personality could still pass as a college freshman. In reality though, Ballinger was born in November 1986, which means she’ll turn 33 in 2019.
Powerpuff girl Wengie
As the Wengie YouTube channel’s description reveals, you can find just about anything to watch on the channel — from “simple life hacks” to “tricks and pranks.” Wengie, or Wendy Ayche, joined YouTube in 2010 and, as of March 2019, has over 13 million people subscribe to her channel.
The star’s first foray into vlogging came only after people asked her to create makeup tutorials. However, makeup isn’t Wengie’s main focus anymore. “YouTube trends come and go all the time. There’s always a new trend depending on what’s happening in the world right now,” she explained in an interview with Complex. “For me, I switched because I had been doing makeup for a long time. So by the time I’d done 200 makeup videos I thought, ‘I don’t know how to do another smoky eye!'”
Additionally, Ayche has not confined herself to the video-sharing platform. In 2017, she became the voice behind Bliss, a fourth Powerpuff Girl on the Cartoon Network series for Australia and New Zealand audiences. And who better to be a Powerpuff Girl than Wengie? Despite turning 33 in January 2019, the star is forever young.
Toy fanatic and clean gamer Chad Alan
In 2012, Chad Alan started his eponymous YouTube channel. As a toy collector, Alan started uploading unboxing and toy haul videos. In 2013, Alan opened another channel dedicated to video games, aptly called Gamer Chad. Although his secondary channel has surpassed his first in popularity, the YouTube star remains active on both channels. Alan also created his own animated video series called “Baby Alan.”
In a live stream video, Alan revealed that his toy-collecting predated his YouTube channel. He explained that he made his first channel as a way to incorporate his “already existing hobby into YouTube.” Both of Alan’s channels are very family-friendly. He revealed that he won’t play any games that feature curse words on his gaming channel. Given the type of content Alan produces combined with his youthful appearance and personality, pinning an age on him would be difficult. As it turns out, he celebrated his 34th birthday in August 2018, which might just mean the secret to staying young is playing with lots and lots of toys.
Tech YouTuber iJustine
Justine Ezarik uploaded her first YouTube video in 2006. In the years since, Ezarik, aka iJustine, has amassed over 5.7 million subscribers. Her videos cover “tech, video games, failed cooking attempts, clogs, and more,” according to her channel’s description. However, Ezarik revealed in an interview with Forbes in 2017 that she did eventually decide to start paring down her content. She explained, saying, “I kind of stopped and asked myself, ‘What did I like doing when I started and what do I like doing now?’ I like video games, I like tech, I like travel, I like my dog, I like food. I’m like, ‘That’s what I’m going to focus on.'” Surprisingly, Ezarik said she didn’t notice a loss of subscribers when she made changes to her channel.
Since Ezarik has been in the YouTube game almost as long as YouTube itself, she obviously must be older than she looks. On the first day of spring 2019, Ezarik will turn 35 years old.
Zoe Sugg — or Zoella, as she is more commonly known — created her first YouTube channel back in 2007. In just ten years’ time, the star’s net worth grew to an estimated $1.6 million, according to Biography.com. With nearly 11.9 million subscribers on one of her Youtube channels and almost 4.9 million on another, the star certainly has created quite the fan base.
As her biography states, the British YouTube personality originally possessed a sort of “girl-next-door appeal.” However, that image likely became more difficult to maintain as Sugg’s fame and fortune grew. Nevertheless, Sugg’s girl-next-door appearance has really not changed all that dramatically over the years. And although she’s been in a committed relationship with fellow YouTuber Alfie Deyes since 2013, it’s still hard to believe that the star is getting closer and closer to turning 30. On March 28, 2019, Zoella will celebrate her 29th birthday. Oh, how time flies.
Smosh star Anthony Padilla
In 2017, Anthony Padilla revealed his decision to launch a solo YouTube venture. Prior to that, Padilla had been part of the comedy team known as Smosh. According to Vulture, Padilla and his friend Ian Hecox first started their channel in 2005, when YouTube was pretty much brand new. Still, the duo kept at it, and, in 2011, Smosh was bought by Defy Media, which meant millions of dollars for both Padilla and Hecox. Being bought out by a major corporation wasn’t all wonderful, though.
“I’ve been holding onto these memories and hoping that someday Smosh would be like how it was when we first started before Smosh was a brand owned by a company,” Padilla revealed in a YouTube video. “I had to come to terms with the fact that Smosh being part of a company has put all of my creative decisions through a filter of what’s appropriate for the Smosh brand as deemed by the company.”
Although Hecox may look older than baby-faced Padilla, they were both teenagers when they first started their channel. Padilla turned 31 in September 2018, while Hecox turned 31 two months later.
Mommy blogger-turned-beauty vlogger Kandee Johnson
Beginning in 2009, Kandee Johnson transfixed the world with her makeup tutorials. Although YouTube had been around for several years by the time Johnson created her channel, “YouTubers” weren’t exactly a thing. Johnson ended up becoming one of the first — and she is rightfully proud of that accomplishment. “I feel like when I started we were pioneers in the Wild West, and not much was known about what we were doing,” she admitted to Forbes. While the YouTube scene has changed over the years, Johnson revealed to the publication, “I’m honored to be a pioneer in the uncharted landscape that is now YouTube and ‘social influencer land.'”
Before paving her way on YouTube, though, Johnson first tried her hand at blogging, where she wrote about being a mom. Yes, that’s right, Johnson was somehow old enough to be a parent in 2008. She may look like she’s in her 20s, but the star celebrated the big 4-0 back in July 2018.
The woman behind FunToys
In 2011, a YouTube channel called DC Toys Collector launched. In the years since, the channel, which is now named FunToys Collector Disney Toys Review, amassed over 11.5 million subscribers. As the name reveals, this YouTube channel is all about toys. Specifically, FunToys reviews toys for preschool-aged children and younger.
The identity of this YouTuber remained a mystery for years. With only hands and a voice as clues, you might think it impossible to come up with the reviewer’s identity. But the Daily Mail claims it has. According to the site, the anonymous YouTuber is actually Daiane DeJesus. Apparently, DC Toys Collector and FunToys weren’t her only aliases. The publication revealed that DeJesus was actually once an adult film star who went by the name Sandy Summers. If the report is accurate, the content DeJesus produces has done a complete 180. And, despite playing with children’s toys and creating very family-friendly videos these days, the YouTube personality is reported to have a birthday of April 1986, which means she’ll be 33 years old in spring 2019.
Forever YouTuber Jenna Marbles
Jenna Mourey, aka Jenna Marbles, became internet famous just months after she started her YouTube channel. Talk about impressive. Since her days of tricking us into thinking she’s good-looking — her words, not ours! — Mourey has amassed a whopping 19.3 million subscribers as of this writing. And, as of March 2019, the star still churns out content for her fans on the reg. Now that’s dedication.
While Mourey’s subscribers have watched the YouTube star transform her hair and makeup countless times, they’ve probably never seen her get any older. On Sept. 15, 2018, Mourey celebrated her 33rd birthday, which only makes us more convinced that she’s discovered some kind of youthful voodoo. In 2017, Marbles revealed to Entrepreneur, “It is my goal to live on the internet for as long as I can, because I think it’s the place to be.” Hmm, yeah, she’ll probably be a YouTuber for all of eternity while remaining just as vibrant as ever.
Beauty guru Jaclyn Hill
Jaclyn Hill created an account with YouTube in 2010, but she told Women’s Wear Daily that it wasn’t until the beginning of 2012 that she shared her first makeup tutorial. Since then, the YouTube beauty guru has taught her followers pretty much everything she’s learned about cosmetics. From creating makeup tutorials to recording reviews featuring both drugstore and high-end makeup, Hill routinely shares her favorite tips and tricks with over 5.8 million subscribers.
In 2018, Hill critiqued one of her earliest videos and was shocked at how different she looked, thanks to her addition of nose and lip fillers. Although Hill’s appearance has certainly transformed over the years, she seems to look even younger than she did when she first started uploading videos on YouTube. If you were to just click through her newer videos, you’d probably have a hard time believing that she was in her late 20s, but, alas, she is. Born in 1990, Jaclyn Hill turned 28 on July 20, 2018.
Makeup expert Charlotte Tilbury
While most of your favorite YouTubers are probably young, there are some YouTubers who are beyond the age of 40, though you may not have realized it. Charlotte Tilbury joined the video-sharing community in May 2012. By then, Tilbury had already been working as a professional makeup artist. According to the beauty guru’s site, Tilbury trained at the prestigious Glauca Rossi School of Makeup in London, England before jumping into the beauty industry.
“As a determined young makeup artist, I was persistent,” she wrote. “I was constantly building my network of professional peers including photographers, models and stylists — many of whom I still work with today.” And Tilbury’s networking didn’t begin on the internet. The star revealed, “The 1990s — the era of supermodels who epitomized glamorous beauty and really embraced hair and makeup artistry — were inspiring and formative for me.” Wait, the ‘90s? That’s right. This makeup artist and beauty YouTuber celebrated her 46th birthday in February 2019. While she may be older than some of her YouTube contemporaries, you’d never know she’s nearing 50.
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