10 Black YouTube Stars Who Made it Big

10 Black YouTube Stars Who Made it Big

Over the years, some notable “YouTube stars’ have emerged, with some of them taking their viral-sensation status to mainstream entertainment deals, acting roles and beyond. Here are some of the best-known black YouTube stars to commemorate the anniversary.

Whitney White

Whitney White only planned on posting one video on her Naptural85 profile back in 2009 documenting her adoption of a natural hairstyle. But since then, her catalog has grown–and so has her fan base, with her more than 589,000 subscribers being treated to clips featuring tutorials to best practices for saving cash while rocking a natural look. So far, she has more than 47 million video views.


If you thought you had strong opinions about the latest happenings in pop culture, wait until you hear a rant from Kingsley. Kingsley, who has contributed to Access Hollywood,has plenty to say about the Big Sean and Ariana Grande, the Kendall Jenner Challenge and other topics in his regularly updated feed of videos, which so far amassed more than three million subscribers and over 334 million video views.

Mike Rashid

Bodybuilder and former boxing pro Mike Rashid is the envy of many a gym-goer, and he’s sharing motivation and training in a number of clips found on his YouTube page. With advice on supplements, a leg-day training routine and cardio workouts involving a punching bag in the mix, among videos with a great number of other topics, it’s no surprise his profile has garnered more than 329,000 subscribers and nearly 30 million video views since he joined the site back more than four years ago.


Olajide “KSI” Olatunji

England-based Olajide “KSI” Olantunji is the self-described as one of the “funniest, blackest guys on YouTube.” His current account–which he began in 2009 but is pre-dated by another account he claims was banned after uploading episodes of Family Guy–features vlogs of topics ranging from sports (soccer in particular), to video games, to pranks, to comedy and commentary, which has garnered more than 9 million subscribers and more than 1 billion total views.

[Warning: May contain some objectionable language]

Patricia Bright

Looking for styling tips for prom? Maybe you need ideas on how to eat healthy during the candy-filled holiday season? Or just dig being shown the latest and greatest gear for the upcoming fashion season? If so, chances are you’ve happened upon London-based Patricia Bright’s BritPopPrincess profile on YouTube, which offers fashion and hair advice/tutorials, along with other “random life advice.” Bright has attracted more than 548,000 subscribers and more than 47 million video views.

Shanna Malcolm

Off-color commentary in video clips such as “50 Shades of Cray Cray!” and “Ghetto Gaming” has propelled Kingston, Jamaica-bred actress Shanna Malcolm from YouTube–where she currently boasts more than 772,000 subscribers and a collection of nearly 54 million video views–into the mainstream with appearances on shows such as Shameless, Glee and Marry Me.


Tay Zonday

Adam Bahner–the real name of bass-voiced Tay Zonday–likens YouTube stars hanging out in Los Angeles to Hollywood celebrities mingling in Hollywood during the Golden Era of moviemaking. As part of the chosen few, Zonday became a viral sensation in 2007 with the original song “Chocolate Rain,” which has been viewed on the site nearly 102 million times. His YouTube profile has more than 952,000 subscribers and the videos in his collection have been viewed more than 180 million times.

Issa Rae

With projects for Pharrell and Tracey Edmonds, a team-up with Shonda Rhimes, and having been recognized by the likes of Forbes and the New York Times, Issa Rae is kind of a big deal. Rae’s third Web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is a cult classic, and she’s currently working on a half hour comedy show to air on HBO called Insecure. An early YouTube adopter (she joined in 2006), Rae has amassed nearly 200,000 subscribers who have collectively viewed her clips almost 25 million times.


The vlogger known as Jouelzy has penned commentary for entities such as xojane and Ebony about hair care, maintaining friend and romantic relationships, and other topics that might of interest to her #SmartBrownGirl campaign. The “almost daily” posts have drawn some 135,000 subscribers, with her video clips having been watched a collective 7.6 million times.

DeStorm Power

From the quirky “Super Mario Choir” to facing a challenge from TV legend Larry King, DeStorm Power’s music and comedy videos have helped him build a following of more than 1.7 million subscribers and rack up more than 233 million total views. When you check out his laugh-inducing tracks, be on the lookout for “DeMixes” of older tunes.