10 Top YouTubers Who Became Internet Famous

A brief list of regular people who found fame online

Since it first debuted on the web in 2005, YouTube has completely exploded as a popular platform, becoming the top place for online video and the second-largest search engine after Google. Over the years, this huge site has paved the way for brand new career paths to be pursued by those who live to entertain and educate others.

There are tons of top YouTubers who've been able to turn their little video-making hobby into a serious full-time job that pays extremely well. As they continue to create unique content for their channels and engage their audiences, they're able to get paid by earning shared revenue through the YouTube Partner program, participating in sponsorship deals from third parties, and selling merchandise.

Most top YouTubers have achieved celeb status that rivals those of mainstream media. Thanks to the internet and huge platforms like YouTube, people don't have to make it big in the entertainment industry first to become famous.

Here are just 10 very creative individuals who worked hard and stayed persistent with their videos, eventually turning them into internet celebrities.

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Ray William Johnson

Screenshot of YouTube.com

Ray William Johnson was best known for his show called Equals Three, where he would review and comment on popular viral videos. It was sort of like the Internet version of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Once the most subscribed YouTuber of all time, Ray has since pursued lots of other opportunities in entertainment and now has other people host his show. As of March 2019, his channel has almost 10 million subscribers, but he only uploads videos once a month.

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Screenshot of YouTube.com

Back before Ray William Johnson took the number one spot for most subscribed YouTube channel, Nigahiga was at the top. The channel is run by Ryan Higa—a native Hawaiian who became well known for creating funny skits and parody videos based on a wide variety of situations.

He also became well known for screaming “TEEHEE” at the end of each video. As of March 2019, he has over 21 million subscribers and started a new podcast called "Off the Pill."

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Epic Meal Time

Screenshot of YouTube.com

The group of guys who run this channel spends ridiculous amounts of money on grocery supplies for their videos, and then use all that food to cook up different monstrosities (usually made almost entirely of meat) in the kitchen before stuffing their faces with it. Their signature ingredients include bacon and Jack Daniel’s Whiskey.

Their wildly successful YouTube channel eventually led them to star in their very own TV show and even release their own line of cookware. 

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Shane Dawson

Screenshot of YouTube.com

Shane Dawson is another top YouTuber who knows how to get weird and entertain his huge audience with his hilarious videos. Although he's been known to be a little more inappropriate and vulgar than some of the others, Shane has made directing and professional editing a big part of his videos.

He became very well known for filming himself playing characters like “Shananay” and “Aunt Hilda,” which are just two of his iconic personalities that appear like they’re interacting with one another in the videos. Shane is also one of the many YouTubers who've written a book.

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Screenshot of YouTube.com

Justine Ezarik is a quirky girl with a hardcore obsession for technology and Apple products in particular. She makes videos, reviews tech gadgets and talks directly to her viewers about all kinds of topics or any major events that might be happening at the moment.

Her videos are pretty funny and sometimes showcase her acting and directing skills in small skits or music videos. She’s been a top YouTuber for years and her videos only keep getting better!

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Michelle Phan

Screenshot of YouTube.com

Makeup tutorials are huge on YouTube, and Michelle Phan is arguably the biggest and most renowned makeup artists out there. She has some of the most creative makeover videos you can find.

Her editing is also very professional, and she takes you through every motion, step by step to getting the perfect look. She’s actually been sponsored by some of the biggest cosmetic companies, like Lancôme and others.

Unfortunately, Michelle left YouTube in 2016 for personal reasons and has only uploaded a single video since then, explaining to her fans why she left. She has not uploaded another video since then.

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Mystery Guitar Man

Screenshot of YouTube.com

Mystery Guitar Man a.k.a. Joe Penna is a talented musician and music producer who films and records himself playing conventional instruments like guitars and keyboards with sometimes unconventional instruments like cans and sticks. He then takes that footage and edits it to show himself playing one big song with so many different instruments.

He really pushes his limits by incorporating creative storytelling, visual effects, stop motion and animation into his videos.

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Screenshot of YouTube.com

The Vsauce channel is run by a very bright guy named Michael who explains some of the weirdest stuff to his viewers according to science. If Ray William Johnson was the internet version of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Vsauce is most definitely the internet version of Bill Nye The Science Guy.

His videos like “Why Do We Have Two Nostrils” and “What Color Is A Mirror” aren’t just entertaining—they’re also very educational. Vsauce also has a couple more challenges, Vsauce 2 and Vsauce 3, which are hosted by other people. 

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Screenshot of YouTube.com

ShayCarl managed to make a career out of filming home videos of his family for years and sticking them up on YouTube. His family, called “the Shaytards” features one of the closest and most loving families you might ever see, consisting of five adorable children, two very charismatic parents, and often their extended family members too.

The videos almost always ran over 10 minutes in length and were posted daily. You'd never guess that a home video could be this entertaining. In 2019, however, videos are no longer uploaded daily.

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Philip DeFranco

Screenshot of YouTube.com

Philip DeFranco has a daily news show that features him talking about whatever’s making news for the day. His style is completely different from any regular newscaster or TV journalist, and he often makes jokes, throws in his own blunt opinion and drops f-bombs pretty frequently.

In short, it’s a news show for the younger generation that wants to stay informed but can’t be bothered to watch the 6 o’clock news every day.

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