One of the craziest trends that the internet has brought to us is the rise of the viral celebrity. These media stars rise to the public eye seemingly overnight whether they want it, or sometimes even though they do not. These viral stars fame is usually fleeting but some people aren't willing to give up their 15 minutes of fame, or use them to boost a new career path. Here is a bit more insight into what being a viral star is, and what happened to 11 of the most famous ones after their initial shot into mainstream media.
What Is Going Viral?
Going viral is when someone becomes an internet sensation overnight after a photo/video/word blurb from or of them gets thousands to hundreds of thousands of hits in a very short time period. There have been almost countless of these viral stars over the last few years, but there are some that stand out more than others.
What Makes Going Viral Possible?
There are several prominent social media sites that it is possible to go viral on, the most popular of which are Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. When someone sees a post that they like on one of these sites they can share it so that their friends see it too, when people start doing this in large numbers that is a post going viral.
How Viral Stars Lives Change
Viral stars are accidental celebrities overnight. When they go viral for positive reasons, like a popular song or catch phrase, this can be fun and lead to endorsements and popularity, but when it hundreds or thousands of people laughing at you over the internet is is very different.
Back in 2007 Chris went viral for a YouTube video he made crying telling everyone to "Leave Britney alone," following Brittany Spears very public 2007 meltdown. Since then he has remained active on social media, recorded an album, and even starred in an adult film.
You may remember her as the 'tanning mom' Krentcil went viral due to her obsession with fake tanning that had made her skin glow orange. She seemed to like the attention a bit too much and since then has tried everything, including recently running around Jersey Shore topless, to stay trending in social media.
In 2010 Dodson gave an interview to a news reporter after a mystery intruder broke into his home. The Gregory Brothers took clips of this interview and turned them into a song that went viral. Dodson has since taken a couple of voice acting roles but has mostly stayed under the radar and is married with one son.
At the time he went viral in 2007 Jonathan Ware was just 10 years old, and most likely didn't even know it had happened. He was in the media for being asked what he thought of his face paint, to which he replied "I like turtles." It made no sense and people loved it. Now he is a 19 year old college student who has long since left the spotlight behind.
Known as the hot felon Meeks was arrested in 2014 on weapons charges, and after his mugshot was posted on Facebook by the Stockton Police it instantly went viral because of how good looking Meeks is. After serving out a 27 month prison sentence Meeks has signed on to a modeling contract and is doing very well in his new field.
Rebecca went viral after a her song and music video "Friday" debuted... and was deemed 'the worst song of all time.' Seriously, it is incredibly annoying. Today she is still turning it around is taking voice lessons with the goal of one day having an actual singing career.
Featured on Ellen, the famous TV talk show, Alex went viral after a customer took a photo of him checking out their purchases at Target, where he was working at the time. This photo was the beginning of a modeling and singing career and now can still regularly be seen at star studded parties.
Liam Kyle Sullivan
YouTube sensation Liam Kyle Sullivan was famous for his video persona Kelly, a shoe obsessed fashionista that was as shallow as they come. Although he is no longer making YouTube videos Sullivan continues to act, starring in a VH1 special called 'I Hate My 30's.'
Hung started out his path towards fame like many other hopeful performers before him have, on American Idol. He did not get to continue on in the show but Hung did continue pursuing a singing career for a few more years before giving it up and becoming an LA county crime analyst.
Sometimes you hear a song so unusual you just can't not listen, and share it with your best friends, and that is how Tay and his song "Chocolate Rain" went viral. He hasn't continued singing but Tay has consistent work on YouTube and TV shows that has been keeping him in the spotlight ever since.
One of the first people to ever go viral, Raza popped up onto the internet in 2002 after his classmates found a video of him acting out Star Wars movies with a golf club. Raza faced extreme bullying after the video surfaced but has turned it around and now he is a spokesperson for preventing cyber bullying.
Has Going Viral Changed Their Lives?
For almost all of the stars on this list going viral has made a very long lasting impact on their life, and in almost all of them for the better! Some like Krentcil let the fame go to their heads, but others like Meeks were able to turn it into a profitable career. Either way their lives will never be the same.
What And Who Will Be Next?
The thing about viral media sensations is that there will never stop being more of them. It almost seems like every time you open a computer a new meme has swept across every social media platform. No one knows what will come next, but the only thing is for sure is there will be more viral trends to come!
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