Lilly Singh’s journey from a content creator to an accomplished entertainer, actress, writer, and producer is a testament to her remarkable talent and undeniable influence. With 14.5 million subscribers on YouTube, Singh has garnered a massive following by delivering comedic sketches including many that cleverly play on Punjabi parent stereotypes, but her humour is only one of the many reasons why she became a successful YouTuber. Through her creative skits, singing, rapping, dancing, vlogging, and empowering messages, Singh became well-known for fearlessly tackling social issues such as gender inequality and stereotypes, becoming a catalyst for self-representation. She has inspired millions to embrace their unique selves, defy societal expectations, and celebrate their identity and heritage.
Her Rise to Fame:
Born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Singh found herself compelled to pursue a psychology degree due to parental pressure. As Singh battled depression at the time, she decided to create a YouTube channel, which served as an outlet for self-discovery and a platform to unleash her creative expression. She found that posting videos on YouTube became her form of therapy. Her channel grew slowly, but eventually she worked her way up to become a multimillionaire with a current estimated net worth of over $10 million. Her comedic talent shone so bright on YouTube that she was able to successfully start a second channel called “Lilly Singh Vlogs,” which grew to over 2.7 million subscribers. In her vlogs, she showcases her unique and authentic personality to fans and further deepens the connection she shares with her audience, which has helped retain her loyal fan base after all these years.
In 2015, Lilly was ranked 8th on Forbes’ list of World’s Highest-Paid YouTube Stars. Her success continued to snowball as she explored other avenues and wrote her own book. Soon after publication, her New York Times bestselling book, How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Non-Fiction. The term “Bawse” is designed to be a re-written version of the word “boss.” In Singh’s eyes, the word “Bawse” refers to confidence, drive, and picking yourself up after you fall. All of which she strives to preach in her motivational messages. Singh has been nominated for many awards, but her immense popularity earned her the coveted People’s Choice Award for Favorite YouTube Star in 2017.
Television, Film and Media:
YouTube isn’t the only place she made her theatrical qualities come alive. She has also made her mark in the world of acting and voice acting. Audiences have heard her voice as Misty/Bubbles in the film Ice Age: Collision Course and seen her portray Raven in the HBO Television series Fahrenheit 451. Additionally, Singh’s versatile voice acting abilities extended to The Simpsons as the voice of Kensey. She made an appearance on the popular television show America’s Got Talent and was selected as a judge for seasons 2 and 3 of Canada’s Got Talent.
In 2019, Singh launched a late-night talk show called A Little Late with Lilly Singh which was broadcasted by NBC. In her show, Lilly chatted with celebrities and performed musical/comedic sketches relating to pop culture and diversity. What’s more is that Lilly Singh was the first openly bisexual women of colour in history to host a late-night talk show.
Moreover, she released a documentary called A Trip to Unicorn Island where she toured 27 different cities in a world tour to deliver empowering and inspirational messages to her fans. Her documentary won the Streamy Awards for best Feature Film in 2016.
Despite her fame, Singh is sure to use her platform for activism too. In 2017, Singh became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for children’s rights. Singh’s dedication to combating girl-to-girl bullying led to the creation of the “GirlLove” campaign, inspiring unity and empowerment among young women.
Overall, Singh’s remarkable journey from content creator to influential advocate has made her a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. By fearlessly challenging stereotypes and embracing self-representation, she has empowered millions to celebrate their unique selves and defy societal expectations. For these reasons, she is the inspiration that many young females need. Through her creative work, advocacy, and inspiring messages, she continues to redefine what it means to be a role model in the digital age, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of her devoted followers.
Jackie Marson | Contributing Writer