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Top 10 YouTube Celebrities

VO: Rebecca Brayton
If you want your 15-minutes of fame, better start uploading now: every minute, 72 hours’ worth of video is uploaded to YouTube, and that amount is only increasing. To make a significant dent in that community can be tough, but there are a few chosen ones who have managed to cut through the clutter to build devoted followings. Whether it be from comedy skits like Smosh, sarcastic commentary like Ray William Johnson, food porn like Epic Meal Time or useful makeup tutorials like Michelle Phan, there’s something for everyone. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 YouTube celebrities.

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Top 10 YouTube Celebrities

If you want your 15-minutes of fame, better start uploading now. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 YouTube celebrities.

#10 – JamesNintendoNerd (Member since: April 6, 2006)

Kicking off our list is the fellow also known as Angry Video Game Nerd – and with language like this there’s little wonder why. James Rolfe has been filming reviews of video games since waaaaaaay before YouTube. That practice paid off and today he drinks, he swears, and he describes disgusting things on-camera; basically, he’s the one guy playing video games in his parents’ basement who made it a career.

#9 – kidrauhl (Member since: January 15, 2007)

You know him better as Justin Bieber. Bieber’s career is owed to YouTube: after his mother uploaded his talent show performance for friends and family, he kept posting homemade videos of his R&B covers and gaining more fans. Cut to the next year when Justin Timberlake and Usher were fighting over him. Today, Justin’s “Baby” is one of the most-viewed YouTube vids ever. Everyone’s a Belieber.

#8 – Fred (Member since: October 1, 2005)

Meet Lucas Cruikshank – better known to the internet as Fred. This pill-popping, hyper six-year-old has anger issues, but he’s most famous for his ridiculously annoying voice. Case in point… Well, believe it or not, he was the first YouTuber ever to reach one million subs. And that’s not all: Fred’s a franchise, with a show and movies (plural). There, now you’re in on the joke too.

#7 – MichellePhan (Member since: July 18, 2006)

If you’re into makeup, then you’ve probably seen her YouTube tutorials. This Vietnamese-American makeup artist is the most subscribed beauty guru on the site, thanks to the simplicity and creativity of her work and her friendly demeanor. After being denied for a makeup counter job, she started posting vids to YouTube. Now, she has her own media company, makeup-themed social media site, and was hired by Lancôme. Ta-da!

#6 – Shane Dawson (Member since: March 10, 2008)

With cross-dressing, musical parodies, impersonations and just general craziness, this YouTube channel has something for everyone. Dawson started making videos as a substitute for homework, and yadda yadda yadda now he’s got tons of followers. In 2010 he was one of Forbes’ 25 Web Celebs, and won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star… In large part thanks to Shananay.

#5 – EpicMealTime (Member since: January 15, 2007)

If anything is food porn, it’s this. With bacon, Jack Daniel’s and excess as their main ingredients, these Canadians battle the healthy food trend with high-cal creations. Our fave? The terrifying Turbaconepicentipede. Harley, Muscles Glasses and the rest of the EMT crew have crossed over with other YouTube stars, and are well on their way to mainstream success. Crude, immature and always over-the-top, these guys just make us hungry.

#4 – JennaMarbles (Member since: February 16, 2010)

Remember this video? Then you’ve already met the sparkplug that is Jenna Marbles – who, btw, is YouTube’s favorite female. She swears like a trucker, and since she’s usually raging about lady troubles, many of her fans are teen girls. Despite her success, her videos are still her ranting to herself, her dogs and the camera in her bedroom. It’s brain candy, but it’s hilarious brain candy.

#3 – nigahiga (Member since: July 20, 2006)

Another YouTuber who got his start lip-syncing, this Hawaii native took it to a whole other level and now he has one of the site’s most subscribed channels. Ryan Higa is just a guy who’s good at making others laugh, whether it be through rants, oddball how-tos, parodies or whatever. He even made a movie. Hey, numbers don’t lie: this guy’s got somethin’.

#2 – RayWilliamJohnson (Member since: May 25, 2008)

Meet the ball of sarcasm known as Ray William Johnson. He became one of YouTube’s most subscribed users by channeling shows like “Tosh.0” and “The Soup” with his show “Equals Three.” While production values have changed, RWJ’s painfully derisive commentaries about viral vids are still as sassy. And yes; his videos talking about viral videos get more views than the actual viral videos.

#1 – smosh (Member since: November 19, 2005)

Taking the top spot on our list are Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, otherwise known as Smosh: the goofballs everyone loves to laugh at. They started posting videos to Newgrounds in 2003, but once YouTube rolled into town, there was no looking back: their first hit was a vid of them lip-syncing to the “Pokemon” theme, and they’ve expanded their brand to include short skits, spoofs, food battles and even albums. That is one big pile of Smosh.

Do you agree with our list? Who are your favorite YouTube celebrities? For more great top 10s, be sure to subscribe to

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