Nowadays all you need is a video clip to go viral to make you famous. At least, that’s how it worked for Danielle Bregoli. After appearing on Dr. Phil at 13 years old, her loud mouth and big attitude caught the attention of the world—in both good and bad ways.
Her catchphrase “Cash me outside, how ‘bout that” had been replayed millions of times. Most people dismissed her as a brat but instead of caving to public pressure, she took her 15 minutes of fame and has made a career. You’ll be surprised to find out just how much this rebellious teenager has done since her Dr. Phil days.
She Wasn’t Supposed To Become Famous
The episode of Dr. Phil that Danielle appeared on was called “I Want To Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried To Frame Me For A Crime.” The title alone should give you an idea of what the episode was like.
I think that it’s safe to say that growing up, she had a rocky relationship with her mother. She also spoke in a memorable street accent that wouldn’t normally be heard on someone from her home state.
Her Childhood Was Tough
She talked like no one else you’ve ever heard. She says that the wild accent she has was taught to her “on the streets”. I guess that would be the streets of Boynton Beach, Florida, where she was born. Her parents, Ira Peskowitz and Barbara Ann Bregoli, dated for a year before they had Danielle.
She was primarily raised by her mother, and is estranged from her father who is a deputy for the Palm Beach Police Department.
Her Mom Didn’t Want Her Anymore
Her mother went on the show because she claimed that she no longer wanted to be the mother of Danielle. She would kick her, punch her, steal from her etc. On the show, Danielle was portrayed as this hopeless teen who had no future prospects for a job or a stable life.
But, when the episode aired, there was no traction. It was just going to be another show for Dr. Phil that would get lost in the hundreds of others.
The Infamous Catchphrase
Months went by, and still nothing. Then, all of a sudden, the internet picked up a clip of Danielle asking the audience to fight her. The phrase, “cassh me ousside, how bow dah” was born. (For anyone who doesn’t understand, it means she’s telling people to meet her outside so they can fight).
It became so popular that Wal-Mart started selling merchandise with her face, and her slogan, on it. That’s where it should’ve ended, but that’s not the end of the Danielle Bregoli story. It’s not even close (as much as we might wish it was).
Danielle’s Net Worth is Near $4 Million
At just 15-years-old, Danielle Bregoli is doing pretty good for herself. The teen made a deal with CopyCat Beauty, which includes product placement in her music videos and Instagram posts. The deal is reportedly worth $900,000, which would bump up Danielle’s net worth from its current standing, estimated at $3 million.
According to Money, Danielle started stacking up cash when she won a lawsuit, suing brands that used her “cash me outside” catchphrase without her permission. She told Time magazine that after she became famous she “realized that I could literally do whatever I wanted.” And she is.
Dr. Phil 2.0
She went back onto the Dr. Phil show a few months later. By that time she had a manager, but she wasn’t sure exactly what path she was going to pave for herself in the entertainment industry. She ended up choosing rap. It almost sounds comedic, and pretty “my friend from my hometown who wants you to listen to his SoundCloud” -ish, but that’s not what happened.
She was going to have to think of a rap name, and it was going to have to be catchy.
The Rap Name Revealed
What did she stumble on? DB? Nope. Bhad Bhabie. Yes, that’s not a lie. I mean, look, in an industry that requires you to stand out in more ways than one, this name is certainly unique.
So what would be the fate of this 13-year-old that got famous off of a meme? Would she wither away into oblivion because no one would actually care about her music career? Or, would she actually do something with it?
Her First Public “Appearance”
She first made an appearance in a Kodak Black music video. You can see her sitting on a Rolls Royce, throwing money and her well-known attitude around like candy. It was also the first time in public that we were able to see her wear her own merch.
Yes, as I mentioned before, Wal-Mart picked up her merch, and she even has her own online store to sell it. It’s nearly impossible to understand who the target demographic is.
Didn’t Take Long To Stir Up Some Drama
Just a side note before I let you know how well her rap career is going. She’s banned from Spirit Airlines. Not just her, but her mother as well. There’s a video from Spirit of her getting into a fight with another passenger when they recognized her.
The other person who was on the receiving end of the little fight was also banned from the airline as well as her mother. So far, so good.
She Was Nominated For An MTV Award
Bregoli and her mother also sued three companies for “infringing her intellectual property rights” by using her signature catchphrase without her consent. She threatened to sue Wal-Mart but didn’t end up following through.
She was nominated at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards in the “Trending” category based on the bizarre catchphrase. This funny internet meme had already surpassed its 15 minutes of fame, and yet, it was still as relevant as ever.
It Clicked Instantly
The first time that she was in a studio, she was able to realize what made her different. It was her attitude, her raspy voice, and a knack for a memorable one-liner. She figured that if she was able to keep those three things, mix in some good beats and features, and she could be a legitimate rapper.
During her first session, she stood in front of the mic and repeated the words, “Hi Bich, Hi Bich, Hi Bich” and it ended up becoming something.
And So it Begins…
Her first single was called “Hi Bich” and it ended up being a surprise hit. It now has over 130 million, yes, million, hits on YouTube. It’s not groundbreaking by any means, but it does have a catchy hook which, mixed with the intrigue of Bhad Bhabie, was probably the reason it got the clicks. This surely wouldn’t last. Right?
Well, you’re wrong again. It went certified Gold from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America).
Her Manager Had Big Plans
In early 2017, she would get signed by Adam Kluger. He was a product placement manager that was looking to boost his reputation in the music industry. While signing an internet meme was looked down upon by others, he saw Bhad Bhabie as an opportunity.
He said, “I’m going to find something that’s just so obscure, and I’m going to make it popular. I’m going to pull every trick I’ve ever pulled with brands and make someone into a walking, talking brand to prove my worth.”
She Was Off To A HOT Start
Bregoli was the youngest female rap artist to debut on the Billboard music charts. After the release of her single “These Heauxs” reached number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100, she was signed to the prestigious Atlantic Records.
She was given a multi-album recording contract with the company. So far, both of her first two singles had made it onto the Billboard Hot 100, which is incredibly difficult to do so she deserves her respect there.
She Wanted To Leave The Past In The Past
Bhad Bhabie was trying desperately to get rid of the memes that made her famous in the first place. She would release a few more songs and videos in which she is seen burying her old self in a shallow grave.
In the song “Mama Don’t Worry (Still Ain’t Dirty)”, she rapped about how everyone needs to forget about her appearance on the Dr. Phil show because that’s not what identifies her anymore, she has a new identity.
That Was Fast
In May 2018, she released a video for the song “Gucci Flip Flops” and the song debuted at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was her third charted single in less than a year.
Now, she was getting industry credit for her successes. She was nominated for Best Rap Female Artist at the Billboard Music Awards alongside Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Think about that for a second. How is she already a top three female rapper?
She Was Getting Some Big Features
She was getting some incredible features on some of her songs. And, this was before she even had an album out. The next song she put out was “Trust Me” with a feature from one of the hottest rappers in the game, Ty Dolla Sign.
This is where her manager was working his magic. When they released the video for this song, they made sure they had some star power featured in it. Actress Bella Thorne and comedian Theo Von were featured in the video.
The Mixtape Announcement
She would also see another one of her songs be certified Gold by the RIAA. This time it was “Gucci Flip Flops” which was her most popular song to date.
It was now time to announce that her first album would actually be a mixtape called “15”. There was a lot of meaning behind the name of the mixtape and she would have a lot of people featured in it that really legitimized her album.
It Had Many Meanings
The title was in reference to her age, which she was now 15. It was also in reference to the fact that she had 15 million Instagram followers and counting. It’s a nod to the brief period of fame she was supposed to have as just another internet meme.
In fact, in the closing track of the mixtape, she explained that the viral fame was just another inconvenience tacked onto the already hectic existence she lives.
She Was Not In A Good Place
She says, “Like, I didn’t even remember I said cash me outside, that phrase was so irrelevant to me.” She doesn’t paint herself as a victim, but she was not in a good place.
She explains that she was constantly fighting with her deadbeat dad who tattooed all of his kid’s names on him, except for hers. She had to move into her friend’s trailer after the show because she was getting hounded by local kids who recognized her.
Celebrity Appearances Reach A New Level
In the video for “Gucci Flip Flops” Bhad Bhabie took the celebrity cameos to the next level. If you watch the video and are a fan of any Adam Sandler movie, or even Joe Dirt, you’re probably going to be pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face.
Yes, David Spade makes an appearance. Yes, I’m as weirded out as you. Yes, I wish I could be in the room for the moment he was asked to be in it.
She’s Been On Tour
Anyway, back to the music. If you’re wondering if she already has had a headlining tour, the answer is yes. She was already selling out venues across North America and Europe before she even released an album.
She was scheduled to be the opening act on Lil Yachty’s The Disrespect Tour but it was later announced that the tour had to be delayed with no rescheduled dates. That isn’t the end, it’s not even close.
Big Plans For 2019
She currently has a tour set for Austrailia in early 2019. She’s been filming her new reality TV show called Bringing Up Bhabie, which will premiere on Snapchat in January 2019. All of this is going on while working on her first album, and the follow up to the successful 15 mixtape.
Even with the small sample size of music that she’s put out, but it’s clear that she has the ability to capture the public attention.
Her Celebrity Feuds
She does get some negative attention from some big hitters in the rap industry. But, to her credit, she isn’t afraid to spar with anyone. At an LA fashion party that was hosted by Cardi B, she threw a drink at rapper Iggy Azalea.
Snoop Dogg weighed in on the scrap and Danielle. She also got into a little social media war with rapper 6ix9ine saying that she would need a restraining order on him before she ever did a collaboration.
She Is Basically Mozart
Her fan base is what you would expect — 10-21-year-olds. They come to her with stories of their own bullying and she gives them advice on how to stand up for themselves.
There was a popular meme going around that compared her face to that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. While many would shy away from a meme like that, or, just not even draw attention to it, she retweeted it and said she’s Mozart reincarnate.
And There’s Much More To Come
It’s good to have a sense of humor about the whole situation. You have to give it to her — for a young teenager who didn’t ask for any of this viral fame, she’s done pretty well for herself.
It seems that she’s surrounded herself with the right people in the industry to help turn her from an internet meme to a walking, talking brand and bonafide rapper. But, she’s not the only one to make this transition.
The Backpack Kid
Yes, this is Backpack Kid. Yes, he started as an internet meme and has since made a lifestyle out of it. Yes, I would argue he’s the most influential dancer of our generation. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s pretty darn close.
Named Russel Horning, he became a household meme for his signature dance move: “The Russell” aka “flossing” aka rapidly swinging your arms around while shaking your hips and maintaining a stone-faced creepy glare.
His Famous Cameos
He made a legendary Saturday Night Live appearance which he was showcasing his move while Katy Perry performed her song “Swish Swish”. He then went on to be featured in her official music video for the same song.
His journey started on Instagram where he’s been flossing since 2014. His fame started slow — in fact, his first audience was a kid’s church camp. Now, his videos have appeared billions of times on different formats.
His First Big Break
His first big break was when Rihanna posted his video to her page. He got 55k new followers in two days. He now has millions of followers on social media and looks to further the cause of making people smile, while also ending racism.
Seems a bit deep for a kid doing a funky dance, but his heart is in the right place. People have given him a hard time because most of his friends are black, but he doesn’t think anything of it.
He’s A Trendsetter
He now does his schooling online so that he can travel the world and dance. His signature dance move has spread across the world. Many NFL players do it in the end zone now, and it’s even been adopted into the incredibly popular video game Fortnite.
He constantly gets media requests and has appeared on some of the biggest shows, from NBA TV to Inside Edition to Mario Lopez’s radio show to being on SNL.
The Future Of Rap?
He has now started making raps for fun. His first track was called “Flossin” which is the natural start for the Backpack Kid. His second track was called “2 Litt” and was much more polished than his first one as he collaborated with well-known producer Red Drum.
He’s started to floss for charity too. He threw down his sick moves at the 10th Annual Zumba Instructors Convention in support of CARE Elementary, a Miami Charter School.
He’s Still A Pretty Average Kid
Yes, “The Backpack Kid” might be one of the most popular young Internet stars around. However, when he’s not dancing, he says that he likes to act like someone his age. To keep himself humble, he still does typical teenage boy things like playing Xbox, having sleepovers with his friends, and whatever other weird things young teenage boys do these days.
Even though he’s all over the Internet and now even on TV, he doesn’t want his fame to take over his life.
He Started Out With 300 Followers
Before he became “The Backpack Kid,” Russel Horning was a typical Instagram user with only around 300 followers and the video of him dancing only had around 30 views. It wasn’t until someone with over 1 million followers reposted his video that things took off.
He remembers sitting at his friend’s house when it happened and watched as thousands of people started following him in a matter of minutes. His whole life was about to change.
He Wasn’t Always Into Hip-Hop Music
Although he may seem to be deep into the hip-hop culture always meeting and hanging out with different rappers, he admitted that he hasn’t always been into hip-hop music. He claims that hip-hop was never the genre of music that he would play first but he didn’t dislike it.
However, it wasn’t until he started noticing the prevalence of hip-hop in dancing that he really started giving it attention. He even began incorporating it into some of his dances.
He Does Carry Things In His Backpack
For a dancer, you would think that you would want to be as light as possible, especially if you’re carrying around a backpack all day like Russel does.
As it turns out, he does keep things in there both for his entertainment and in order to keep the backpack balanced and in place while he dances. He says that typically he has a full water bottle, a charger, fidget spinners, and earbuds in there.
His First Audience For His Dance Was At Church Camp
Everyone has to start somewhere, and that place for Russel was at a church camp. He said that during a dance competition, he performed his unknown but now sensational dance. The kids in his group really liked it and even told him that he should put it on Instagram for others to see.
He reflects that it does seem a little bit strange to have been performing in front of his church friends to eventually doing it on SNL.
How The Backpack Started
Apparently, Russel’s now trademark backpack actually came about from a spur-of-the-moment trade.
He told USA Today that ” My friend had it on and it looked cool and I wanted it. We had the idea to trade right there and then. We were at a shoe store and I only had a (credit) card on me, so I traded a pair of shoes for the bookbag. That was a month ago, give or take a few days. I started dancing with it that day.”
For a period of time, Russel’s Instagram page bio contained the phrase “ending racism.” He got a lot of backlash from this who people saw him more as a viral celebrity rather than a civil rights leader.
People were asking him “Why are you dancing with black people? Where are your white friends?” He responded by saying “I think I’m making the world a better place dancing with different races.”
He Now Does Online School
Understandably, Russel now has an extremely time consuming schedule that requires a lot of travelling. So, in order to make meeting, do interviews, and perform, he had to give up traditional school and start doing online school.
Luckily, he didn’t make the fateful decision of dropping out of school altogether, but this was the best option for someone that is in his situation. However, he still makes sure to hang out with his friends and colleagues to maintain a healthy social life.
He’s Working On A Backpack Sponsorship
For obvious reasons, “The Backpack Kid” has been discussing a partnership with numerous companies to work with. Not only do these companies want only do they want to design backpacks for him, but they also want to work with him on clothes and other accessories.
However, although he has received a ton of offers, he has his eye on one brand in particular. He has an interest in the brand Sprayground, which is the brand of the backpack that helped him become famous.
He’s Suing The Gaming Industry For Using His Dance
After becoming famous for “The Floss” Russell Horning’s dance can be seen everywhere from little kids at the store to some of the most popular video games in the world. One of the games that made the dance so popular is Fortnite, who Russel is now suing for using his dance.
Yet, he admitted that it wasn’t really him who’s suing the game but his manager/mother. He says he doesn’t know much of what goes on from behind the scenes and just goes with the flow.