Who is Lil Tay? What is her age?
Born Claire Eileen Qi Hope under the sign of Leo on 29 July 2007, in Vancouver, British Colombia Canada, Lil Tay, formerly Lil Gucci Taylor, is a 15-year-old Asian former Instagram celebrity, rapper and YouTuber. She’s known around the world for being the ‘flexing 9-year old,’ as that is how she introduced herself to the media during her rise in popularity, taking pictures and videos with stacks of cash and expensive cars. She has had a questionable number of successes over the course of her short-lived and sometimes lucrative career in entertainment from 2015 to 2018.
Early life: Puzzling origins
Lil Tay was raised alongside her older brother Jason Tian in their birthplace, by her suburban realtor single mother Angela Tian, while her lawyer father Christopher John Hope apparently remained away from the family. Lil Tay herself stated that she was actually from Atlanta, Georgia USA, but this was later disproved. It’s unknown whether she is currently attending high school, or ever went to one.
Career: A lucky shot
Lil Tay created her YouTube Channel on 24 January 2015, and started posting various vlogging videos, which over time became more and more aggressive in terms of displaying how much money she apparently had. She would often yell at the camera, exclaiming that she made all of her money – that she was poor at the age of six but rose from the bottom to apparently have millions. This was obviously hard for the public to believe, but the shock factor was enough for her to eventually break through.
In 2017, popular YouTuber RiceGum, who has over 10 million subscribers, helped Lil Tay shoot into the limelight for the first time by posting a video about the nine-year old’s content, which attracted almost 7.5 million views; naturally, the public became interested and began subscribing to her channel. She quickly created an Instagram account and uploaded even more outrageous posts, gaining an unimaginable 1.2 million followers in two weeks, with only 10 posts. To expand her influence and gain significantly more exposure, Lil Tay started spending time with other Instagram celebrities, such as the YouTuber, Instagram model and rapper Woah Wicky, rappers XXXTENTACION, Chief Keef and Lil Pump.
Cover, Only! pic.twitter.com/PkAXZNb7vo
— Lil Tay (@imtheliltay) June 21, 2018
Dominating the scene
With numerous celebrities surrounding her, Lil Tay exploded with popularity even further towards the end of 2017, at which point she caught the attention of even bigger YouTubers, including Logan and Jake Paul, Joe Rogan and others. She began associating herself with celebrity drama in an attempt to further grow her fanbase, one case of which is her presence in the supposed fight between rapper Bhad Bhabie, also known as Daniele Bregoli or ‘The Cash Me Ousside Girl’ from Dr. Phil’s eponymous show, and previously mentioned Woah Vicky, who at the time called Lil Tay her sister.
While most people still didn’t believe that someone who wasn’t even 10 years old could realistically have made a fortune that massive, that very confusion was the main component of growing her Instagram page and YouTube channel. She started displaying increasingly more expensive cars, and claiming that she lives in Beverly Hills thanks to her hard-earned money. This resulted in numerous interviews with high-profile YouTubers, newspaper articles and millions of social media posts, all snowballing to propel her career. She even released a rap song entitled “Money Way” in April 2018, although that would be her last known business venture. In June 2018, she apparently deleted all of her Instagram posts, making no public appearances afterwards.
What happened to Lil Tay?
First of all, Lil Tay’s career began deteriorating rapidly after YouTuber Keemstar uploaded a Twitter post on 21 May 2018, showing evidence of Lil Tay being coached by her brother Jason on what to say, which seemed to confirm that it was all an act. Following a segment in which she screams at her mother, many started thinking that she might be getting abused into portraying her public persona. Two days later, Lil Tay appeared on the front page of “Good Morning America” in an interview with ABC Nightline, in which she explained that the whole act was her choice. However, to the detriment of her statement, it was followed up by Woah Vicky’s video on 9 June, in which the child celebrity’s best public friend confirmed that she was actually being controlled by her brother, stating that he runs her Instagram account, and tells the child exactly what to do. This statement was supported by the fact that in one of Lil Tay’s last Instagram livestreams, the ‘phone’s volume button was pressed for a moment, removing the color from the screen and revealing Jason’s face, showing that he was the one setting it up, and not his sister.
Debunking the myth
With the apparent ‘out’ in the public, it was still speculated as to how Lil Tay managed to put on her act – who gave her the money and the vehicles to record in her videos. Some thought that she was a publicity stunt for a massive media figure who could potentially provide all the commodities, but the truth was different. On 10 May, Daily Hive revealed that Lil Tay’s mother had quit her job as a realtor rather than being fired, after her boss learned that she was using his cars and unrented luxurious properties to record her daughter in them, without permission from the owners. With the entire mystery revealed, Lil Tay ended up deleting all of the content on her Instagram account.
The grim aftermath
The fans became even more perplexed on 5 July 2018, when she posted a single picture saying ‘Help me’ on her Instagram. Her new manager Diomi Cordero, whom she was staying with in Los Angeles, said that the posts had been deleted as part of a re-branding strategy. The public assumed that the ‘Help me’ post was also part of that, used to garner attention for the upcoming posts. On 22 October 2018 there was finally a new post on her Instagram, explaining how her father banned her from social media, and was in the legal process of taking custody away from her mother. Subsequently a GoFundMe campaign was launched, in which it was stated that ‘Lil Tay will be fighting for her life, future and freedom starting April 23, 2021.’ The campaign also detailed various allegations about her father’s physical abuse, none of which have yet been confirmed.
Where is Lil Tay now?
Lil Tay hasn’t emerged in the media since her Instagram account went silent in June, however it later turned out that the posts weren’t actually deleted, but simply made private for a while, as they later re-emerged. Her Instagram account now has all the posts it contained prior to June 2018, but is yet to show any further activity. She is believed to be involved in the aforementioned custody court process, but is otherwise now keeping a low profile.
What is Lil Tay’s net worth?
As of mid-2022, the majority of credible sources estimate the child celebrity’s total wealth is over $2 million, garnered thanks to a three-year-long explosive and controversial entertaining career, if not actually in the entertainment industry, which apparently earned her sponsorships and lucrative deals, including from the sales of her only song.