- Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is the first solo YouTuber to reach 100 million subscribers.
- PewDiePie launched his YouTube channel in April 2010 and dropped out of college to build his career.
- PewDiePie recently married his long-time partner Marzia Bisognin on August 19 and continues to release multiple new videos each week.
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Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has reached 100 million subscribers on YouTube, the latest milestone in a legendary career on the streaming video platform.
PewDiePie launched in channel in April 2010 and YouTube commemorated his newest achievement with a brief timeline of his growth into YouTube’s most recognizable star.
— YouTube (@YouTube) August 25, 2019
PewDiePie dropped out of Chalmers University of Technology in 2011 to focus on building his YouTube channel, and reached his one million subscribers on July 11, 2012. In August 2013, PewDiePie became the most subscribed-to YouTuber ever, surpassing sketch-comedy channel Smosh – PewDiePie then reached 15 million subscribers three months later.
PewDiePie’s channel focuses on video game content with a mix of reaction videos, pranks, and irreverent humor. While he’s probably best-known for playing “Minecraft,” he has expanded his videos to feature a variety of games and news updates based on internet culture.
PewDiePie is the first solo YouTuber and the second account to reach 100 million subscribers; Indian record label T-Series reached the mark earlier this year. PewDiePie spent months recruiting new fans to try to beat T-Series to 90 million subscribers, but was ultimately overtaken by T-Series’ array of musical talent and YouTube’s rapidly expanding user base in India.
The race between PewDiePie and T-Series became controversial as fans took sides between supporting Eastern and Western YouTube culture; others saw PewDiePie as an underdog competing against T-Series’ company-supported brand. PewDiePie was criticized for using racist language and stereotypes about Indian people in several “diss tracks” targeted towards T-Series on YouTube, and the record label successfully applied for an injunction to force YouTube India to remove those videos.
The phrase “Subscribe to PewDiePie” itself became controversial earlier this year after a man who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, said it during a livestream of the shooting. PewDiePie asked fans to stop using the phrase and said he felt “absolutely sickened” having his name used during the attack. The phrase was also found chalked across a World War II memorial, flown on a banner across Manhattan, posted to the The Wall Street Journal’s website and displayed on more than 100,000 printers during hacking incidents.
PewDiePie has also been separately accused of racism in multiple scandals in past years. In 2017, PewDiePie lost a partnership with Disney after The Wall Street Journal highlighted several instances of the YouTube star making anti-Semitic jokes during his broadcasts. Later that year, he used a racial slur targeted at African-Americans during a rant on a livestream. PewDiePie apologized for his behavior in these incidents and continues to deny that he has any racial bias.
PewDiePie married his long-time partner Marzia Bisognin, a former YouTuber, on August 19 after dating for more than eight years. The YouTuber still uploads videos almost everyday, and reportedly earned $15.5 million last year.