YouTuber and makeup influencer James Charles had a very special surprise for his parents this holiday season: The 21-year-old decided to pay off the mortgage on their home.
Charles grew up in Bethlehem, New York, but is now based in Los Angeles, where he earlier this year bought a $7million mansion for himself. Charles’ fortune has been amassed since he launched his makeup focussed YouTube channel in 2015.
Charles came out to his parents at the age of 12 and says they were very supportive, both about his sexuality and his wanting to start beauty vlogging at the age of 15. In his most recent video, posted on Christmas Day, he revealed his gift to them.
He spends much of the first ten minutes of the 14-minute clip talking about his parents and family life.
In brief, his dad’s a self-employed contractor and has been badly hit by the economic impact of COVID. Pops has previously turned down lavish gifts, such as the offer of a new truck, from James. Mom and dad also previously turned down an offer from James to buy them a place in California.
James, with three friends, jets from Los Angeles to New York – assuring viewers he’s had not one but two COVID negative tests in the previous 24 hours – for the big reveal (some might still point out a Zoom call would have been safer…).
To skip to it, go to the 9.50-minute mark in the video below.
His dad bursts into tears and it’s actually pretty moving. Who wouldn’t want to lavish such a gift on those we love?
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Charles’ rise to fame has not been without controversy: most notably his feuds with other internet famous figures such as Tati Westbrook and Jeffrey Star.
Then there was making a joke as a 17-year-old about Ebola in Africa (for which he quickly apologized) and being accused of having a “straight boy fetish” that led him to declare he’ll be examining his behavior around men going forward.
None of the controversies appear to have badly dented his popularity. He now has 24.9million subscribers and was recently estimated to be worth around $22million. His latest video has had almost 600,000 upticks on YouTube and over 6million views.