Sophia Grace From Ellen To YouTube Superstar

At eight years old, Sophia Grace Brownlee had the kind of luck that people can only dream of when a YouTube video launched her into stardom. That 2011 clip featured her and her then-five-year-old cousin, Rosie McClelland, wearing pink tutus as they sung Nicki Minaj's song "Super Bass." It was so adorable that it landed them on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." When making her final appearance on the show over a decade later, Sophia Grace explained how it all started from them just playing dress up. "I kept singing Nicki Minaj all the time and my Auntie Danielle, Rosie's mom, was the only one who had an iPhone," she revealed, adding, "She said 'Why don't we film it? Rosie ... get into that [the princess] outfit.'"

Once Sophia Grace's aunt uploaded that video to YouTube, it went viral. "I was super excited when they told me that Justin Bieber had posted or retweeted the video," Sophia Grace later told CelebMix. From there, the girls were invited to perform "Super Bass" on DeGeneres' talk show. The Essex native recalled, "My Dad randomly got a call from one of the producers ... whilst he was at work. ... He googled 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' and got the shock of his life!"

Sophia Grace and Rosie went on to wow the comedian and her viewers with not only their performance but their fun personalities, as well. Since then, Sophia Grace, in particular, has continued to be in the spotlight via YouTube. But a lot has happened since her adorable debut, so let's break it down.

Sophia Grace became a star on Ellen

What seemingly started as just an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" led to a steady gig for Sophia Grace Brownlee and her cousin, Rosie McClelland, after they were invited back on the talk show several times. The girls would not only perform more covers of hit songs, but also did some TV bits like serving as red carpet correspondents. They even got their own segment called "Sophia Grace & Rosie Do Tea," where they interviewed celebrities like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift over a tea party.

While the girls looked like they were having fun, it was still national TV. Sophia Grace recalled on their final episode, "We always used to do this thing where we got really nervous, we'd have nervous bugs, so we used to spit them out and stamp on them." Having a treat helped, too, with her adding, "We always used to get Jamba Juice before we came on." Sophia Grace was also excited to meet some of her idols like Nicki Minaj, as she gushed, "The most cool memory is obviously when Nicki Minaj came out of them doors over there." 

You could say their time on show led to child stardom, with the girls getting their own children's books and dolls made after them. Years later, in 2021, Sophia Grace told E!, "I would love to just say to Ellen thank you so much for all the amazing opportunities. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be where I am."

She launched a music career

It was obvious from her appearances on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that Sophia Grace Brownlee could sing, so it makes sense that she went on to pursue music professionally. In 2013, two years after making her first TV appearance, Sophia Grace released her debut single at age 10 called "Girls Just Gotta Have Fun." From there, she put out more songs, with her musical output evolving as she got older. In 2016, for example, the then-13-year-old released the single "Girl in the Mirror" about self-confidence. At the time, she told Bustle, "I'm learning how to love me from my head down to my toes."

When appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in May 2022, she made it clear that music had become her priority. "I'm focusing on my music at the moment," she dished. "I actually have a new single that's just come out called 'Little Things.'" That song was apparently extra special to Sophia Grace because of what it represented. "This single really marks the beginning of a new chapter for me," she explained to CelebMix, adding, "Because I'm obviously a little bit older now, I have more of a vision and more an idea of the kind of music I want to make."

Yet, Sophia Grace admitted she still has more learning and growing to do as an artist and noted peers like Olivia Rodrigo were an inspiration. "I love her lyrics," she said. "... It makes me want to get into songwriting more and really learn how to be better at it."

The YouTuber dabbled in acting

Sophia Grace Brownlee didn't only pursue music, she also did some acting over the years. And what better place for her to get her start at 10 years old than Nickelodeon? In 2013, she and her cousin, Rosie McClelland, appeared on two episodes of the hit series "Sam & Cat." They apparently nailed it, too, with star Ariana Grande gushing to Entertainment Weekly, "Sophia Grace and Rosie are the most professional, incredible kids I've ever met. ... They knew their lines better than I did."

That same year, Sophia Grace was slated to make her big screen debut as Little Red Riding Hood in Disney's star-studded adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods." However, she ended up withdrawing from the film. Her parents explained (via BroadwayWorld), "[We] felt that as rehearsals progressed that she was too young for this part." That wasn't the end for Sophia Grace's movie career, though, because she went on to do 2014's "Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure." While the flick was a direct-to-video release, TMZ reported that she made $50,000 to star in it. 

After that, Sophia Grace shifted toward reality TV, appearing on "Jojo's Juice" in 2016 and judging ABC's "The Toy Box" in 2017. But it seems acting may not have been her thing, as she told Bustle, "If you wanna be an actress you have to do loads of auditions and honestly, I've done loads of auditions and it's really hard." She continued, "I've never gotten a part for any of them except like two."

Sophia Grace didn't let fame go to her head

Sophia Grace Brownlee may have had overnight success, but that doesn't mean she let fame get to her head. In fact, she reflected to CelebMix in 2022, "I love that nobody treated us any differently. ... There was no reason for them too, just because we'd been on TV and been out to America didn't mean we were better than any of our friends." While the YouTube personality's busy schedule did lead her to being home-schooled, when she went back her native England, she said nothing else had really changed. "I have a pretty normal life, I don't really get recognized that much especially at home," she previously told Bustle, adding, "I don't wanna be like really famous so I can't even go to the shops."

Of course, Sophia Grace's level of fame still has its challenges, like questioning if new people in her life are around her for the right reasons. Then there's the online trolls, who leave her mean comments. However, she explained on "Lorraine" in 2017, "I think it's just like people who are just bored. ... I just try and laugh about it."

The "Why U Mad" singer has also made it a point to never forget how fortunate she's been or who helped her become famous. She gushed to CelebMix, "I still can't quite believe all of the opportunities we were given back then — I'll always be so grateful to Ellen [DeGeneres] for everything she did for us."

The Ellen personality had a clothing line

As Sophia Grace Brownlee got older, she apparently wanted to take on something new in her career and expand what she was known for. "I always wanted to have my own business, whether it's been clothes, makeup, or something I'm really passionate about," she dished to E! in 2021. The star previously did just that by launching her own clothing line LoLo London in 2019. 

For Sophia Grace, however, it was about more than just fashion, as she explained in a press release (via The U.S. Sun), "[It's] a voice and a brand for anyone working hard to achieve something positive in their lives." The "Best Friends" singer also used her social media to help create what her fans wanted. "The most amazing part about the design process is interacting with my social media followers, I love reading the comments and dm's to see what color or style is their favorite," Sophia Grace stated, noting that she wanted her clothes to reflect her personal style, too, which was pretty casual. Yet, as she told E!, "I'm always interested in different fashions so I just wanted to make something that everyone can relate to."

Sophia Grace even sent some of her favorite hoodies to her old celebrity pals like Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, and of course, Ellen DeGeneres. While we imagine the comedian probably loved her gifted white hoodie, LoLo London unfortunately didn't work out, and by 2022, per its website, it had closed its doors for good.

Sophia Grace is expecting a baby

Sophia Grace Brownlee definitely isn't the little girl we all remember from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" anymore. In October 2022, she announced that she was pregnant at age 19. The former "The Toy Box" judge took to her YouTube channel to share the news with her followers. "I'm sure a lot of you are going to be very shocked," she said, adding, "I was very shocked when I first found out. I've gotten used to it now, and I'm super, super happy about it."

The YouTube personality wanted to take her fans along with her on her pregnancy journey, which was why she said her video content may change. As of this writing, she's even already shared what some of her experiences have been so far, like when she first heard her baby's heartbeat. She gushed, "That was literally so cool, because it's like mad to think there's literally another life inside of you." Of course, it hasn't been only smooth sailing for the star, as she added, "I do not know why they call it morning sickness, because it lasted all day for me, all day long!"

While Sophia Grace knew the gender of her baby when she made her announcement, she told her followers she was waiting to reveal it. She also didn't reveal who the baby's father is. "I keep that side of my life pretty private," Sophia Grace previously told E!, "but I do have a boyfriend and I've been with him for maybe two years but I don't post him."

She is still close with her cousin Rosie McClelland

Most fans of Sophia Grace Brownlee want to know if she's remained close with her cousin, Rosie McClellan, over the years since the two rose to fame together on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Fortunately, as Sophia Grace told E! in 2021, "We have been close like sisters." However, she understood why social media followers sometimes questioned that, adding, "People get mistaken because we don't always post things together online. ... But we literally are like best friends."

Sophia Grace posted more of Rosie on her Instagram in 2022, sharing a mirror selfie of the duo that April, as well as a video of them together after their final appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' show. While the two now have solo careers, they'll always have that bond from starting their journey together, as the "Little Things" singer admitted to CelebMix, "I'm even more grateful for Rosie, because this whole experience wouldn't have been the same without her." And let's not forget that they're also cousins, so family get-togethers at their nana's home are a common occurrence.

Of course, Rosie was on-hand to celebrate Sophia Grace's pregnancy news, too. She captioned an Instagram photo of the duo hugging in part with, "I can't wait to share this whole new chapter with you and be by your side watching you be the best mum ever!" Rosie also made it clear on her Instagram Stories that she'll be pretty involved, writing (via People), "Here for you, will buy milk, babysit but I don't think I can change a nappy just yet."

Sophia Grace is popular on YouTube

These days, Sophia Grace Brownlee isn't just known as the tutu-wearing girl from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" — she's a full-blown YouTube superstar. As of this writing in 2022, her YouTube channel boasts more than 3.42 million subscribers, with her pregnancy announcement video receiving over 2 million views. Sophia Grace started her channel when her career took off in 2011 and has vlogged about her life ever since. She's also shared her music there, as well fashion hauls and makeup tutorials. Explaining the secret to her YouTube success on "Lorraine" in 2017, she said, "You just got to be you, really, and just be natural and try and have fun." She added, "I tried to aim to put videos that my fans want to watch."

While being an internet personality does come with a certain pressure to be perfect, it's something Sophia Grace knows a lot of people go through. "I think nowadays everybody feels like they have to live up to a certain standard because of what they see on social media," she told CelebMix, before noting, "Growing up in this era of social media can be quite daunting sometimes, so we have to really ... support each other." 

Considering her continued success after "Ellen," it seems Sophia Grace has the ongoing support of her fans. Yet, she hasn't changed too much from that adorable little girl who rose to fame on the talk show, even telling E!, "We've grown up and we look a little different, but we're literally the same people that we used to be."