Watch Me Level Up: The Rise of the LaBrant Family
| LAST UPDATE 08/09/2022
If you spend any time on the internet, then you've probably already heard about the couple who suddenly rose to stardom: Savannah Rose and Cole LaBrant. After starting their own Youtube channel, The LaBrant Fam gained a following of millions. But letting the public into their lives may have revealed a lot more than they intended. Buckle up, because there's a lot you don't know.
Cole Before Fame
While it may seem like he was born and raised in Hollywood, Cole LaBrant's story began in Troy, Alabama. Growing up, his parents brought him and his five siblings up in a Christian home. The LaBrants had always been a close-knit, regular family. Back in 2013, the idea of becoming famous was a far-fetched dream.
However, Cole's entire life changed after just one post to Vine. In case you don't remember, Vine was the video-sharing app long before TikTok ever took over. Cole had never used the app, until one lazy afternoon when he and his two best friends found themselves extremely bored
The Post That Changed Everything
Cole, Baylor Barnes, and John Stephen Grice were just hanging out when they stumbled upon a trending challenge on Vine. "We were all spending the night at John Stephen's house… we see a dance contest," Cole recalled. "It's all girls entering the Vine contest, and we're like, 'This is so dumb … how funny would it be if we entered it, guys?'"
So, they got rehearsing, and although they took the whole routine as a joke, the response they received was beyond their wildest expectations. "After one week, we had 100,000 followers," LaBrant recalled. "We did it as a complete joke, we really thought that it was gonna go nowhere."
First Dose of Fame
They decided to name their hilarious trio Dem White Boyz and initially thought "that it was just our fifteen seconds of fame with a couple of videos," Cole admitted. "We weren't trying to get social media famous, we honestly didn't even know that it was a possibility or that it was a thing."
If there's anything that moves faster than the speed of lightning, it's the internet. Before Cole, John, and Baylor had any time to digest their new stardom, they were put on a flight to attend their very first meet-and-greet. Destination? Hollywood. Cole was in his element, but his friends weren't having as much fun.
John and Baylor didn't love the spotlight. Whether it was the publicity, or constantly having to come up with new content, they quickly grew tired of the stardom. However, Cole felt like he had found his true calling and wasn't prepared to give it up. So, his best friends allowed him to 'rebrand' their social media accounts.
Cole ventured out on his own and put the days of Dem White Boyz long behind him. He continued to develop his personal brand, but the world of social media proved to be a lot more difficult than he'd anticipated. Especially when some online hackers almost cost Cole his new dream.
Hackers Almost Cost Cole His Career
Cole got a little too used to things going so smoothly. After all, his newfound fame literally came out of putting minimum effort into his content. However, the honeymoon phase quickly came to a halt when his account was targeted by some angry online hackers.
"They deleted all my pictures," LaBrant recalled. "I lost 100,000 followers in less than a week." Suddeny, the blogger was faced with the very real possibility of losing everything he had gained. Cole ended up doing some serious soul-searching while he was locked out of his profiles.
"It was just so humbling to see that, everything that I'd worked for, for about two years, just to see it all crumble," said Cole. "And it's like, all this could literally be gone at any second." Cole made the decision that if he ever got his account back, he would treat the platform very differently.
LaBrant saw himself as a religious, God-fearing man. He realized that while it may be fun to be known as the "twerking Vine boy," he wanted to use the opportunity for something more personal. Cole stole his account back, and began to use his platform to talk about God.
He Lost His Followers
The sudden change of content caused Cole to lose a few followers. "It was a hard transition," said Cole. "Because we didn't start out proclaiming the gospel. Making the transition from being a secular social media person to a Christian social media person, it was tough."
He continued, "Because people knew you for dancing or making funny videos, and now you're talking about Jesus." Cole didn't let this get him down and continued to post on Vine, as well as, Musical.ly. He then stumbled on yet another opportunity when he and his mother Sheri were invited for the 28th season of The Amazing Race.
Losing the Amazing Race
Cole and Sheri put up a good fight, but sadly, they went home empty-handed. Losing out on a cool $1 million in cash was obviously disappointing. However, there were bigger things in store for Cole waiting just around the corner. A blessing in the form of a beautiful girl, Savannah Rose Soutas.
Savannah and Cole had very different childhoods. Born and raised in Orange County, California, Savannah's memories of her family home were filled with heartbreak. Her parents loved her very much, but their marriage was falling apart right infront of their two young daughters.
Savannah's Troubled Past
Savannah's parents got divorced due to infidelity. At the time, she and her sister were still toddlers, and the messy split-up resulted in their dad moving out. While they may have been too young to understand at the time, growing up without a father affected Savannah in many ways.
"Especially as a teenage girl," said Savannah. "I think it's so important to have your dad in your life if you can. I think that definitely made me kind of go down a darker path." Luckily, Savannah's sister, Chantelle, was always there for her to lean on when she needed support.
"The Thought of Having a Baby Scared Me to Death"
When Savannah completed high school, it was time for her to go to college. This should've been an exciting time in her life, but instead, it became one of the darkest. You see, she had a boyfriend by the name of Tommy Smith and although they had an on-and-off relationship, she fell pregnant with his child at the age of 19.
"The thought of having a baby scared me to death," wrote Savannah. "I didn't know how I'd continue going to college and take care of a baby. And if I didn't finish college, what kind of life could I have?" Moreover, her relationship with Tommy was pretty unstable and she didn't feel like she could rely on him.
A Toxic Relationship
"Tommy, however, seemed oddly excited about it," Savannah wrote about her pregnancy. "He even talked about us getting married. My parents never would have gone for that because they were not overly fond of Tommy." You see, after Tommy had proven to be unfaithful several times, Savannah simply couldn't trust him.
"Not choosing the right guy and also just being cheated on by [my] boyfriend," said Savannah. "I think it helped me understand how hurt my mom was [when she was] cheated on." However, Savannah's family would have to put their differences aside for the sake of her unborn child.
Since Savannah was still at the young age of 19, she needed her family's support more than ever. Her mother and sister had to join forces in order to help her raise the baby. "Telling my parents I was pregnant with [Tommy's] child was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do," admitted Savannah.
She continued, "They were really supportive of me, and they loved the idea of becoming grandparents." They even put in their best efforts to repair their marriage for the sake of the baby. "I was beyond thrilled," recalled Savannah. Her father "asked all of us to forgive him and give him a second chance."
Savannah Was Afraid of the Future
Sadly, even the birth of a new life wasn't enough to mend their broken love. "It didn't last," wrote Savannah. "Two weeks later, my dad went back to the woman for whom he left my mom." This only made her more fearful of having a baby with someone she didn't trust.
"I didn't speak to [my father] for months…not until after Everleigh was born," admitted Savannah. Sadly, this was only the start of the hardest period of her life. While she was still pregnant with her daughter, Savannah found out some news that made the future even more daunting.
Everleigh's Bittersweet Birthday
"Around my sixth month of pregnancy, I learned Tommy, who had been eager to get married when he found out I was pregnant, was now cheating on me," recalled Savannah. "I was done." The final three months of her pregnancy flew by and before she had any time to process Tommy's absence, Savannah went into labor.
Savannah gave birth to beautiful baby Everleigh on the 14th of December, 2012. Although she was thrilled to be a mother, she was terrified of raising her daughter alone. So, when Tommy begged her for forgiveness, she welcomed him back with high hopes.
A Vicious Cycle
"I dumped [Tommy]," said Savannah. "But we got back together when Everleigh was born. He promised me he'd changed, and I let myself believe him because I felt like I had to do everything I could to try to make a relationship with Tommy work for our daughter's sake."
But Tommy only let her down. "Within a matter of weeks after Everleigh was born, Tommy left me. Again. I felt horrible about myself. It wasn't the last time. Tommy came back around whenever something big with Everleigh happened, like Christmas or a birthday."
Savannah's Darkest Chapter
Every time Savannah let him back in, he broke her heart. "A lot of times, I asked [Tommy] to come back because I felt like our daughter needed her dad to be there. He came, and both of us were so focused on Everleigh that we didn't argue, and we had what felt like happy family times," wrote Savannah.
These vicious cycles only repeated themselves. "Just give me another chance," Tommy would say, "And I always caved," said Savannah. "We always got along great if Everleigh was with us. However, whenever she was with my mom or asleep, the arguments started, the same old arguments we always had."
Battling With Low Self Esteem
Savannah sunk into a low that seemed to have no escape. After her rocky history with Tommy, she was left with a terribly low self-esteem. "I was left feeling ugly and worse than worthless like no one else would ever want to be with me because I had a kid," admitted Savannah.
"I had a kid. I could not live with that, so Tommy and I would split up again," said Savannah. "After every breakup, when Ev was asleep, I'd break down in tears before God, begging Him to bring me a guy who'd love and respect me and love Everleigh like his own. That guy never showed up."
Savannah Reached a Dead End
Savannah was in a dark place and she couldn't help but feel alone. "My family begged me to give up on Tommy, which only made me mad at them and more determined to change him. "You deserve better than this, Sav," my mom and sister told me over and over," recalled Savannah.
She continued, "I told them that they didn't understand. But they did." Everleigh seemed to grow up in the blink of an eye, and even though Savannah was going through a lot, she found an outlet for her and her daughter to enjoy. Little did they know, they were paving the road for a very bright future.
Faking a Smile
You see, Savannah had always loved posting videos on Musical.ly, and once she had an adorable daughter to show off, she only enjoyed it more. Savannah and Everleigh would dress up and learn the choreography of the latest challenge. While they may have looked perfectly happy in their videos, this was far from the reality.
"I wasn't a happy person," admitted Savannah. "I acted happy in the videos Everleigh and I made on Musical.ly, but overall there wasn't a lot of joy in my life. My family saw how miserable I was." However, things were just about to change for the better.
Cole Asked Savannah for a Shoutout
Like many of the Musical.ly users, Cole LaBrant happened to stumble upon one of Savannah's vlogs with her adorable daughter. At the time, Cole was still struggling to get his followers back after he changed his content. "Not gonna lie, I've lost a lottttt of followers for passionately tweeting about my faith and things I believe in," admitted Cole.
When Cole saw how big Savannah's following was, he decided to ask her for a little favor. LaBrant slid into her DM's on Musical.ly and asked her to give him a shoutout. In return, he offered to do the same so they could get maximum exposure. However, Cole forgot about the app and didn't see Savannah's response.
The First Time He Laid Eyes on Savannah
As time passed, Cole forgot about the message. He and Savannah didn't talk until one faithful day, when LaBrant randomly decided to spend some time in California. It was the month of June when he and his brother saw a rather familiar face at the mall. Who was this mystery woman? We think you already know.
"The first thing I thought was 'wow, that's a pretty girl,'" remembered Cole. "Then I realized, that's the girl from Musical.ly." Both vloggers were too nervous to approach one another. So, Savannah sent her sister Chantelle to play the messenger and get Cole to come over.
They Never Thought They Would End up Together
Once they got passed the awkwardness, Cole and Savannah got along pretty well. They exchanged numbers, but neither of them thought that anything would come of it. At the time, Savannah was a 23-year-old single mother and Cole was only 19. They also lived in different cities.
Despite their different circumstances, Cole and Savannah decided to make the most of LaBrant's time in California. So, they hung out and made a few vlogs to help each other build a bigger fanbase on social media. Without even realizing, the two internet stars were falling for each other.
Going the Distance
When Cole went back home, he and Savannah stayed intouch. They would spend hours on the phone from opposite cities and the two unlikely lovebirds just couldn't seem to get enough of each other. "I don't think that anyone would ever pair us together," Cole admitted.
"I had put in my head that nobody would accept me since I had a kid," Savannah explained. "I never thought I would find somebody who would not only choose and love me but choose and love my daughter even more." Cole showed Savannah that despite her rocky love history, he would always be there for her.
Savannah Let Down Her Guard
It only took a little bit of time until Savannah and Cole decided to put their long-distance days behind them and move in together. The two vloggers and Everleigh became the perfect family. I think it just comes to show you can never doubt who God has for you. [You should] always be open to his possibilities," said Cole.
The internet seemed to be just as in love with this picture-perfect family. Cole and Savannah joined forces on Youtube, and their channel, Cole&Sav, brought in hundreds of thousands of subscribers a day. Their fans loved watching their daily activities on every social media platform.
Watch Me Level up
The good times kept on coming for Cole and Savannah. And just as they thought they couldn't get any happier, in 2017, LaBrant took the bold step of asking for Savannah's hand in marriage. Just 6 months later, they were already husband and wife. And thus The LaBrant Fam channel was born.
As their following grew bigger, the LaBrants started bringing in some big money through social media. Their Youtube channel gathered over 12.5 million subscribers and that number continues to rise everyday. Their vlogs have accumulated over 4 billion views so far and according to NailBuzz, this promising average brings in a cool $5 million annually.
Youtube wasn't the only platform working for this family. Savannah currently has over 22 million fans on Tiktok, 6.7 million followers on Instagram, and her husband isn't far behind. Cole's come a long way since his Vine days and thanks to his new picture-perfect family, the future's looking pretty bright.
Everything the LaBrants do gets enormous exposure, and as you can imagine, brands are eagerly lining up to get a piece of that publicity. Along with their paid advertisements and collaborations, According to NailBuzz, this family's net worth is estimated to be around $12 million.
How Cole Handles Being a Step Father
Fans loved getting to know the, as they put it, "wholesome, not-perfect family." Especially considering that Everleigh wasn't Cole's biological daughter, but their relationship continued to blossom. "The fact that I wasn't [Everleigh's] real dad would get in my head a lot," admitted Cole.
However, he understood that Tommy would always be her biological father and he had no intention of getting in the way of that. He said, "I really had to put aside my pride and… just know my goal is to love her and for her to see how a dad is supposed to treat her mom, how a dad is supposed to treat her… and let her figure out the rest."
Facing the Backlash
Fans loved watching the LaBrants go about their day-to-day lives, especially the hilarious pranks that they would pull on each other. But in one of their videos, fans were concerned that the couple had taken a prank on their daughter, too far. Suddenly, the picture-perfect family was put under a negative spotlight.
Cole and Sav pulled a prank on Everleigh, saying that they were giving away their dog, Carl. "Because we feel like we can't take good enough care of him," joked Savannah. By the time they told their daughter that it was just an April Fools joke, the four-year-old was too upset to speak.
They Were Accused of Traumatizing Everleigh
After they posted the vlog, the video gathered hundreds of thousands of views and fans argued that the publicity-hungry family had just traumatized their child for no good reason. Everleigh had a heartbreaking frown on her face and The LaBrant Fam subscribers weren't impressed.
Dr. Azmaira Maker, a clinical psychologist, spoke on this issue, saying, "We need to reflect on why would grown-ups put children in that situation and how can such a situation disrupt a child's development." She further explained that even if it was just a joke, children are extremely fragile and this could lead to serious trauma later in life.
Are They Exploiting Their Child?
Savannah and Cole understood that they had crossed the line and posted a public apology to their viewers. It is quite evident that the Labrant's fans have developed a strong love for Everleigh. The 7-year-old has over 5 million followers on Instagram and the internet just can't seem to get enough of her.
Many of Everleigh's loyal fans have raised their concerns that Savannah and Cole seem to be using the child for fame. Most of their vlogs or posts center around Everleigh, including their wedding video which was titled "Vows to My 4-year-old daughter." There have been several articles that suggest child-exploitation is one of the LaBrants tactics.
Building an Empire
Pushing Everleigh to the forefront of their 'brand' led fans to believe that Cole and Savannah were using their daughter to persuade their followers. However, Cole constantly reminds his fans that he genuinely loves Everleigh and that she actually loves being on camera.
Savannah and Cole have had two children of their own since, and this family of 5 is slowly building an empire. According to NailBuzz, Everleigh currently has an estimated net worth of $1 million thanks to her massive fanbase- keep in mind, she's only 7-years-old.
Accused of Lying
Although the LaBrants have been recognized as a 'by-the-book family,' they have been accused of lying through their social media platforms in the past. Savannah and Cole faced backlash from their fans when they posted a video titled: WE LEFT OUR HOUSE BECAUSE OF FIRES IN CALIFORNIA.
The video showed the family saying that they had received evacuation orders due to the "huge fire right by our house." They packed up their belongings and headed north to San Francisco for safety. However, the people who lived in their neighborhood found this rather bizarre.
In the Name of Likes?
The LaBrants' neighbors in Orange County of Ladera Ranch, told Fox11 that they were extremely bothered by this video since they received no evacuation orders. The vlog showed a threatening cloud of smoke in the background, which the couple claimed was "Right by our house." However, their neighbors explained that wasn't the case.
"I just think it's really sad they would exploit a situation that's as serious as a fire that so many people were evacuated just so they could get more likes or more hits on their channel," said a neighbor. Fox 11's reporter asked Savannah and Cole to comment on this, but they never received a response.
When you live in the public eye, it's pretty hard to keep anything a secret. Cole's sudden rise to fame made his fans curious about his past, and they began scrolling through his Twitter history. What they found pushed Cole back into the negative spotlight, and it made fans question his authenticity.
On the 11th of July, 2017, Cole posted a tweet bragging about his wedding night with Savannah. Many found it odd that he would expose such personal information to the world. "Don't understand why that's supposedly info for all of Twitter to know… yikes," tweeted a follower.
The Price of Fame
While the LaBrants have always celebrated a loving relationship with their fans, there have been times when they worried about their safety. One of their vlogs, titled Our Family is Being Harassed, showed the couple telling their viewers the story of an anonymous person that was ordering pizzas, by using the LaBrants' identity.
Initially, Cole and Savannah thought it was a joke that someone was trying to order a pizza for them without paying for it, but when it kept happening at weird hours of they night, they started to worry. Eventually, the pizzas were being sent to Everleigh's school, and the couple decided to contact the police.
After a full investigation, Savannah and Cole were told by the police that it was a case of identity theft. They assured the family that they would continue to monitor the situation and told them not to worry. The couple has not provided an update about the situation since.
Cole faced further backlash just last year after posting a now-deleted tweet of an incident viewers found extremely offensive. The caption read: "This is my adopted cousin, Peanut, helping girls get off and back ON the swings." Many argued that it was disturbing to watch a child being used as a stepping stool. The video was taken down.
Cole Asked Selena Gomez to Prom
Fans also came across some of Cole's old videos, before Savannah was in the picture, where he made his best efforts to get Selena Gomez to go with him to prom. "My senior year came around and I was like 'Oh, prom's two months away and I have nobody in mind," said Cole. "And I thought I'd ask Selena Gomez."
He decided to use his big following to get her attention. Cole made a video that took about 10 days to film. "I took her most popular songs and mashed them into one mega song video type thing, and at the end of the video I asked her to prom." This was actually one of his first videos posted to Youtube.
Cole's promposal to Selena Gomez raked in thousands of views and after a few days, Selena Gomez received thousands of comments from fans asking her to make Cole's dream come true. "I was like 'Oh snap, this is for real,'" admitted LaBrant. The video then got shared by Ryan Seacrest, as well as Perez Hilton.
"The video got picked up by like Teen Vogue magazine, and it was on Billboard, and E! News called me and did a story on it and actually put it on TV," said Cole. He eagerly awaited for her response, "I really started to get my hopes up," he admitted. However, it didn't go the way he'd planned.
Rejected by Selena Gomez
"I received a phonecall from like someone who was a part of her team," explained Cole. At the time, Selena Gomez was dating Zedd and they were apparently working on a new music video campaign and a new song. Her assistant told Cole that although Selena thought the video was cute, she was too busy.
Cole photoshopped a few pictures of him and Selena at prom, leading many fans to believe that they actually did go together. However, Cole admitted in his Prom With Selena Gomez Story! video that it never happened. "I never heard from Selena, she never wrote me, nothing," said Cole.
Who is The LaBrant Family?
So, whether you love them or hate them, the LaBrant Family doesn't seem to be going anywhere. As their family and fanbase continue to grow, we're sure that we haven't even seen the best of them just yet. Brands line up just to collaborate with them and fans eagerly await their next post.
It's no secret that these vloggers are making millions of dollars from their social media accounts. And with a following this loyal, it begs only one question. Are these overnight celebrities really who we think they are when the camera turns off? Well, watch this space folks, we have a feeling there's more tea on the way.