Born Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, PewDiePie is one of pop culture’s most polarizing figures. He’s YouTube’s leading man, shouldering the brunt of the site's popularity, while also having his fair share of criticism. He’s been praised as a leader for a new generation of content creators and has undoubtedly changed how many online users get their entertainment. His fans –dubbed the “Bro Army”– are some of the most devoted fans online, and are a huge reason he’s as big as he is and their numbers grow daily. Say what you will about him, but there’s a reason why he’s managed to become so successful in such a relatively short amount of time.
Once you become a celebrity, every obscure and otherwise irrelevant factoid gets put out in the open for all to see. It’s especially true for these YouTube stars as part of what makes them so popular is how well they connect with their fans. PewDiePie has become such a large name due to how loyal a fan base he’s amassed, and it’s the number one reason why he’s YouTube’s most subscribed user. If you were hoping to learn a little more about one of the marquee names in online entertainment then you’re in luck. Here are 15 awesome things you didn’t know about PewDiePie.
15 He Ran For “King Of The Web” In 2012
As big as he is now, it might be strange to think of PewDiePie as anything but the megastar he is today. But at one point in time, PewDiePie was just another guy on YouTube, looking to get some attention for his channel. One thing he did to achieve that was running for “King of the Web” in 2012. An American Idol type of internet program, “King of the Web” worked with real-time voting and instant commentary. While most of us might not be familiar with the platform, it presented aspiring YouTubers an opportunity to get their name’s out there – even PewDiePie as weird as that seems right now. Ultimately, it looks like things worked out pretty well for him.
14 He’s Raised A Ton Of Money For Charity
One thing we know about any big name celebrity is that they bring in a ton of cash. Some would say that these people make too much money, but you’ve got to consider that these people work pretty hard for their money. YouTube has evolved from a simple video sharing platform to a way in which individuals can gain both recognition and a means of supporting themselves. A few years ago, fans found out just how much PewDiePie was making, and it was mind blowing. But that doesn’t all go in his pockets as he’s heavily involved in charity work. In 2015 he raised $1 million for charity according to Forbes. Last year, his “Cringemas” live stream raised over $1.3 million for the non-profit organization (RED). Say what you will about the guy, but he does his part.
13 He’s An Award Winning Vlogger
While he remains as one of the most popular personalities on the internet, PewDiePie has received his fair share of controversy and criticism. Early on in his career, his content was heavily scrutinized, but as he’s gotten older it’s actually gotten much more professional in quality. What most seem to overlook about him though is that he’s actually part of a new generation of award-winning vloggers on YouTube. Most of us just see the platform as a way of killing time, but the creators on the site put a ton of work into making sure that their content is the best it could be. Among the awards, he’s won is the inaugural Starcount Social Star award for the most popular social show. Pretty impressive, right?
12 Games Sell Better When He Plays Them
Though his content is a little different now compared to when he first blew up, PewDiePie’s biggest draw is still playing games. From Amnesia to Happy Wheels tons of gamers had their first introductions to some popular titles through his channel. Some of his most popular videos happen to be indie titles, and while you could argue that he’s had the kind of career he’s had because of these titles, a lot of these games are as popular as they are now because of him. It seems that PewDiePie has the “Oprah Effect” when it comes to video games. They just do better when he plays them. Not surprising considering his following, but a cool little factoid nonetheless.
11 He Had To Move When A Fan Found His Address
It’s a very common thing, sadly enough. As soon as someone achieves a certain amount of fame they draw the attention of a plethora of different people. While gaining a large fan base is very beneficial to celebrities, it can also turn dangerous when some of those individuals are a little too committed. Though he was born in Sweden, PewDiePie now lives in England. Some fans actually succeeded in finding his address and it weirded the YouTube star out. In a statement he made shortly after moving, Pewds said, “We actually moved, and yes, again. We're still in the UK after all and I don't think you bro's need to know exactly where I live. If I wanted you bro's to know where I lived, I'd tell you my address.” That’s a pretty clear-cut message.
10 He Met His Girlfriend Through His Videos
For those of you that are really into his videos, you’ll recognize Marzia, PewDiePie’s girlfriend and occasional contributor to his videos. Marzia, who is a YouTube personality who goes by the name of CutiePie, hails from Italy and first heard about her future boyfriend like the rest of us did – through a friend. After initially seeing some of his videos, Marzia decided to contact him, and surprisingly he actually answered back. The two eventually got together and are currently living together. It’s a pretty nice story, to be honest. Coming off an entry on stalkers hunting him down, it’s nice to take a look at the good that being on YouTube has done for Pewds – and this is arguably the best thing that’s happened to him since he started his career.
9 He’s On Twitch Now Too
If you’ve been following the controversies surrounding YouTube in the last few months, you’ll notice that some of the sites biggest names are finding issue with how the sharing platform is handling both itself and treating its talent. Some are even calling this the death of YouTube and while that might be a bit of an overstatement, the times seem to be changing for many of the sites veterans. It’s not a great sign when your biggest star is experimenting with other platforms. But that’s what’s happening as PewDiePie now finds himself on Twitch. Though Twitch itself is not without its own controversies, it’ll be interesting to see how he approaches this new opportunity.
8 He Made Roughly $4 Million In 2013
We’ve already gone over how much money PewDiePie can bring in in a previous entry, but now let’s look at that metric in a little more detail. There’s a reason why he’s as well known as he is, not just among avid internet users but all sorts of demographics. All the attention he gets makes him an incredibly noteworthy celebrity, and like all big names in pop culture, Pewds makes a good deal of cash. When you consider all the guy does, and realize that it all started with a computer and a camera, the fact that he now brings in millions of dollars is kind of mind blowing. When it was first reported that in 2013 he brought in roughly $3 million in earnings, people really began to realize just how fruitful of a career this YouTube thing could be.
7 He’s Released A Book
At one point in time, all celebrities find a way to branch out in some way or another. Among the multitude of different mediums for these people to explore, a common pick is literature. Tons of famous people have books out there and most people usually gobble that up. So it’s no surprise to see one of the most successful YouTubers out there come out with a book of his own. PewDiePie released This Book Loves You back in October of 2015, and it quickly became popular among his die-hard fan base. As you’d expect, the book is yet another try at comedy by the YouTube mega star. It must have done alright because he’s due to release a graphic novel version sometime this year.
6 He’s Amassed Over 15 Billion Views
As soon as you click on a PewDiePie video the one thing that stands out is the incredible amount of views they get. It isn’t surprising seeing how far his celebrity has reached. But these videos easily cross the one million view mark in a matter of hours. As the highest subscribed YouTuber out there, Pewds has an incredible amount of people just waiting for his content to come out. The rate in which his fans consume his work is almost scary, and it’s a key reason as to why he’s as successful as he’s been over time. Still, 15 billion plus views is an almost unimaginable number. One more accolade for the guy to flaunt around, eh?
5 He Dropped Out Of University
Plenty of success stories start off like this. An individual has a hard time finding themselves and then, after some time, finds their niche and makes great waves because of it. His parents both being very successful in the business world, Pewds was expected to follow a similar path in life. In 2008 he enrolled in Chalmers University of Technology, lasting there three years before dropping out. While it was initially reported that he had done so to further his YouTube career, Pewds corrected this earlier this year saying, “I dropped out of university because I didn't like it. To drop out of university to pursue YouTube, that'd just be f***ing stupid.” Regardless, in the end, we all know that it paid off big time.
4 He Forgot His Original YouTube Account Information
It’s happened to all of us in one way or another. Forgetting your account information is an inevitable annoyance we’ve all dealt with at one point in time. But these things happen, even to a guy like PewDiePie. What you might not know is that his current “PewDiePie” channel was not his first on YouTube. Her actually forgot the account information to his first channel, “PewDie” and simply created a new one rather than retrieving the information. He added in “Pie” to the name and things soon after kicked off for him, which is why most people only know about the PewDiePie moniker.
3 His First Video Was Of Him And A Friend Playing Minecraft
We’ve all got to start somewhere, and while it might not seem like it – many big name stars all got their starts in obscurity. This is especially true for YouTubers as a lot of the most famous ones around today were just experimenting with the platform when it first came into prominence. Even Pewds has a video showcasing his beginnings on YouTube. It’s one that he’s long since removed but that you can probably find online if you look hard enough. The video consisted of him and a friend playing Minecraft together. The two were screwing around with a Zombie and a mine cart, and while it looks much different than what we’re used to seeing it does showcase the style he’d use later on in his career.
2 He Has His Own Games
As a guy who makes a living partially on playing games, it’d be safe to assume that PewDiePie loves the medium. So rather than just limit himself to playing them, Pewds also got his own game out there in the market. Legend of the Brofist is a 2D side scroller that encompasses much of the absurdity of Pewds’ actual content. The game features references to previous videos and features talented YouTubers such as Markiplier and JackSepticEye. Another game, PewDiePie’s Tube Simulator was released as a freemium app and was modeled after Game Dev Story, focusing solely on PewDiePie. These games, along with the aforementioned book prove just how big Pewds’ celebrity has grown in the time since he started out.
1 He Supported Himself By Selling Hot Dogs For A Time
Everyone has to start out somewhere, and success often means having to put up with some sacrifices. After leaving school Pewds soon moved on to gaming, particularly playing games and recording himself doing so. In order to support himself, he got a gig selling hot dogs –basically a minimum wage job in the fast food industry– and built himself up from there. But the process was a pretty difficult one, and something his parent’s didn’t necessarily agree with. In a radio interview, Pewds described how his parents felt about his new ambitions saying, “Dropping the news to my parents that I was skipping my ‘dream education’ at Chalmers to sit at home recording videos while playing video-games was not easy. My parents said that sitting at home playing video games all day won´t bring you anywhere in life. Thinking about it now, it was utterly absurd. To get into Chalmers for industrial economics you need straight A's, but somehow I was happier selling hot dogs and making my own gaming videos.” Whether you love him or hate him, his resolve has to impress you, at least a little bit.