At just 19 years old, James Charles is one of the biggest names in the YouTube beauty industry. But following his recent fallout with former friend, mentor and fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook amid allegations of sexual predatory behavior, Charles — who at one point had 16 million YouTube followers — has lost over 3 million subscribers (and counting) in the past three days.
Although the majority of Charles’ fans are teenagers, people of all ages are now discovering him after Westbrook’s accusations sparked the #JamesCharlesIsCancelled hashtag to trend on social media. (A rep for Charles has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
But before Charles boasted millions of fans (or as he likes to call them, his “sisters”) and befriended stars like Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner and Katy Perry, he was simply a makeup-loving teen from Bethlehem, New York. Below, we look back at Charles’ career rise and fallout in the spotlight.
RELATED: James Charles Loses 3 Million Followers in Wake of Feud with Fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook
December 2015 – James Starts His YouTube Channel
Charles captured everyone’s attention with his masterful skill and artistry when he first started making YouTube videos in late 2015 at 16 years old.
He quickly garnered thousands of followers thanks to his wildly popular tutorials, from glitter festival makeup to a blue brown serpent look.
October 2016 – James Becomes the First Male CoverGirl
View this post on Instagram
Just wrapped another great @COVERGIRL shoot. Honored to have the pleasure to announce the very first COVERBOY, James Charles! Follow him @JCharlesBeauty! #COVERGIRLJames #glam
A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on Oct 10, 2016 at 10:52pm PDT
Charles made history when he was 17 by being named the first male brand ambassador for CoverGirl. At the time, he had 427,000 followers, but the publicity he received from CoverGirl’s platform helped him gain even more fame.
A representative from CoverGirl confirmed that Charles’ contract with the brand ended in October 2017.
RELATED: Social Media Star James Charles Is Named First Male CoverGirl
November 2016 – James Appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
After becoming landing his prestigious CoverGirl contact, Charles made a major television appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he opened up about coming out as gay to his parents at age 12.
“It was easy for me. Everyone was very supportive,” he said.
February 2017 – James Slammed for Offensive Comments
I will no longer support your company as long as he’s on the campaign. This was stereotypical & degrading to Africa. @COVERGIRL @COVERGIRL pic.twitter.com/RpgMp1lqfg
— HTX MUA PARI$ HEELTON (@ImTheBombDotCom) February 16, 2017
A little more than a year after launching his YouTube channel, Charles faced his first controversy when he tweeted offensive remarks about Africa. The tweet read: “‘I can’t believe we’re going to Africa today omg what if we get Ebola?’ ‘James we’re fine we could’ve gotten it at chipotle last year’ ….”
His followers immediately called him out for the ignorant …read more