The Rise of YouTube Star David Dobrik
| LAST UPDATE 07/18/2021
David Dobrik went from a teenage Viner to a millionaire influencer. But his journey to fame wasn't free of scandal. Here's a look into the famous YouTuber's glamorous, and sometimes dramatic, life.
A Bright Future
On July 23rd, 1996, the Dobrik family welcomed their baby boy, David, into the world. The future YouTube star was born in Kosice, Slovakia, and lived there until he moved to the United States in 2002.
When David was six years old, he and his family moved from the European country to a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Dobrik lived with his parents, two sisters named Esther and Sarah, and a brother named Toby. The young immigrant had a happy childhood and was a comedic star early on.
It Started With a Vine
In 2013, David posted his first video on Vine. The since-deleted app gave the young man a space to show off his sense of humor through short clips. While the internet would soon fall in love with Dobrik's videos, one could say his comedy career started long before that.
You see, David was the class clown of his grade. He was the kid who always tried to make his friends, classmates, and teachers chuckle. With practical pranks and jokes, Dobrik brought laughter everywhere he went. Even so, it's unlikely anyone predicted what would come of these short videos.
"That's the Key"
Although success eventually came knocking, David wasn't thinking about the millions he would eventually earn as he created his content. "I was just doing it for my own enjoyment," David told teen magazine J-14. "I just made fun videos with my friends."
But it's this exact energy that Dobrik later accredited to his success. "That's the key," he said. "If people see that you're passionate about what you're creating, they're going to enjoy it." It wasn't long before it became abundantly clear that people did, indeed, enjoy David's videos.
Nearly a year after sharing his first Vine, David graduated from Vernon Hills. It was 2014, and his popularity on social media was on the rise. Dobrik spent much of his time on the app, posting and editing his content, and it soon became more than a simple hobby.
When David graduated from high school, he wanted to follow his passions, and continue making online content as a full-time career. But his parents had their doubts about this new world of online fame. They told Dobrik he had to go to college or move out.
Panic in Los Angeles
David ditched college and chased his dreams instead. He and three friends moved to Los Angeles, and they quickly realized following their passions was easier said than done. Shortly after arriving in California, the newcomers had a reality check when faced with a grocery shopping bill.
"We were at the grocery store and buying peanut butter and bread, and other groceries and the total came to $25," David recalled. "I looked at my friend and said, 'I don't know if we can do this.' And he was very confident in the beginning, but he said, 'I had no idea it was going to be like this.' It was just this moment of panic."
A Young Entrepreneur
David believed in himself, but his personal Vine account wasn't making a lot of profit. So to support himself financially, he came up with a creative solution and ran various accounts under different names. For example, Dobrik had a sports account where he uploaded sports clips and sold revines on that profile.
"I was making like $1,500 or $2,000 a month, and I was thinking, 'I'm loaded! I can't believe this,'" David shared. "I would go to Jimmy Johns every day and sometimes get two #5 Vitos (sandwich meals) because I didn't even care!" Little did he know, that was only the tip of the iceberg.
From Vine To YouTube
Not long after Dobrik arrived in Los Angeles, Vine was nearing the end of its existence. Many of the influencers on the video app transitioned to YouTube. But while the more popular Viners rented sets and invested large amounts on their videos, David wanted to do something different.
Lucky for him, it was around this time that he met Liza Koshy. "She was filming a vlog, and I really liked that it was a small camera and you could just record your whole day," David said. "That was so cool!" So Dobrik gave the recording method a shot.
He Fell in Love
When David met Liza, he was impressed by more than her vlogging skills. Dobrik finally got the courage to ask her out on a date a whole four months after their initial meet! By then, the duo were already best friends, and sparks flew on the first date.
While they both fell quickly, they were more cautious about sharing their relationship with fans. Finally, for their half-year anniversary, David made their romance public on an Instagram post. "Happy 6 monthiversary to my best friend of 10 months," he wrote.
YouTube's Favorite Couple
While Liza and David's YouTube channels were steadily growing, the pair pretty much shot to fame when they began creating together. People loved watching the young couple's adventures. Their chemistry was just as strong on-screen as behind the cameras.
As David's followers grew exponentially, it seemed that his love for Liza did, too. Every couple of months, he took to Instagram to wish her a happy anniversary and share a romantic message about the love of his life. The hundreds of thousands of likes made it clear the internet loved this adorable power couple.
The Creation of the Vlog Squad
But Liza wasn't the only person featured in many of David's videos. Since the start of his Vine account in high school, Dobrik loved to include his friends in his content. Once in Los Angeles, that tradition continued as the YouTube star met other creators.
It wasn't long before the entrepreneur gave his crew an official name: The Vlog Squad. Many people were part of the squad as they guest-starred on Dobrik's vlogs, but some of the usual members included Jason Nash, Zane Hijazi, and Nickelodeon star Josh Peck.
An Unstoppable Crew
Made up of some of YouTube's freshest and funniest faces, The Vlog Squad rocketed to success. Fans loved the group's chaotic energy and hilarious jokes. The crew was a success; they even worked with some of Hollywood's biggest A-listers, including Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner.
David went from fearing a $25 grocery store bill to one of YouTube's favorite icons. It seemed that fans loved him and The Vlog Squad almost as much as they loved Liza and David. But things weren't as great as they appeared. Viewers would soon find out there was trouble in paradise.
A Very Public Breakup
In June 2018, Dobrik posted a video titled we broke up to his YouTube channel. No, it wasn't clickbait for his millions of followers. It was the simple truth; he and Koshy called it quits. "We are broken up - Liza broke up with me six months ago," David admitted.
"It wasn't healthy for us to continue being together for now," he continued. In an emotional video, Liza and David told their fans that they broke up but still loved each other immensely. A few months after the shocking announcement, fans were once again heartbroken, but for a totally different reason.
David Wasn't in YouTube Rewind 2018
When YouTube published an 8-minute video titled YouTube Rewind 2018, some viewers were shocked to see one specific face missing. While celebrities, including the likes of Will Smith and gamer Tyle "Ninja" Blevins, appeared in the clip, David was noticeably missing.
"I have to clear the air," Dobrik said after the video was released. "I was asked to be in it... I couldn't make it. I'm sorry." David went on to criticize the rewind's use of a big set and A-list celebs. "You need, literally, a compilation - you can steal clips from other videos, and it'll still be a good Rewind," Dobrik said.
David Wanted to Stop Vlogging
If followers were shocked when Dobrik was nowhere to be found in the YouTube Rewind, eyebrows were definitely raised by the influencer's next big reveal. David, one of the internet's most beloved content creators, admitted that he wanted to stop vlogging.
Dobrik told his followers that he intended to leave the world of vlogging after reaching just over 400 videos. So why didn't he? "I couldn't stop vlogging because I literally had no other job," David explained. The star went on to discuss a failed business deal.
A Rejected Netflix Pitch
Dobrik hoped to quit vlogging and embark on a new adventure: His own Netflix series. David dreamed of a show titled David's Frat House, which would feature him and other Vlog Squad members as they go "through the school system without actually going to school," David explained.
The YouTuber added, "Cuz none of my friends ever went to college - or me." Sadly, David's Frat House was turned down by the streaming site. But Dobrik's mind was soon preoccupied with something else, as he was dragged into some surprising influencer drama.
Trisha Called David "Horrible"
While it seemed that some online celebrities were always involved in scandal or fights, that wasn't usually David's style. Even his breakup was drama free! Dobrik was rarely problematic and was pretty much always smiling. But that changed in February of 2019.
In an emotional 19-minute video, YouTube star Trisha Paytas bashed David and his Vlog Squad. "David's on a whole other level of being an actual, horrible person," she said in the since-deleted video. "It hurts me and also disgusts me." So what exactly happened between the two stars?
A Questionable Video
Just a few days before Trisha shared her thoughts, Dobrik posted some content that involved Payta's then-boyfriend, Jason Nash. In two different videos, David filmed the Vlog Squad member with famous influencer Tana Mongeau. The two were seen flirting, and Dobrik seemed to encourage it.
At one point, Mongeau asked Nash why he is interested in her, to which Dobrik answered, "Because he likes broken girls." According to Trisha, these vlogs caused her to call it quits with Nash. She blamed her ex-boyfriend and his partner in crime, David, for the breakup.
Is It Real or Is It for Clout?
As the drama developed, apparently leaving many broken hearts along the way, some followers questioned how much of it was real. Was the scandal just a publicity stunt for attention? It seemed that some viewers thought so. "She just wants more clout," commented one user.
Another subscriber said, "It was just blown out of proportion; and most probably in a weeks time, Jason and Trisha will be back together." But whether it was for clout or for real, the former couple stayed broken up. Thankfully, David's fans didn't seem to blame him for the split.
"I'm Literally, Like, Constricted by the Videos"
Dobrik's fans stood by him through the Trisha/Jason drama. But many of them were likely shocked by what the star said not long after the scandal blew over. "I'm literally, like, constricted by the videos," David admitted to his fans as he spoke about his vlogging.
"I just need more time to do other stuff," he continued. "I go to bed at 7:00 AM when I'm editing because I can't do anything else. I just need to be on a healthier cycle." Surprising some loyal followers, Dobrik announced he would reduce his weekly content to make time for other opportunities.
A Scandalous Lie Detector Test
Not long after the big announcement, David starred in Vanity Fair's Lie Detector Test video series. The YouTube star appeared nervous as he was asked a series of personal questions. Then came some funny inquiries, like whether David thought Drake Bell was more attractive than Josh Peck.
After that is when things got a bit more... dramatic. "Are there any YouTubers that you think are sellouts?" the host asked David as a photo of the notorious Logan Paul was set on the table. Looking at the shot, Dobrik answered, "Yes. Major sellout. The biggest."
A Huge Honor
Despite, or maybe because of, an arguably more dramatic year than ever before, 2019 was a huge milestone for Dobrik. He was the fifth-most viewed creator on YouTube in 2019! The boy who left home to chase his dreams made it big on the internet and in Hollywood.
That same year, David hosted the People's Choice Awards to honor the best in pop culture. He stood on the stage with the likes of Lucy Hale and John Stamos, giving awards to some of Hollywood's biggest names. And as we all know, with more fame comes more money.
The Slovakian American YouTuber came to California with big dreams and little cash. Even his parents advised against the move, scared their son wouldn't make it in the tough world of Los Angeles. But after a few years, Dobrik's hard work paid off in the millions.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Dobrik's net worth is about $15 million! Not surprisingly, the star was amongst YouTube's highest-paid celebrities. The boy from humble beginnings was now a millionaire. So what exactly did all of this money buy him?
A Multi-Million Dollar House
Well, among other things, Dobrik spent part of his newfound fortune on a gorgeous piece of real estate. In 2020, David bought a sprawling mansion for $9.5 million. The house's listing described it as a "Brand new architectural masterpiece designed to make the everyday extraordinary."
The epic home has panoramic views of Los Angeles and a gorgeous pool. The 7,800 square feet interior has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a few incredible living rooms, a movie theater, a gym, and a spa. The mansion was perfect for Dobrik and his crew.
Lots of Cars
As of April 2020, Dobrik not only owned a few cars but gave away plenty more to loved ones. Thanks to a partnership with SeatGeek, the YouTube star got a self-driving Tesla, and some of his friends did, too! In total, David gifted over 15 luxury automobiles.
We won't list all of the gifted cars, but some notable mentions include three matching Mercedes for David's childhood best friends, a Mercedes van for his best friend Jason Nash's mom, a blue BMW for his dad, and multiple cars for his assistant. Dobrik even gifted a red mustang to a lucky fan!
While Vine and YouTube were undoubtedly the foundation of Dobrik's career, his wealth came from other ventures, too. In 2018, David and Vlog Squad member Jason Nash started a podcast called Views. The two friends discussed vlogging and behind-the-scene secrets.
The podcast was also an opportunity for Dobrik to branch out from vlogging and practice his interviewing skills with special guests. David and Jason eventually moved the successful series from YouTube to Apple Podcasts and Spotify. In the meantime, the YouTuber worked on other passion projects.
Other Business Ventures
Aside from a podcast, David also created CLICKBAIT, a merch store that sells everything from phone cases to sweatshirts. The store has nine different collections, many of which are modeled by David and his friends. That's not all the entrepreneur has up his sleeve.
In 2020, he released David's Disposable. The photo-taking app was inspired by the star's second Instagram account, which contains retro-style photos taken on disposable cameras. "I'm bringing my iconic disposable camera to your phone, so you can easily take high-quality film photos just like me!" David announced.
Things Took a Turn for the Worse
On June 2, 2020, David's friend and Vlog Squad member Seth Francois posted a video titled "Accountability" to all Content Creators. "I'm about to play a video, and there are some very offensive clips," Francois said. "I first off just really want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this type of content."
Seth went on to show content created by David and the rest of the Vlog Squad that he considered insensitive and racist. Francois explained he did not want to ruin anyone's reputation; he simply wanted to create dialogue and educate. Nonetheless, it was not a good look for Dobrik, and fans awaited his response.
Dobrik stayed silent for some time until he finally addressed the allegations on his podcast, Views, with Jason Nash. The star said he was "ashamed," "embarrassed," and "genuinely feels awful" for the old content. David then went on to apologize to his millions of fans.
"If there was a kid who saw something from me that didn't make them feel welcome, or just made them feel uncomfortable, I'm- I'm sorry," Dobrik said. "I didn't ever mean to make anyone feel out of place." So did his upset followers accept the apology?
Apology Not Accepted
While some were content with Dobrik's response, others felt it didn't go far enough. "That David Dobrik apology was NOT IT! ... Why did you even think that those 3 minutes of your podcast would have been enough?" Asked one person. Others wondered why David didn't apologize on one of his more popular platforms.
"#DavidDobrik I like you bro but that was the weakest a** apology anyone has ever made. You need to mention names and videos with direct apologies. Such is life as an influencer," tweeted another user. Seth Francois then echoed these sentiments with a response video titled How to deliver a proper Apology.
Despite some scandals and downfalls, it doesn't seem that David will be slowing down anytime soon. The YouTube veteran is staying relevant as he collaborates with influencers like Addison Rae and Hollywood icons, including the likes of Sasha Baron Cohen and Leonardo Dicaprio.
"One of the things I still sometimes realize is how absolutely, crazy lucky I am," Dobrik told Paper Magazine. "I have the best job in the world, so I can't complain." It seems that everywhere he goes, David brings laughter and smiles. Oh, and occasionally a free car or two.