Franta in 2016
|Born||Connor Joel Franta|
September 12, 1992
|Residence||West Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Vlogger, writer, entrepreneur|
(March 11, 2019)
|Total views||426.6 million|
(March 11, 2019)
|Updated March 11, 2019|
As of September 2018, his self-named main channel on YouTube has over 5.5 million subscribers. Franta was formerly a member of YouTube group Our Second Life (stylized Our2ndLife and O2L) under the Fullscreen Network, but is now an independent member of the Big Frame network, managed by Andrew Graham.
Franta has recently become involved in various entrepreneurial enterprises, including a clothing line, music curation, as well as a coffee and lifestyle brand named Common Culture. His debut book, a memoir titled A Work in Progress, was released on April 21, 2015. In July 2015, details of Heard Well, a record label Franta co-founded, were announced.
Early life and education
Connor Joel Franta was born in Wisconsin, to Peter and Cheryl Franta, a physician and homemaker, respectively. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to La Crescent, Minnesota. He, his older brother Dustin, older sister Nicola, and younger brother Brandon were raised as Roman Catholics.
Franta attended St. Peter's Catholic School, Hokah, Minnesota, from elementary school through 8th grade. As a child, he was overweight, leading his mother to sign him up for a YMCA swimming team. He ran cross country while attending La Crescent High School, where he graduated in 2011. He studied business at the Roman Catholic College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University (Collegeville, Minnesota). In his sophomore year, he added an arts minor, with an emphasis on films.
Inspired by other YouTube vloggers such as Shane Dawson and Mitchell Davis, Franta uploaded his first video to YouTube in August 2010. He has more than 400 million views on his channel and over 5.5 million subscribers, making it the 158th most subscribed channel in the world.
In 2012, he joined a collaboration channel known as "Our2ndLife" (or O2L for short) along with 5 other YouTube personalities (Kian Lawley, Trevor Moran, Justin "JC" Caylen, Ricky Dillon and Sam Pottorff) which helped him gain popularity. He announced his departure from the group in July 2014 due to personal issues.
In 2014, Franta was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the "Web Star: Male" category, but lost to Tyler Oakley. He has made cameo appearances in the 2014 and 2015 YouTube Rewind videos, a tribute by YouTube to the year's most popular videos on the website.
In 2015, Franta was again nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the "Entertainer of the Year" category and in the "Choice YouTuber" category, but lost to Cameron Dallas and Bethany Mota respectively. He also was nominated for a Streamy Award in the "Audience Choice Entertainer of the Year" category. In October 2015, Franta appeared as a featured celebrity at StreamCon which took place in New York City.
The Thirst Project
Franta celebrated his 22nd birthday in 2014 by launching a fundraising campaign for The Thirst Project to build water wells for people in Swaziland. He set a goal of raising of $120,000 within a month by offering fans incentives such as T-shirts, posters, an acknowledgement in one of his videos and a Skype call with him. Within 48 hours, fans raised over US$75,000 and met the original $120,000 goal in 10 days. By the end the month, the campaign raised over $230,000. He later visited Swaziland to see the wells the donations helped build. Franta received the Governor's Award for his work at the Thirst Project's 6th Annual Thirst Gala on June 30, 2015.
Franta launched a second campaign for his 23rd birthday with the goal of raising $180,000 in 30 days. When the campaign closed in October 2015, he had raised more than $191,000 dollars, which contributed to the building of 16 water wells in Swaziland.
On November 11, 2014, Franta released a compilation album, Crown, Vol. 1, of songs from his choice of up-and-coming musicians. The album charted on the Billboard 200. A second compilation was released under Franta's Common Culture brand on March 3, 2015, followed by a third compilation on July 24, 2015, a fourth on December 25, 2015, and a fifth on April 28, 2016.
In July 2015, it was announced that Franta had started a record label, Heard Well, in partnership with his manager Andrew Graham and Jeremy Wineberg of music distribution and licensing company Opus Label (through which Franta's first two compilations were released). Variety described Heard Well as "a music label focused on producing compilation albums featuring undiscovered artists as curated by digital 'influencers.'" Amanda Steele, Anthony Quintal (Lohanthony), and Jc Caylen are the first digital stars signed to put together compilations.
In February 2015, Franta released his own line of coffee, called Common Culture Coffee. The coffee was produced in collaboration with LA Coffee Club and $1 from each bag of coffee sold was donated to The Thirst Project.
Franta spent over a year writing his memoir, A Work in Progress, which talks about moments from his life since birth and personal stories. It was released on April 21, 2015. Accompanying the release of the book, Franta had a book tour in the United States with appearances in Minnesota, Houston, Orlando, New York City, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds in the United Kingdom, and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth in Australia. The book spent 16 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and sold over 200,000 copies.
In January 2017, Franta announced he would be releasing his second book, Note to Self, on April 18, 2017. The book features essays, stories, poetry and photography by Franta about issues including clinical depression, social anxiety, breakups, and self-love. Franta said "If my first book, A Work in Progress, was a reflection of my external life so far, then this follow-up is a reflection of my internal life."
On December 8, 2014, Franta came out as gay in a YouTube video, stating he has accepted who he is and is "happy with that person". He also spoke on the help he got from others on the Internet, and wanted to give people struggling with their sexuality similar advice. This six-minute long video, titled "Coming Out", has over 12 million views and over 949,000 likes, being the second most viewed video on Franta's channel as of June 19, 2018.
- Votta, Rae (June 22, 2016). "The Tao of Connor Franta". The Daily Dot. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
- Weiss, Geoff (December 18, 2014). "How YouTube Megastar Connor Franta Is Channeling His Eclectic Passions into Entrepreneurial Gold". Entrepreneur. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
- Franta, Connor (2015). A Work in Progress. Simon and Schuster Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-1476791616.
- "Connor Franta Says Farewell to His 2nd Life". TheVideoInk. July 8, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- Haines, Reyne. "Celebrity vs. Social Influencer". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- Spangler, Todd. "YouTube Star Connor Franta Launches Music Label (Exclusive)". Retrieved August 1, 2015.
- Henry, Ryan. "A Frantastic ride". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- Franta, Connor (2015). A Work in Progress. Simon and Schuster Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-1476791616.
- Franta family details, spencerowen.com; accessed March 29, 2016.
- Franta, Connor (2015). A Work in Progress. Simon and Schuster Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-1476791616.
- Tucker, Adam. "Internet Sensation". Saint Benedict's/Saint John's Magazine. Collegeville, Minnesota, USA: College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University (Spring 2013): 10–11. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "ConnorFranta YouTube Channel Stats, Subscriber Statistics, Ranking". VidStatsX. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- "Top 500 YouTubers Filtered by Subscribers – Socialblade YouTube Stats | YouTube Statistics". socialblade.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- ""Unhappy" Connor Franta Leaves YouTube Supergroup Our 2nd Life". TubeFilter. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (October 8, 2014). "Teen Choice Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- Griffin, Andrew (December 9, 2014). "YouTube Rewind: Vloggers team up to re-create a year of viral videos". The Independent. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- Falcone, Dana Rose (December 9, 2015). "Karlie Kloss, Glozell, iJustine, and more team up for YouTube Rewind 2015". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- "5th Annual Winners & Nominees". Retrieved September 26, 2015.
- Lamour, Joseph (September 18, 2015). "2015 Streamys Winners: Find Out Who Took Home An Award Here". MTV News. MTV. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Connor Franta | Stream Con NYC". streamconnyc.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
- "List: Who won People's Choice Awards?". USA Today. January 6, 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
- "We Day Toronto| Connor-Franta.com | Connor Franta Fan Site | Connor Franta Website | Connor Franta News | A Work In Progress | #ConnorFrantaBook | YouTuber". Connor Franta | Connor-Franta.com | Connor Franta Fan Site | Connor Franta Website | Connor Franta News | A Work In Progress | #ConnorFrantaBook | YouTuber. October 20, 2016. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "How One Guy Used YouTube To Get Thousands of Teens To Donate $75,000 To Charity". BusinessInsider. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- Ford, Rebecca; Jarvey, Natalie (June 2, 2015). "Wyck Godfrey, Connor Franta to Be Honored at Thirst Project Gala (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
- Brouwer, Bree (September 14, 2015). "Connor Franta Launches Second Birthday Fundraising Campaign for the Thirst Project". Tubefilter. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "Win a Coffee Date in L.A. with Connor Franta". Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- "YouTube star Connor Franta's strange rise on the Billboard Top 200". DailyDot. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
- Brouwer, Bree (March 3, 2015). "Connor Franta Debuts Second Compilation Album 'Common Culture'". TubeFilter. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- Price, Lydia (July 24, 2015). "VidCon 2015: Connor Franta Releases New Compilation Album Through His Own Label". People. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- Spangler, Todd (July 16, 2015). "YouTube Star Connor Franta Launches Music Label (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- Baladad, Portia. "Connor Franta Launches His New Coffee Line, Common Coffee Culture". AndPop. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- "Connor Franta Debuts His Own Line of Locally-Roasted Coffee". tubefilter. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
- Brown, Nick (February 6, 2015). "YouTube Star and LA Coffee Club Collaborate for Common Culture Coffee Line". Daily Coffee News. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- Carleen (June 17, 2015). "Connor Franta Launches Limited Edition Clothing Line". PopWrapped. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- "Connor Franta Shop". Common Culture Store. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- "Connor Franta Announces His Latest Secret: 'I Wrote a Book!'". People.com. March 10, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Connor Franta brings book tour to UK Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, clickplaymagazine.co.uk; accessed June 6, 2015.
- "ANDPOP | Connor Franta Wrote A Book And Told No One About It – Until Now". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- Richwine, Lisa (September 2, 2015). "Young and quirky YouTube stars lift traditional book publishers". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- Weiss, Geoff (January 17, 2017). "Connor Franta To Cover Clinical Depression, Lost Love In Second Book 'Note To Self'". TubeFilter. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- Gomez, Patrick (January 17, 2017). "Connor Franta Finally Reveals His Super-Secret Project". People. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- "YouTube star Connor Franta comes out as gay in video". TheGuardian. Retrieved December 26, 2014.