If you love cooking, comedic timing, and brutal honesty – then you’ll love Kalen Allen! Want to know a little more about the food critic who’s been rising to internet fame? Read on for eight things you should know about the "Kalen Reacts" YouTube star.
1. He Always Wanted to Act
In light of his natural showmanship, this first fun fact comes as no surprise. “As a child, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say, ‘I want to be an actor,’” Kalen shared in a January Instagram post. Fame can be fun, but that isn’t the only reason he wanted to become an entertainer. “I wanted to inspire, motivate, and change lives,” he adds. “I wanted to be seen and remembered. I wanted a legacy.” You go, boy! We think he’s found the perfect outlet to entertain and inspire others.
2. His First Video was an Inside Joke
So how exactly did Kalen gain his online popularity? He literally did it over night! It all started when Kalen created his first video as a joke to share among friends, he shared on Ellen. Then the next day, he woke up to find six thousand people following him on Twitter. See, folks? It pays to be interesting and original!
3. He’s Inked a Deal with Ellen DeGeneres
Kalen has leveraged his talent to score some awesome opportunities – including signing a deal with Ellen. In addition to making more appearances on her show, you may have noticed some of his videos popping up on Ellen’s YouTube Channel. How does he feel to be working with the talk show host? Well, for starters he’s super appreciative. “For you to just be so open, and to give me this platform, and be so generous – it really has changed my life,” he gushed to Ellen in January. I’m so thankful and so grateful.”
4. He’s Still Getting Used to Stardom
While Kalen seems to enjoy the spotlight, it’s also taking him some getting used to – especially when people recognize him in the street. “When people see me out in public, and they say something, it still catches me off guard,” he admitted to Ellen in February. “I have social anxiety sometimes, so I never know what to say…It’s all very new.” Don’t be scurred, boo, you’re doing just fine!
5. His Mother and Grandmother Inspire Him
Get ready to say aaawww! Kalen recently opened up about how much his mother and late grandmother mean to him: “My mother always told me, our lives don’t belong to us. They belong to the people that believe in us, stand by us, and support us. I dedicate everything I do to those two women.” Someone grab us some Kleenex, please!
6. He’s Beyoncé’s Biggest Fan
If you follow Kalen on social media, you’d know he’s one of Beyoncé’s biggest supporters! But don’t just take our word for it. “I love Beyoncé, and I’m a Beyoncé specialist,” he proclaimed on Ellen. As a matter of fact, Kalen loves the diva so much he even christened his hammock “Sasha” — named after Beyoncé’s alter ego Sasha Fierce. Still questioning his love for singer? He also affectionately calls Blue Ivy his “god sister.” Aw, we think he’d make the perfect big brother for Blue!
7. He Prefers Simple Cooking
Kalen can be a tough food critic, and never holds back if he doesn’t like something. But what kind of food does he personally enjoy cooking? “I’m more of a homestyle, traditional kind of cook,” he told Ellen. “I don’t like adding extra seasonings. I don’t like being all extra with stuff.” Hey, nothing wrong with keeping it simple!
8. He Celebrates Individuality
We love Kalen’s videos, but we also love his individuality – which he urges others to express fearlessly, too. “I strongly encourage being one’s most authentic self,” Kalen announced on Instagram. “If you are happy with yourself, by your terms alone, that’s all that matters!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Now stop what you’re doing and head to Kalen’s YouTube channel to binge-watch all his videos! You’ll thank us later.