Robert Tallent is a YouTube sensation with over 50 million subscribers who has built a fan base through the platform by doing more than just posting singing clips. His channel — which is called “Mr. Tallent” — is dedicated to performing covers of popular songs, from Michael Jackson to Mariah Carey, and performing dance routines to them. At a time when there are many people posting videos to YouTube just to be on the receiving end of this kind of star treatment, Tallent is unusual in that he’s doing everything else — including singing and dancing — in the video instead of just reposting other people’s work. A comedian, Tallent gets an idea from an idea, and does the most popular thing that has taken people’s attention, but he doesn’t have to do it himself. Other people do the singing and dancing for him.
“It’s a strange thing to be known for, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Tallent told Mashable in a recent interview.
His endless stream of video has earned him a large following — with over 50 million subscribers watching his uploads — which he says he doesn’t mind.
“I don’t find it work-like or competitive. If somebody’s happy, I’m happy,” he said.
His music channel isn’t Tallent’s first online connection. The YouTube video star used to write comedy for the Chicago Tribune’s newscasts as a graduate student at Northwestern University. “I used to be a news reporter back in 2008,” he said. “I thought the job description would say ‘stay above water’, so I might as well find a way to actually do it.”
But while Tallent is happy to have a substantial audience and the riches that come with being one of YouTube’s biggest success stories, he still doesn’t feel like he’s earning anything.
“I love this,” he told Mashable. “I love the art of YouTube. I love the creativity. I don’t feel entitled to anything.”