Performing for large audiences is no new concept for the Sharpe family.
Prior to their fame on the short-form video app TikTok, Ron and Barbra Sharpe met and fell in love while performing for audiences as Marius and Cosette in the original Broadway production of Les Miserables. After more than a thousand onstage marriages, the two decided to bring the ceremony offstage. They expanded their family with four kids, the youngest two being twins, and shared their love of music and theatre with them.
“It is always a difficult path to be in the entertainment business,” Ron says. “Barbra and I have always performed on stage so I’m sure the kids felt like it wasn’t a big deal to perform onstage because that’s what mom and dad do!” He explains how they never forced their kids into music, but rather their love for the craft came naturally. “Samantha was 12, Logan 15, and the twins around 7 when they each said, ‘I want to sing and act and be a performer,’” he says.
With their dreams laid out on the table, the Sharpe Family Singers came to be – the family touring the country to perform a show featuring Broadway hits, both past and current, Disney features, blockbuster movie musical numbers, and more.
Over the past year, the family has been sharing their talents on the popular short-video app, TikTok. With each video, they harness their incredible vocals to execute song challenges, remixes, and covers.
“Logan and his cousin Kenny were introduced to the TikTok app and showed Samantha. Samantha decided to create a family page and start posting singing videos!” the family recalls. “They let their parents and the twins join in the fun. The rest is history!”
Though the account was created in November of 2019, the family really got into the app in January, just prior to COVID-19 striking the country and mandating quarantines in multiple states. Within just a month, after their video singing Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in the car had gone viral, the family celebrated over 350,000 followers on the app. About two weeks later, they celebrated 500,000 followers with a hilarious video about difficulties of obtaining hand sanitizer. Since then, they have gained nearly 4 million followers and almost 65 million likes on their videos.
Mom was amazed when a little girl said she loved us and it has changed her life watching us.
“The rapid growth in followers has really motivated all of us to work hard and consistently produce creative videos and music for our loyal fans,” the family says. “We are only now beginning to feel what it is like to be social media influencers. We feel very fortunate!”
Ron shares of the sudden surge in internet fame and its affect on their careers, “It really has given us several potential opportunities both on television and with exploring different styles of music to record! We have enjoyed creating collaboration with other creators, musicians, and products that we enjoy.” He also points out the joy they get when reading comments and seeing the reactions to their videos.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our followers comment and support our videos. We love to harmonize as a family and it is amazing that we can do this together!” Ron continues, “To be honest, our favorite time singing together and always been while taking long car trips – [we] could have never imagined this opportunity. We all will continue to work hard and hope good things continue to happen for our family!”
There are still a few hard-to-believe moments for the family that has happened due to their TikTok viral videos, from incredible opportunities to moments that still leave them awed. The family mentions the moments that have stuck out to them, saying, “Logan just said that he has enjoyed getting to talk to some of his favorite creators! Samantha said that our first viral video was an unbelievable feeling. The twins love to see other creators from around the world ‘duetting’ our videos! Dad can’t believe that we have had 500 million views of our videos! Mom was amazed when a little girl said she loved us and it has changed her life watching us.”
The Sharpe family has become a bright spot for many users during the pandemic.
Quarantining together, the family pushed on and continued uploading videos to the app, getting more and more creative. TEENPLICITY asked what it was like for the family to continually create a variety of content on a regular basis while being stuck at home together.
“The easiest part is coming up with ideas as there are six of us with all kinds of different ideas. We always say there are no bad ideas, but dad always wants to sing songs, older songs that none of us ever heard of before,” they joke. “When filming, we have figured out an important formula for six people to be able to come together and to film efficiently.” There is a notable exception to their formula. “One example is when we are filming, we only ask the twins to come down from playing Xbox right before we are going to record.” The family teases, “They are so creative, but setting up for the recording is not in their contract.”
The videos are still a major group effort, whether it is brainstorming for ideas or following up-and-coming trends on TikTok, though the latter isn’t always what determines how the video will turn out. “We always have a plan but trends change and it seems like the magic in our videos happen while we are filming and coming up with some fun improvisations. We let each other try any idea when filming and may the best or funniest idea win!”
Ron provides the musical direction for each video, and confirms that there’s not usually any debates on who should get which part.
“We all usually agree on who is singing what. Sometimes the twins will switch up their parts, but they are twins so that should be expected,” he jokes. He explains how each person will most times practice by themselves before coming together once they know their parts. Their followers would have never known by the magic that the family creates onscreen.
Speaking of TikTok users and how he and Barbra use their Broadway background, Ron says, “TikTok viewers seem to love a good laugh and we could call our style of humor in videos musical comedy. We often will discuss who goes where on our videos with a story, which is almost like staging for a theatrical show.”
Some of TEENPLICITY’s favorites showcase that exact mindset like a play on Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown” and Mulan’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”, each telling its own story and building off of the frameworks from the original songs.
“‘Into the Unknown, Dish’ was great! ‘Man Out of You, Mulan’ was such a fun video and the ending was only created because Logan threw a practice ball to dad and hit him low,” the family recalls, the humor still present over the unplanned and hilarious ending to the video about getting ready for a post-quarantine workout.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our followers comment and support our videos.
The family has their own favorites, noting one of the challenges that puts each family member on the spot to finish a lyric or get pie in their face. “We all really like ‘Sophia the First Theme Song, pie in the face’. Connor and Barbra being surprised really made that video.” Noting other videos, the family also brings up, “We enjoyed singing ‘Bicycle Race,’ ‘Working Song,’ ‘Remember Me,’ ‘What a Wonderful World,’ and ‘Bohemian Quarantine.’”
They are also quick to add the amazing collaborations they’ve been able to accomplish through the app. “Singing ‘Surrender’ with original artist Natalie Taylor and ‘Status Quo’ from High School Musical with cast member KayCee Stroh were amazing opportunities!”
Even with such amazing content like this, it doesn’t mean that every video will reach the nearly 50 million views that their ‘Who sang it best? (Part 3)’ video is getting. The family acknowledges this aspect of their TikTok content.
“I think we are mostly happy with our TikToks,” they say. “Not every video is meant to be a viral video. Sometimes we just want to sing a song we enjoy and create a fun story that makes us laugh!”
The Sharpe family also acknowledges that not only have they received incredible opportunities through the app, but it also offers an ability to be seen for those who might not have had the means otherwise, much like YouTube has done in the best.
“It is so amazing that content creators around the world can reach an audience from their own home!” they say. “This is unbelievable as in the past, you would have to travel to [a city] and find an agent just for the opportunity to be seen. Now you can roll out of bed, turn on your phone, and create amazing content for everyone to see! People are being discovered every day for their awesome talent and creativity.”
Not only are incredible singers, actors, designers and more being discovered, but also some insights into each creator’s life is being shared as well. For the Sharpe family, that means their Chihuahua Chewy who is featured in nearly every video and is sometimes even the star.
“Chewy was named after Chewbacca from Star Wars. He looks like a REALLY miniature version!” they explain. “Everyone who owns a Chihuahua knows that they cannot ever be left alone. Even when we tried to keep him out of videos, like the one where Ron played the trumpet, he sat outside the door and cried the whole time!” The family jokes, “He wants fame!”
Not every video is meant to be a viral video. Sometimes we just want to sing a song we enjoy and create a fun story that makes us laugh!
Aside from the many comments about their singing talents and how cute Chewy is, the number one question they get asked every day, according to the family, is about their profile. “‘Why are you not verified?’” The Sharpe family’s answer is simple. “We don’t know the answer… but we can’t wait for the day that it happens!” Until that happens, viewers can begin asking a new question for the family.
“No one ever asks us on our competition videos who we think ‘sang it best,’” they say with a laugh. “We would be honest! Our answer would be different each time!”
Looking back at the many videos the family has already created, there is nothing but fond memories for each of them. “There has been several times where we all maybe stayed up ‘a little too late’ filming and we could not control our laughing!” they say of their favorite moments. “First you get exhausted, then everyone is messing up, and finally everyone was so tired that we all fell off the stairs hysterically laughing. It is our favorite time filming as it was pure emotion and joy!”
It is the little moments like this that stick with the family and bring them closer together. Their TikTok bio says, “A family that SINGS together, STAYS together,” a fact that’s evident in any one of their videos.
“We all feel really close and supportive of each other. We don’t know where any of this is going to lead, but there is no jealousy and we are happy to see where it takes us! One of us, two of us, or all of us!”
One thing the Sharpe family is sure of is they have a lot in store for their followers. Though they maintain that they are just a regular family, they still express their gratitude and appreciation to all of their supporters. “We feel so lucky and hope that everyone continues to follow us!” they say after sharing their thanks. “We have a fun Holiday/Christmas album coming out in November and a new FanBox with several items and our new musical board game called ‘Sharpe or Flat’ available at TheSharpeBox.com.”
The family adds, “We are working on several amazing projects and you will see us on TV very soon! The best is yet to come and we thank you all for being a part of our family adventures!”