Ishowspeed

Darren Jason Watkins Jr.

He is best known for his variety of livestreams, in which he primarily plays video games, including FIFA, Fortnite, and Roblox.

IShowSpeed
Ishowspeed
Speed in 2021
Personal information
Born
Darren Jason Watkins Jr.

(2005-01-21) January 21, 2005 (age 19)
Occupations
  • YouTuber
  • live streamer
  • internet personality
  • rapper
SignatureIshowspeed
Websiteishowspeedstore.com
YouTube information
Also known asSpeed
Channel
Years active2016–present
Genres
Subscribers24.9 million
Total views2.4 billion
Associated acts
Ishowspeed100,000 subscribers2021
Ishowspeed1,000,000 subscribers2021
Ishowspeed10,000,000 subscribers2022
Twitch information
Channel
Years active2018–2021
GenreGaming, Entertainment
Followers298 thousand
Musical career
Genres
LabelsWarner

Last updated: May 30, 2024

Watkins registered his channel "IShowSpeed" in 2017, primarily posting gaming content. In 2022, he was named Breakout Streamer of the Year at the 12th Streamy Awards.

Early life

Darren Jason Watkins Jr. was born on January 21, 2005.

He joined YouTube in 2016, uploading gameplay videos occasionally. Around December 2017, Watkins began livestreaming and uploading videos of games such as NBA 2K and Fortnite, but only managed to average two viewers. Eventually, his subscriber count saw a rise in the span of a few months, reaching 100,000 subscribers in April 2021, 1 million in June 2021, 10 million in July 2022, and 20 million in August 2023.

Influencer career

2019–2022: Beginnings, Talking Ben videos, and controversies

Watkins began streaming in 2019. He became prominent in 2021 after his fanbase began posting clips on TikTok of his often-violent behavior during live streams towards games, players, and his camera, which gained popularity and became memes. His outbursts have resulted in bans from the streaming platform Twitch and the video game Valorant. Kotaku described Watkins as "one of the biggest and fastest-rising streamers" on YouTube. A game that has greatly contributed to his growth in popularity is Talking Ben. Watkins' videos on Talking Ben the Dog were credited for bringing the mobile app newfound popularity, with it becoming the best-selling game on the App Store over a decade after its initial release.

In December 2021, Watkins took part in a Twitch "e-dating" livestream show hosted by Adin Ross. The exchange between Watkins and another participant, Ash Kash, escalated to what was widely interpreted as a rape threat. Watkins was the first contestant to be eliminated, and shortly after the game had ended, he quickly rejoined the Discord call and started sexually harassing Kash, slurring her repeatedly. Watkins was then kicked out of the call, with Ross apologizing to Kash for his behavior. Watkins was later banned from Twitch. According to a Twitter post by him, Watkins was banned for "sexual coercion or intimidation."

In April 2022, an old clip of Watkins playing Valorant on a live stream surfaced. In the clip, he tells a female player to, "Get off the fucking game and do your husband's dishes." This resulted in one of the game's producers, Sara Dadafshar, permanently banning Watkins from Valorant and all other Riot Games titles. YouTube global head of gaming creators, Lester Chen, replied to the clip, saying he was "on it." Watkins soon apologized for his behavior, acknowledged that it was "wrong", and claimed that he was receiving racist comments from other players that day.

In July 2022, Watkins set off a Pikachu firework inside his bedroom, almost burning it down. In August 2022, he attempted to cheat in a "United States and Global Economics" course he was taking at the Ohio Digital Learning School by asking his viewers for the answers to his quiz. His viewers instead took the opportunity to prank him and purposely give him the wrong answers, resulting in him getting 0/10 on the test.

2022–present: Shift to football-based content

In September 2022, Watkins played in the Sidemen Charity Football Match. During the match, he became frustrated at English referee Mark Clattenburg for disallowing his goal to be offside. He proceeded to whip him with the shirt he removed while celebrating, which resulted in him receiving a yellow card. Later in the match, a pitch invader carrying a Messi jersey approached Watkins, which resulted in him tossing it onto the floor. In November 2022, American rapper and singer Lil Nas X made his live streaming debut and appeared on Watkins' stream.

In July 2022, Watkins received a community guidelines strike as well as a one-week ban on YouTube after livestreaming his character being fellated in a sexual Minecraft mod named "Jenny's Mod" to 96,000 of his viewers. Initially, he censored the screen as it was happening, but he kept changing the screen from censored to uncensored. Eventually, he left the screen uncensored, and his character was seen expressing sexual activity. Watkins later confirmed the strike and claimed that he wouldn't be returning to YouTube.

In August 2022, he was swatted while livestreaming on YouTube. Officers handcuffed Watkins, and his cameraman was forced to end the stream. Watkins claimed that he had been placed in jail and that Adin Ross had to bail him out, allowing him to return to streaming on August 11.

In November 2022, Sky Sports announced that they would stop featuring him on their platform after the emergence of past misogynist and derogatory comments made by Watkins. The platform also removed all content featuring Watkins. In December 2022, he won the Streamy Award in the "Breakout Streamer" category during the 12th Streamy Awards. Throughout November and December 2022, he visited various football stadiums to try and watch Cristiano Ronaldo play live. He traveled to Old Trafford, Craven Cottage, and various other stadiums in Qatar, though Ronaldo was benched from the lineup during those games, up until Portugal's loss to Morocco.

In December 2022, during the Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland, Watkins garnered controversy for his behavior toward a Chinese spectator of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which was interpreted by many as racist. During a live stream, he approached a man wearing an Argentina jersey to question him. Visibly confused, the man specified that he did not speak English, which prompted Watkins to start repeatedly hurling "Konnichiwa", a Japanese greeting, and start uttering sounds reminiscent of Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. When a clip of the live stream started circulating online, he uploaded an apology video to his Twitter account.

In January 2023, Watkins had a portrait of Cristiano Ronaldo tattooed on his arm.

Ishowspeed 
IShowSpeed in January 2023

In February 2023, Watkins uploaded a short video on one of his secondary channels stating he was behind Thumb Media Affiliate and Cardigan, two copyright companies that had either been claiming ad revenue or striking videos from channels that had been using clips from his streams. Other content creators also discovered Adin Ross, one of his associates, was also behind the labels. Following this short, Watkins faced significant backlash from his community.

In May 2023, Watkins announced he had signed an exclusive streaming deal with the video sharing platform Rumble, in collaboration with Kai Cenat.

In June 2023, after many attempts, Watkins met Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal's 3-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina in the carpark of Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.

On August 16, 2023, during a livestream, Watkins jumped up from his seat due to being jumpscared while playing Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach and accidentally flashed his penis to a live viewership of 25,000 people. He subsequently ended the livestream out of embarrassment. Viewers uploaded the clip onto social media, and the term "IShowMeat", in reference to the slang word meat, meaning penis, began trending on Reddit and X (Twitter). Due to the accidental nature of the incident, YouTube has since declined to strike his channel or ban him.

In October 2023, Watkins met Daler Mehndi during his visit to India.

WWE appearances

Watkins appeared on Night 2 of WWE's WrestleMania XL on April 7, 2024. He was dressed as a bottle of Prime for the WWE United States Championship match between champion Logan Paul, Kevin Owens, and Randy Orton, where he was kicked by Orton and RKOed onto the commentators' table.

Watkins would later appear on the April 29, 2024, episode of Raw to announce the Raw brand's second round picks for Night 2 of the 2024 WWE Draft; Paul announced the second round picks for SmackDown.

Music career

In August 2021, Watkins released his first single, "Dooty Booty", on his YouTube channel. Following its upload, the song quickly became popular on YouTube and other social media sites, such as TikTok. In November, Watkins released a single titled "Shake", which sampled both "Ready or Not" by Fugees as well as "Hit The Road Jack" by Ray Charles. The song's accompanying music video received over 160 million views on YouTube.

In June 2022, he released a song called "Ronaldo (Sewey)", following his newfound admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo. In November, he released a single titled "World Cup" under Warner Records in honor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. On July 7, 2023, Watkins was a surprise guest at the 2023 Rolling Loud festival in Portugal and performed "Shake", "World Cup" and "Portuginies" with the support of American rapper Ski Mask the Slump God and producer DJ Scheme.

In March 2024, Speed dropped four new songs for his new EP, Trip 2 Brazil.

Philanthropy

In February 2023, Watkins donated over $50,000 towards the victims of the Turkey–Syria earthquakes.

In December 2023, Watkins fought KSI in a charity boxing sparring match after a year-long banter rivalry. They raised over £50,000 for the Anthony Walker Foundation.

Discography

EPs

  • Trip 2 Brazil (2024)

Singles

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
IRE
NLD
Tip

NZ
Hot

SWE
Heat.

UK
"Dooty Booty" 2021 Non-album singles
"Shake"
"God Is Good" 2022
"Ronaldo (Sewey)"
"World Cup" 37 1 29 6 52
"Dogs"
(with Kai Cenat)
2023
"Portuginies"
"Come My Way"
"Monkey" 2024
"Amar de"
(with Kevin O Chris)

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2024 The Sidemen Story Himself Documentary; Cameo
List of music video appearances
Year Title Artist(s) Role Ref.
2022 "Let's Go" Tion Wayne feat. Aitch Himself
"Don't Lie" A1 x J1 feat. Nemzzz

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations for IShowSpeed
Year Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2022 Streamy Awards Streamer of the Year Nominated
Breakout Streamer Won
2023 Streamy Awards Streamer of the Year Nominated
Variety Streamer Won

References

Tags:

Ishowspeed Early lifeIshowspeed Influencer careerIshowspeed Music careerIshowspeed PhilanthropyIshowspeed DiscographyIshowspeed FilmographyIshowspeed Awards and nominationsIshowspeed

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