Viral star Thomas Sanders has officially made the transition from Vine alum to YouTube great, thanks to a big, early win from this year’s Shorty Awards.
Mashable is reporting that the 27-year-old singer, songwriter, and occasional stage performer (Ultimate Storytime, Heathers) picked up his first major trophy related to the video-sharing site, Best YouTube Comedian, three days ahead of Sunday’s scheduled ceremony.
Speaking from New York, where Sanders flew out to attend the celebratory gathering with close friends and fellow YouTube personalities Ben J. Pierce and Dodie Clark, the Florida native couldn’t help to have a bit of an emotional reaction to the news of his big Shortys win.
You guys wanna see a few? Sorry the fourth one is sleeveless. pic.twitter.com/pNE2WVXrxf
— Thomas Sanders (@ThomasSanders) April 20, 2017
“This was quite a way to start my day,” Thomas exclaimed on Twitter early Thursday afternoon.
“I love you all [so much] for making this possible!”
Thanks to the Shorty Awards’ fan-voting process, Sanders’ dedicated collective, often referred to as “Fanders,” helped the man of the hour to best several longtime YouTube content creators for the big prize, including TimothyDeLaGhetto, now a recurrent player on MTV’s Wild’n’Out with Nick Cannon, and the aforementioned Pierce, a musical artist who often collaborates with Thomas.
Incidentally, Ben, along with Clark, met up with Sanders for some fierce, fashionable fun on the very same day that Thomas became a YouTube Shortys winner.
— Ben J. Pierce (@BenJPierce) April 20, 2017
Gregory Galant, the CEO of Muck Rack and co-founder of the Shorty Awards, recently noted how the Shorty Awards expanded their categories to allow burgeoning talents like Thomas to get their proper due.
“The growth of the Shorty Awards is a sign of how vibrant the internet is for talented creatives, and a reminder of how important their work is,” he relayed to Mashable.
A biographical paragraph on Thomas life on the official Shorty Awards website seems to mirror Galant’s intent regarding most nominees.
“One of the foremost stars of all time on Vine,” the site shares, “Thomas Sanders took his hysterical six-second videos and expanded the content for his new life on YouTube, with an already-impressive 1.5 [million] subscribers.”
Thomas has since amassed an additional 2 million subscribers on his YouTube profile, adding to the nearly 440,000 who watch him on Twitter and the 1.3 million who follow his Instagram account.
“With his quick-witted videos, Thomas is quickly becoming as popular on YouTube as he was on Vine.”
Gallant went on to say that the influx of performers who flock to the internet in hopes of displaying their innate gifts has also brought forth a new mass of voters who want their faves to win.
“The Shorty Awards has doubled in popularity this year,” he continued.
“These winners were chosen by over 5 million votes and the Real-Time Academy.”
Sanders previously snagged Viner of The Year in 2015 at that year’s Shorty Awards, and gave a heartwarming speech that can be viewed below.
Along with Sanders, several other major players in the online world were announced as being early 2017 Shorty Awards winners, including Tyler Oakley for Best Webseries, and actor Gaten Matarazzo from Netflix’s Stranger Things, as Best Actor.
Read on for the current list of known 2017 Shorty Awards winners:
Best in Art:
Best in Dance:
1Million Dance Studio
Best in Gaming:
GIF of the Year, presented by Watchable:
Mr. Peanut’s Dab
Best in Health & Wellness:
Instagram of the Year:
Same but Different
Best LGBTQ+ YouTube Channel:
Best in Lifestyle:
Muser of the Year:
Lisa and Lena
Best in Music:
Periscoper of the Year:
Anna Faris is Unqualified
Best in Sports:
Tumblr Blog of the Year, presented by Watchable:
Twitch Streamer of the Year:
Vine of the Year:
The Laughing Fox
Vlogger of the Year:
Best Web Series, presented by Watchable:
The Tyler Oakley Show
Best in Weird:
Hydraulic Press Channel
Best YouTube Comedian:
Best YouTube Ensemble:
Jenna & Julien
All Shorty Awards champions, including Thomas Sanders, will be receive their statuettes on Sunday, April 23, during the YouTube live-streamed ceremony. Congratulations to all the winners!
[Featured Image by Thomas Sanders/Facebook]