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EXCLUSIVE: Everything you've ever wanted to know about Annie LeBlanc

From her public heartbreak to her fiercely loyal fans, the Chicken Girls and Bratayley star spills secrets about life on-screen, online—and off.

Imagine running around Disneyland, hopping on ride after ride with your besties and your boyf. You’re about to reach out to hold bae’s hand…when your mom whips out her camera and starts vlogging.

Welcome to Annie LeBlanc’s world. The 13-year-old social media star—and one-fourth of the YouTube famous Bratayley family—is used to having most of her moments captured for the world to see. “I don’t think I was ever embarrassed that my mom was filming,” she spills. “It feels normal because a camera has been on me since I was about 4. But, yeah...when I’m with my friends and my mom comes up and puts it so close to my face, I’m not about it.”

And over the past year, the world has watched Annie go from a regular, gymnastics-loving girl to a straight-up star. Not only has she snagged starring roles on two Brat digital network shows (Chicken Girls and A Girl Named Jo in case ya didn’t know), but she’s also had a turn on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark *and* curated a compilation album, Lollipop, including original music from her and her friends. Oh, and the video of her single “Picture This” hit 1 million views less than 24 hours after it dropped.

And she’s only just begun. With dreams to have her own show on Disney Channel, Annie’s toured with Jacob Sartorius and has racked up millions of followers on social—5.9 million on Instagram (and counting). But even though she shares so much online, there’s a ton more to this talented teen than what’s captured on camera. An entire alphabet’s worth, actually. Consider this your complete guide to all things Annie…

A is for Annie
Here’s a little-known fact: Annie is just a nickname. Her given name is actually Julianna Grace LeBlanc. Crazy, right?

B is for Bratayley
The world fell for the hilarious hijinks of the Bratayley family the second they posted their first YouTube clip in 2010. And in case you were wondering, Bratayley isn’t their real last name: It comes from the cheeky moniker given to Annie’s little sister, Hayley, which is a combination of “brat” and “Hayley.” TBH, we kind of love it.

C is for Chicken Girls
She may be a natural onscreen, but Annie didn’t have any actual acting experience until she got the role of Rhyme in Chicken Girls. “All of our vlogs are organic, real-life kind of moments,” she shares. “But I really loved doing something scripted. I worked really hard on it, and I hope my fans will love it like I do.”

D is for Dream Roles
As for Annie’s ideal part? Something a bit more sinister than sweet. “I’ve always been the soft-spoken, nice one,” she says. “I think a villain would be a really fun role to play.” Did someone say Mean Girls reboot?

E is for the “Coolest Thing Ever”
“The coolest thing ever would be to release an album—and to sell out a whole arena! Oh my gosh, that would be amazing,” she says of her musical aspirations. “My favorite thing is seeing all the fans waving their phone flashlights during slow songs. I’m looking forward to that if it ever happens.”

F is for Fab Fans 
Annie’s just as obsessed with her fans as they are with her—and she likes to have fun with them, too. Just check out the hilarious “I Went Undercover as a Fanpage” YouTube video she posted earlier this year. “I was terrible at it!” she spills. “My fans are so good. I was like ‘Why can’t I do this? Why are you guys so amazing at this?!’” The page may have tanked, but it definitely made her love her fans even more than she already did.

G is for Gymnastics 
Before she was a singer and actress, Annie shone as a competitive gymnast. What started out as a way to bond with her mom when she was just a tot turned into a full-blown passion. “It would’ve been awesome to make it to the Olympics, but it was more just for fun, to be honest,” she says. And though her tumbling days may be over, Annie has a treasure trove of footage to flip through when she wants to reminisce. “There are a ton of old videos still out there,” she says. “I’m so glad I have those to look back on.”

H is for Heartbreak 
A breakup is tough enough as is, but doing it in the glare of the public spotlight can make it downright awful. Annie learned this the hard way after announcing her split with BF and Chicken Girls co-star Hayden Summerall in May (the two also frequently collaborated on music together). In true form for a social media star, Annie broke the #Hannie news on Instagram in a heartfelt but cryptic post quoting motivational speaker Trent Shelton. “Sometimes the people you love the most, turn out to be the people you can trust the least,” the post reads. Annie added a bit more insight in the caption, saying, “I wanted to keep this private but unfortunately he brought it to the internet. I’m really truly sorry that this drama is coming to y’all.”

I is for #Inspo
One look at the Bratayley comments section and it’s easy to see just how many people Annie inspires. But who does *she* admire most? “When I was younger, I looked up to Olympian Shawn Johnson [East] because she was a gold medalist on beam. I was so inspired by how hard she worked,” Annie says. “And my mom and dad constantly inspire me to do my best.”

J is for A Girl Named Jo
Annie gets to head back in time for A Girl Named Jo, her new show that takes place in the 1960s. But the setting isn’t the only thing that stands out among Annie’s other shows. “Jo’s a total tomboy. She’s completely opposite from Rhyme and from me,” Annie explains of this character. “She’s not very happy with the situation that she’s in and takes that out on everyone else—but she’s tough.”

K is for Kelsea Ballerini
For Annie, country-pop queen Kelsea Ballerini is #goals. “Kelsea Ballerini’s country-pop kind of vibe is exactly what I’m trying to do with my music. She’s just phenomenal,” Annie says. “Calum Scott is, too. Just recently I listened to ‘You Are The Reason’ and just by that one song he made me fall in love with his music—and that’s what I want to be able to do with mine.”

L is for Los Angeles
After spending months bouncing back and forth between their house in Southern Maryland and their apartment in L.A., Annie’s fam just made the decision to head out west for good. But that’s no big deal for someone who grew up moving from place to place. “My dad was in the Navy, and we moved from Japan to Texas to Maryland,” Annie explains. “I was super young, though, so luckily I never really had to be the new girl.”

M is for Musical.ly 
“I was actually late to the Musical.ly crew. But eventually I decided to make my own,” she says of the lip-syncing app where she has over 13 million fans. “And after that, I was obsessed. I’m not kidding, my friends and I would make like 20 a day. We would sit around the house and just make and post one right after another.”

N is for Nerves
Yep, even famous vloggers get nervous when all eyes are on them! Annie admits to having a serious case of the butterflies during those early days on the Chicken Girls set. “Even though I’m used to the camera, I was still nervous the first day on set,” Annie shares. “But so many of my friends are in the cast—like Mads and Riley [Lewis]—so they made me feel comfortable and totally calmed my nerves.”

O is for “Ordinary Girl”
Annie’s ultra-relatable hit single is plucked from her, well, ordinary life—highlights include “loving life in my ripped jeans” and “taking Snapchat selfies,” natch. She fesses up to obsessing over Insta, loving Starbucks and, as we’ve learned, she isn’t afraid to own her emotions. “I love doing covers, but it was such a cool process to create and release a song of my own.”

P is for (Anything But) Pink
When it comes to her style, give Annie a tee and some ripped jeans and she’s good to go. Just don’t ask her to wear anything pink—unless it’s on-screen. “Rhyme loves the color pink and wears it all the time,” she shares. “But I’m just not a fan.”

Q is for Not Quitting
Annie would probably still be simply starring in Bratayley vlogs if she hadn’t pushed through some serious self-doubt. “Being a singer was a big dream of mine, but I never told anyone because I never thought that I could actually do it,” she admits. “But I never gave up. And then it all just kind of happened. I feel like everyone says it, but it’s so important to never let go of your dreams.”

Annie never knew how much she loved performing until she amazed herself by rocking out in front of a packed club for the first time. “Once I got offstage, I started crying—not because I thought I did bad, but because I was so amazed it happened,” she says. “I remember going to my little sister’s talent show one time and I was like, ‘Whoa, how is she doing that? How is she performing in front of all these people like it’s no big deal?’ And then I found myself doing it, and it was the best moment of my life.”

S is for Sibling Love
This October marks three years since Annie lost her older brother, Caleb, who passed away due to a rare heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. “My mind still can’t get over the fact that he’s gone,” she says. “I never thought I would get here, recording music and making music videos. It’s all thanks to him for inspiring me and believing in me. I honor him by trying to celebrate life every day.”

Next on Annie’s to-do list? Maybe hitting us with some fashion #realness via a collection of her own. “Creating a clothing line would be amazing. If I were to design my own clothes, it would be a mix of my favorite stores: Brandy Melville and Urban Outfitters—oh, and Topshop!” she says.

U is for Unique Prezzies
Annie has received her fair share of amazing—and unique—fan gifts. “Once in a meet and greet, this girl reached into her bag and pulled out a brick with my name carved into it—like hand-carved! It was probably one of the coolest things anyone has ever given me.” 

V is for #Views
Whether it’s a vlog, a challenge or a tutorial, Annie’s YouTube vids regularly rack up more than a million views each. Fun fact: Her YouTube channel is technically called “acroanna” after her love of acro gymnastics. “I also named my original Instagram and Musical.ly accounts after my favorite gymnastics move,” Annie says. “Every single place I used to go—whether it was Central Park or my own backyard—I would do a press handstand.”

W is for We Are Savvy
In search of a serious dose of #girlpower? We Are Savvy has you covered. The lifestyle series from YouTube Red starring Annie, Sarah Webber, Tehya Silbermann and Spencer Barbosa covers everything from love to DIY to makeup to celebrity interviews. Annie’s dream Savvy guest? “Carrie Underwood— I absolutely love her!”

X is for Xtra
You probably follow Annie’s main Insta account, @annieleblanc, but she also has a second secret account, @annieleblancxtra. Why have a second Insta in the first place? It’s simple. “Because I’m extra,” she laughs. “I’m also not the type of person who wants to post just anything on my main account, I want the pictures on there to be really high-quality. So I made a second account where I can post literally anything I want. It can get kind of frustrating when I don’t have anything to post on my main account, so my second takes some of the stress off, too.”

Y is for YouTubers
Even though Annie has millions of followers herself, she definitely still fangirls. “Once, I was in a hotel and one of my friends was like, ‘Liza Koshy is in the lobby!’ We started running to find her. I’m barefoot, just screaming through the hallway. We go down the elevator and I’m like, ‘Whoa, she’s actually there!’ My heart just dropped. We got a photo together and it was the best moment ever.”

Z is for Zodiac
This sweet Sagittarius was born on Dec. 5, 2004, and, in true Sag fashion, she’s all about living life to the fullest and showing the people she loves how much she hearts them— especially her supporters. “I’m beyond lucky to have fans that are as loving as mine. Because of them, I get to do what I love every single day,” she says. “Nothing could be better than that.”

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by Sydney Adamson | 10/30/2018
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