Remember when Sophia Grace and Rosie were everywhere in 2011? The little princess costume-wearing kiddos, whose full names are Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, went from making the cutest cover of Nicki Minaj’s "Super Bass" ever when they were 8 and 5, respectively, to working red carpets, hobnobbing with top celebrities, and being staple figures on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Then after multiple TV appearances, well, the two youngsters pretty much disappeared from the spotlight. So, where did they go? And what are the pink-loving gals up to now? Keep reading to find out just what happened to Sophia Grace and Rosie in the years since they hit it big time. Hint: Does any flash-in-the-pan celeb truly ever go away with the ubiquity of social media these days? Not to mention, these girls clearly had the star power and natural talent to make a real go at the entertainment biz if they wanted to. It’s safe to say that Sophia Grace and Rosie’s childhoods haven’t exactly been normal.
Sophia Grace and Rosie returned to Ellen
Sophia Grace and Rosie made their long-awaited comeback on Ellen in November 2015 at age 14 and 11, respectively. The girls chatted about how much they missed being on TV and revealed that their biggest Christmas wishes were to get Swagways. Of course, Ellen DeGeneres can’t resist gifting, so the gals got glitter-covered hoverboards before they left the stage. It’s also important to note that they traded in their adorable pink tutus for mint green peplum dresses, and Rosie actually talked.
Sophia Grace continued working on TV
Sophia Grace and Rosie frequently hit up red carpets on Ellen DeGeneres’ behalf. They also played exaggerated versions of themselves on two episodes of Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat, where they were referred to as "The Brit Brats." Their acting careers basically ended after their Sam & Cat appearances — both Sophia Grace and Rosie have each logged only one additional acting credit at the time of this writing — but Sophia Grace has continued to showcase her singing skills on shows such as Britain’s Got More Talent and Hollywood Today Live. In 2017, Sophia Grace even served as a judge on ABC’s reality show, The Toy Box, which forces aspiring toy inventors to pitch their ideas to a panel of famous kid judges.
Sophia Grace and Rosie are published authors
Watch out, Charles Dickens. Even without a diploma (and maybe without even a composition class), Sophia Grace and Rosie somehow wrote not one, but two books. The pair’s first publication, Tea Time with Sophia Grace & Rosie, came out in February 2013 and peaked at No. 2 on the New York Times Best Sellers list of children’s picture books. Their second tome, Showtime with Sophia Grace & Rosie, debuted in March 2014. The girls’ publishing house, Orchard Books, says both books were written by the girls and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas.
Sophia Grace and Rosie landed a pretty sweet movie deal
Sophia Grace and Rosie starred in their own direct-to-DVD movie, Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure. In the 2014 flick, their pal and employer Ellen DeGeneres sends them to "Switzelvania" to report on the coronation of a new queen. It has no critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but it has a not-so-terrible 4.2 out of 10 star user rating on IMDb.
TMZ reported that the girls’ contracts for the movie included plans for possible sequels, and that the girls have made serious bank so far. The contract allegedly stated that Sophia Grace took home $50,000 for the flick, and that her compensation for possible sequels would be $75,000 each for a second and third installment. If they made it to a fourth and fifth installment, Sophia Grace would rake in $100,000 for each film.
A quick peak at both girls’ IMDb pages shows that those sequels never happened, however both Sophia Grace and Rosie have landed small voice roles as well as a few other bit parts and appearances as themselves here and there.
Sophia Grace walked away from a big Hollywood production
Sophia Grace was reportedly cast as Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods, the big cinematic adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, starring heavy-hitters Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, and Chris Pine. However, the youngster’s role was later recast after her camp and Disney got a slew of side-eye.
The beef? Sophia Grace was only 10 at the time, and the creepy sexual undertones in Red Riding Hood’s relationship with the Big Bad Wolf didn’t sit well with many folks. Sophia Grace’s father/manager, Dominic Brownlee explained his daughters exit from the film in a tweet (via Playbill): "After careful consideration, we as parents felt, as rehearsals progressed, that she was too young for this part. It was a joint decision between us and the director and producer of Into the Woods, to withdraw Sophia Grace from the film."
The role went to 13-year-old Lilla Crawford, which, well, is only a little less icky.
Sophia Grace is a popular YouTuber
This is not a fluke. Sophia Grace maintains her YouTube presence with a diligence not usually seen in teens. "I have to upload videos every week and I try my hardest but I’m always quite busy, so I find it hard," she told Bustle, adding, "Everyone’s always saying, ‘Oh can you do this video? Can you do that video?’ and obviously when I have the time to, I’ll do the video to make them happy."
Well, they definitely seem to be happy. Sofia Grace’s videos routinely rake in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of views. In fact, as of this writing, her video for her song, "Hollywood," has more than 27 million views and counting.
Rosie is also on YouTube
Rosie also has an impressive YouTube following with her over 700,000 subscribers, but instead of releasing songs and music videos, she leans toward the more "viral video" route with make-up challenges, extreme recipes, hauls, and reaction videos.
Even though she hasn’t quite gained the same following as her cousin has on the streaming platform, Rosie still racks up the views. Her Oct. 14, 2017 upload, titled "REACTING TO MYSELF ON THE ELLEN SHOW!," which is exactly what it sounds like, has attracted more than 5 million views as of this writing. Plus, she’s also now trying to use her platform for good, like raising awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans with her November 2019 "Rescue Sea Turtles Project."
Sophia Grace had a merchandise line
Like virtually all young starlets these days, Sophia Grace turned herself into a brand. Using her considerable YouTube presence, she directed followers to her "merch" store.
"I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to have my very own products out, and I finally have them now," the 14-year-old social media star said in this October 2017 video promoting her hats, t-shirts, and hoodies, which are all emblazoned with her slogan/single title, "Why U Mad?"
So, how is it going for the young fashion entrepreneur? As of this writing, the merch site is no longer operational. That could mean she either sold out of everything (like she had just one month after posting the above video) and decided to go out on top; is re-tooling for a new line; or just simply didn’t want to be in the apparel game anymore.
Rosie is focused on schoolwork and other pursuits
Though she’s been doing more and more YouTube videos lately, in a March 2017 upload titled, "I am Rosie–Where I’ve Been," she explains that her focus is far from the entertainment biz.
"I’ve been working really hard on my schoolwork, and my teachers are very happy with me, and I’ve got my handwriting lessons as well," she says. "Also, I took my prep test in piano, and I passed, and I’m really excited about that… My favorite thing at the moment is gymnastics. I spent time every single day on my bars and my beam, but my most exciting news right now is I got my first solo in my singing class as stage school, and I’m really excited and really nervous at the same time."
Sounds like Rosie could be executing a long-term approach to conquering show business. Something tell us she’ll do just fine.
Sophia Grace and Rosie’s families have expanded
On their 2015 return appearance to Ellen, Sophia Grace and Rosie revealed that Rosie’s mom tied the knot. Rosie served as a bridesmaid for the nuptials and even delivered an emotional, original poem. Meanwhile, both girls became siblings: Sophia Grace told Ellen she has a little sister named Belle who has "obsessions and addictions" that include her big sister’s iPhone and lip balms, while Rosie now has a little brother, Romeo, who loves chocolate.
Sophia Grace is an aspiring singer
Sophia Grace and Rosie rose to fame using their singing voices, and Sophia Grace seems intent on riding that train as far as it can take her. In 2013, she released the track, "Girls Just Gotta Have Fun," which featured the pair sitting on pink thrones and driving pink toy cars. The song itself didn’t chart, but its follow-up did.
Ironically, the video for Sophia Grace’s solo track, "Best Friends," did not include her often-silent, flaxen-haired best friend/cousin. That tune made it to No. 87 on the Hot 100 and inspired Sophia Grace to keep her career rolling. In January 2017, she released her first album, a six-track EP called Hollywood. In October 2017, she released a new track called "Why U Mad?," which she wrote to specifically address her "haters."
Speaking with TooFab about the empowering new jam, Sophia Grace said, "Having been in the spotlight since I was very young, I know all about the negative comments and abuse you get from people online. "Why U Mad" is my message to those people, and to anyone who’s experienced anything similar—Hold your head up high, be proud of who you are, and don’t let the bullies get you down."
In October 2019, Sophia Grace updated her YouTube followers after an unusually long eight-month hiatus from posting videos. Why the break? She’s been in the studio, recording new music, of course!
Rosie can hold a tune, too
Following in her older cousin’s footsteps, Rosie embarked on a singing career of her own, starting with the single "Handstand" in 2018. J-14 called the tune "a total bop," and her fans seem to agree. As of this writing, the video for the song has been viewed over 8 million times. Rosie followed that up with "LaLa" in Summer 2019, and, according to her management team at The Hello Group, the tracks "have generated over 8 million streams and views." Rosie also started performing live, logging appearances in 2019 at "the BBC’s Summer Social Festival as well as Orlando’s digital convention for creators, Playlist Live."
And while the fame and success of the songs is clearly a bonus, that’s not the endgame for Rosie’s music career. "I want to encourage others to find their own wings and follow their dreams through my music!" she told E! News in July 2019. Her rep shared a similar sentiment with the same outlet one year earlier before the release of "Handstand," saying, "It’s fun, upbeat, has a positive message, and is an excellent reflection of Rosie’s personality."
As for how Rosie’s balancing her fame and real-life pursuits? Just fine, we’d say. "I go to a main stream school and I absolutely love it. I travel to Los Angeles mostly on school breaks," she told E! News, adding, "It’s hard to juggle but I love school so much and would never want to leave my friends behind!
Sophia Grace and Rosie are still BFFS
In September 2019, Rosie shared the above snap from her 13th birthday weekend to Instagram. As you can see, she reunited with Sophia Grace, who is 16, as of this writing, for the special occasion — and it appears the two are still thick as thieves. "Our bond will never be broke, our memories will never be forgotten and our funny little sayings and our own silly language will never get boring!" Rosie captioned the pic, adding, "Thank you for all we have shared, love you." Aw!
The BFF cousins shared a similar reunion one year earlier when Rosie was in Los Angeles, Calif. to record her first single. E! News caught up with Rosie’s rep at the time, who said that Sophia Grace actually surprised Rosie with the visit. "The girls spent yesterday shopping together and trying out makeup!" Rosie’s rep said, adding, "They literally ran to each other when they saw each other. It was so cute!" We have to agree.