With 575 YouTube videos that have a combined 1 billion views, there is no doubt that Toronto’s Lilly Singh—better known as Superwoman—is an absolute boss babe. Wait, make that bawse babe.
The comedian-actress-singer is adding author to the list with her new book How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life ($32, indigo.ca), which hits stands this week.
In 50 short, yet mighty, chapters, Lilly shares how she transformed from lost millennial—battling depression and on the brink of applying to grad school—to having 11 million subscribers on YouTube and making serious money. (Yes, she is a millionaire.)
We’re not here to divulge her secrets, but after flying through it we picked up a few tidbits about YouTube’s reigning queen that we just had to share.
She started out as a dancer
For anyone who attended the “A Trip to Unicorn Island” world tour (or saw the documentary), it’s no secret that Lilly has got some moves. Turns out, her original dream was to be a professional dancer, and she even went so far as to start a small dance company in Toronto that performed at weddings.
She’s worked—and networked—with some really big names
Lilly started out idolizing stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson from afar, but as she climbed the ladder of success (which she details in chapters 21 and 29), she also networked with some major celebs in real life. In How to Be a Bawse, she talks about landing sit-downs with Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein and later, U.K. rapper M.I.A.—who both gave her standout career advice. Other hard-earned name drops include Mindy Kaling, Whitney Cummings, Kunal Nayyar, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Malala Yousafzai and Selena Gomez—among others.
She’s gets work done, fast
It’s no surprise that this self-made media maven has some serious drive, but as she reveals in her book, that sometimes means putting together content under unbelievably tight deadlines. For instance, #LEH, her 2014 music video collaboration with best friend Humble the Poet, had to be shot in a matter of hours. Soon after, she managed to film a nine-minute video with James Franco and Seth Rogen—while playing herself and both of her parents—in 45 minutes flat.
Her ringtone is #goals
If you ever hear Rue’s whistle from The Hunger Games, scan the crowd because it could be that Lilly is nearby—and just got a text.
She “camped” with A-listers in Italy
From the sounds of it, there were no tents, s’mores or air mattresses with indiscernible leaks. Instead the “camp” that Lilly recently attended was held in Sicily, Italy and included wining and dining with Pharrell Williams at an ancient temple under the stars and, oh yeah, a private concert by Alicia Keys. .
#GirlLove was initially supposed to be a collab for a movie
Singh’s #GirlLove Challenge, where she encouraged people on social media to compliment one another using the hashtag, became a viral sensation that caught the attention of Michelle Obama. While the campaign became a major career milestone for Superwoman, it actually started out as a collab idea to help promote an unnamed A-lister’s holiday film. When the project got cancelled last-minute, Singh decided to spread the love on her own.
She’s a BIG Game of Thrones fan
Somewhere between making daily vlogs, auditioning for movies and creating her own YouTube videos, Lilly manages to find time for the things that really matter—like getting #inspo from Khaleesi. Superwoman’s love for GoT comes through in more than one chapter, and we’re right there with her.
She made Justin Bieber's manager’s day
One of the main messages from all of Lilly’s work is the importance of being kind. One example she gives is the time she went up to Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, at a party to tell him how awesome he is. It turns out that Scooter was having a bad day, and Lilly’s actions managed to turn it around. “Every once in a while someone you have never met walks up and says something to you that just makes your day. Thank you @iisuperwomanii you are awesome. Pleasure meeting you as well :),” he wrote on Instagram. Now that’s a bawse move.