Who Is?/Official Hype

Published on March 11th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


TikTok’s Coolest Granny has Rockstar Super Bowl Weekend

Move over, Hollywood. Content creators are becoming the new rockstars of the party, even at 96 years old. At least that’s the case for Ross Smith and his famous “Gangster Granny,” who is beloved by A-listers and recognized the moment she enters a room. Super Bowl weekend, the grandma-grandson duo who made ‘grandma-and-grandsoning’ cool left no stone unturned in ensuring it would be a Super Bowl weekend for the books — both for themselves and for everyone they crossed paths with.

A Gangster Granny Kickoff

We got a glimpse into how the pair kicked the week off in style and couldn’t resist writing about it. First, the Wednesday leading up to Super Bowl in Arizona was the “Suits & Sneakers” event, hosted by Jay Glazer with performances by Rick Ross where the duo rubbed elbows with NFL legends Andrew Whitworth, Patrick Peterson, Jerome Bettis, Donavan McNabb, Emmanuel Acho, and LeSean McCoy alongside fantasy football analyst, Matthew Berry, and Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor. Granny had a front-row seat and met and rubbed elbows with some of the top names in the industry.

Thursday night, they kicked it up a notch by going back-to-back at the 13th annual “Ditka & Jaws Cigars with the Stars” event with Ron Jaworski and Coach Mike Ditka, who throw the party annually for Super Bowl weekend to help raise funds for health and wellness for at-risk youth. Ross and Granny then made their presence known on the red carpet of this year’s “Babes and Ballers” Super Bowl party an hour later, hosted by the Denver Broncos hall-of-famer Terrell Davis.

On Friday, Granny partied with the NBA legend himself, Shaquille O’Neal at the annual “Shaq’s Fun House,” which ended up being the largest Fun House event to date thanks to headliners like Snoop Dogg and Diplo. Saturday, she kept the party going alongside mental health advocate and casual collector of Olympic gold medals, Michael Phelps, and 5-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice at the Sports Illustrated Party before heading to the TAO x Maxim “Big Game Party,” which featured star performers such as Offset, Zedd, Loud Luxury, and Plastik Funk. 

Finally, for the big game day, Granny and Ross took their appetites to Guy Fieri’s famed “Flavortown Tailgate,” which included superstar performances from Diplo and LoCash. Granny ate delicious food and chatted it up with the likes of singer Kane Brown and comedian Bert Kreischer before the kick-off. 

Star Power

Of course, we must commend Granny’s social stamina for allowing her to make it through the epic weekend unscathed (we could barely get through the recap without needing to take a breath). But her and Ross’ presence at some of the highest-profile activations in both Hollywood and sports for one of the biggest events of the year serves as an even greater testament to the newfound star power inherent to content creators in 2023. Ross and Granny have been building their brand through a mutual love for spreading joy and humor globally for years now. In fact, they even got their start on the now-defunct platform Vine, whose demise forced Ross to expand their online empire and diversify their content to create new revenue streams and enchant new audiences. 

Digital Impact

Now, with the digital world and real world bleeding into each other more everyday, Ross and Granny’s celebrity status has been solidified beyond the world of social media and content creation. It’s a new era where the status of creators stands in tandem to those of A-list actors, billboard-charting artists, and celebrity influencers. 

“I’ve been watching the Super Bowl since the very first one, and being able to celebrate in person was a dream come true,” said “Gangster” Granny. “I had so much fun hanging out with so many talented and admired people. Some of them even knew who I was! Being out and about at these events with my grandson is really my favorite part of the work we do together.”

Shaking Things Up!

Known for their hilarious video antics and over-the-top pranks, Ross and Granny have amassed over 90 million followers across TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Granny also recently beat cancer and received notes of love and support from celebrities like Mike Tyson, Chuck Norris, and Howie Mandel during her road to recovery. At the age of 96, she’s clearly still going strong and having the time of her life — and we are here for it.


Staff, The Hype Magazine

Edit: Jerry Doby

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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