This Is Carolina: Horry County’s own ‘Godmother of Drumming’ becomes TikTok superstar

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - There’s a new TikTok star in Horry County.

Millions have watched her videos on social media. She even recently made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. But she’s probably not the type of person you would expect to go viral though.

Dorothea Taylor, 71, plays the drums.

She’s been drumming for 58 years.

At age 17, she set out to play the drums with one goal in mind.

“I wanted to like be a famous rockstar,” Taylor said. “That was my dream.”

Just two years later, life changed her path.

“Fell in love and got married and started having children, and that was kind of the end of the dream,” the 71-year-old grandmother of two said.

Instead of chasing fame, Dorothea spent more than five decades teaching the drums.

A few years ago, though, a suggestion by her 11-year-old grandson catapulted her to fame.

He suggested she make a TikTok account. So she did. And she couldn’t believe what happened next.

“I put one up, and it got pretty many views. And then I put up another, and it just went bonkers, you know had hundreds of thousands of views, so I was like, ‘Oh, this is really cool!’ So I just kept putting some up,” she said.

Her videos quickly caught on.

She currently has more than 360,000 followers on Instagram and over 1 million followers on TikTok.

That dream she had more than five decades ago of becoming famous for her drumming skills finally became a reality.

Her newfound fame has also led to a newfound nickname: The Godmother of Drumming.

Dorothea also does all her own social media. She acknowledges she’s a lot more tech-savvy than the majority of 71-year-olds.

“Most people don’t know even how to find Facebook on their phone,” she joked.

Her fame even recently led to an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where she battled Questlove, the famous drummer of The Roots.

She also gives virtual drum lessons to legendary actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who messaged Dorothea on Instagram asking if she could teach her.

Dorothea’s other hobby might surprise folks even more than her drumming skills.

She drives Slingshots.

They’re the three-wheeled vehicles that look somewhat like motorcycles.

In fact, Slingshot sent her a brand new 2022 Slingshot to drive around for four months for free as long as she posts about it on Instagram.

Dorothea says she hopes to continue drumming for as long as she can.

The idle lifestyle of many people her age isn’t for her.

“I don’t want to just give up and just be sitting all day long,” Taylor said. “Just sitting watching TV or whatever.”

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