Alana Thompson is an American child actress and reality TV star who is best known for appearing on TLC's reality series 'Toddlers & Tiaras' and 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', with the latter being one of the network's highest rated shows in its first season. She has also appeared on her mother's weight loss series 'Mama June: From Not to Hot' on WE TV and has been a guest on several TV programs and talk shows including 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!', 'Steve Harvey', 'Good Morning America', 'Live! with Kelly', 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon', 'Wendy: The Wendy Williams Show', 'The Doctors' and 'Entertainment Tonight'. In 2015, she released her first music video, 'Movin' Up', an amateurish video that also featured her sister Lauryn and her mother Mama June. She later teamed up with Adam Barta for a rap song as well.
Rise to Stardom
Alana Thompson had been participating in child beauty pageants since she was a little child. However, she first gained widespread public attention at the age of six when she, along with her mother, June Shannon, a.k.a. Mama June, appeared on the first episode of the fifth season of the TLC reality television series 'Toddlers & Tiaras' on January 4, 2012. The sassy little girl immediately earned a permanent place in the hearts of the viewers of the show when she was shown drinking 'Go-Go Juice' – a combination of Mountain Dew and Red Bull – just before entering a competition. She again returned to the show on its 18th episode on August 8th and at 'Georgia's Most Beautiful Girls Pageant' in Atlanta. Thanks to her fame from that show, she and her family bagged their own reality TV show on TLC, 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo'. The pilot episode of the show, which also aired on August 8, 2012, attracted as many as 2.2 million viewers. Apart from her and her mother, the series also featured her three older sisters Anna, Jessica and Lauryn, whom her mother affectionately called 'Chickadee', 'Chubbs' and 'Pumpkin' respectively, as well as her father Mike 'Sugar Bear' Thompson. The show ran for four seasons in the next two years and ended on August 14, 2014. She later made appearances on her mother's WE TV series, 'Mama June: From Not to Hot', which documented her weight loss journey. She is now a social media star in her own right with nearly one million fans on her official Facebook page.
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Controversies & Scandals
Alana Thompson's first TV show, 'Toddlers & Tiaras', which covered the personal lives of child beauty pageant participants and their families, was heavily criticized for dressing some of the children provocatively, while one mother was blamed for promoting bad habits by letting her child smoke fake cigarettes. Her next show, 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', also received mostly negative reviews during its run, with critics fearing about potential child exploitation. While some stated that the show was a "horror story posing as a reality television program", others thought that the series "lowered the TV bar to new depths" by portraying the family "as a horde of lice-picking, lard-eating, nose-thumbing hooligans south of the Mason–Dixon line". Several parodies of the show have been made, including one in the animated TV series 'South Park', a CollegeHumor video titled 'Precious Plum' and an appearance by an Alana look-a-like in the film 'Scary Movie 5'. Eventually, the show was cancelled following a controversy regarding her mother who had rekindled her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Mark Anthony McDaniel. He was convicted of molesting an 8-year-old child in March 2004, and her own eldest daughter Anna later confirmed to have been molested by him ten years ago when he was seeing her mother. While Mama June went on to 'Dr. Phil' and claimed that she was not in a relationship with McDaniel, the show got cancelled in October 2014 despite the fact that several episodes worth six months' air-time were already shot.
Alana Thompson was born on August 28, 2005 in Mcintyre, Georgia, to Mike Thompson, a chalk miner, and June Shannon, a housewife. Her parents were in a relationship since 2004 and got married in 2013, but they later got divorced in 2016. She is the only daughter of her parents, but has three older sisters from her mother's previous relationships: Anna 'Chickadee' Cardwell, Jessica 'Chubbs' Shannon and Lauryn 'Pumpkin' Shannon. When the family first appeared together on television on the reality show 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', her eldest sister, 17-year-old Anna, was pregnant with her first child and gave birth to a daughter named Kaitlyn soon after. Her two other sisters are reportedly the child of accused sex offender Michael Anthony McDaniel, with whom her mother was in a relationship previously.