Adam Perkins, the creative mind behind the “Hi, welcome to Chili’s!” Vine and twin brother of former Viner Patrick Perkins died April 11. He was 24.
Patrick announced his brother’s death via Instagram. “i can’t even really put into words what this loss means for me. i’m often asked the question, ‘what’s it like to be a twin?’ and my response is usually, “what’s it like to NOT be a twin?’” he wrote in a post. “being a twin is a very central part of my identity. it’s all i’ve known. and i’m struggling to find the words to explain what it will be like for me to live in this world without him. my best friend.”
The most recent posts on Patrick’s feed are photos of him and Adam throughout the years, with many supportive comments from followers expressing their condolences. Patrick also posted a compilation of his brother across his social media accounts.
Patrick said he will release a limited edition vinyl of Adam’s album Latch Relay to honor his memory. The release will be under the record label Plas Teg Records, “a label that will seek to fulfill his musical destiny that was so tragically cut short.” Patrick urged people to listen to at least one track off the album. He wrote that “Redwood Reverie,” the sixth track on Adam’s album, is his favorite. The song is made up of a folky acoustic guitar behind Adam’s voice, an unpolished recording that sounds like a breath of fresh air.
[Celebrities, please stop running for public office]
Adam’s claim to fame — a Vine of him walking into the frame of his bathroom only wearing shorts, smartphone in hand, saying, “Hi, welcome to Chili’s!” in front of the mirror — became one of the many Vines that had a life of their own outside of the app. Yung Gravy even named a song named after it.
Memories of my friends and I saying, “Welcome to Chili’s!” randomly in the middle school hallways flooded my brain when I saw Patrick’s post, and every time I see a commercial for the restaurant or pass by one, the Vine is fresh in my mind.
Chili’s official Twitter account posted a tweet sharing the company’s condolences.
“We are saddened by the news of Adam Perkins passing,” the tweet read. “He brought laughter to so many of us and will always be remembered and cherished. Rest In Peace, Adam.”
Vine, which spawned many influencer careers and 6-second videos that reside in deep parts of our brains, has an inimitable magic. The same can be said about Adam’s Vines. His posts were surreal, and so were his brother’s.
My favorite Vine of the two of them was on Patrick’s account. He was vaping a large cloud on a desk when Adam blew away the smoke, with Patrick turning to the camera, confused, saying “Adam!” It’s simple yet so priceless.
Adam’s death was shocking, and it felt like one of those things you have to text and tell everyone you know about. When online celebrities die, it’s different from traditional celebrity deaths in many ways. E-celebs have such a closer bond with their followers because the internet is where they got their start, work and stay connected with their fans. When one of them dies, it feels like a part of your adolescence did as well.
There’s a connection made when we follow these creators on social media and hear them talk about mundane inconveniences that we all experience and feeling let into their lives through their updates. Meme persona or not, Adam had talent — and so much ahead of him.
These creators are immortalized through their content. Claire Wineland, a YouTuber who died in 2018, had educational videos about cystic fibrosis mixed with vlogs and skits on her channel that can be cherished forever. Corey La Barrie had entertaining vlogs, prank and challenge videos on his channel that people can remember him by. Adam Perkins had Vines and music that will live on through him and his brother’s joint channel and the rest of the internet, forever.