Despite his controversial status in the fashion world, its impossible to deny the reach that Terry Richardson and his work have. His work features many famous models and celebrities, and his effective 'endorsement' of Kate Upton by publishing the dancing video online certainly helped her gain a great deal of exposure when she was relative unknown.
The "Cat Daddy" video shows Kate Upton in a bikini, dancing. If this were for a line of bikinis, maybe she would owe her fame to this video. However, since the video is just for her amusement and was released without her consent, this video is not responsible for her fame. It very simply shows that if something that the media loves to endorse just so happens to get out, the person(s) involved will be overnight sensations.
Kate Upton first appeared in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, for which she was named Rookie of the Year. The "Cat Daddy" dance video did not appear until 2012, by which time she was already a well known model. Her beauty fueled her fame, and that fame was largely responsible for the popularity of the video.
Kate Upton was already known prior to the "Cat Daddy" video; however, the video did increase the amount of her fame. She was already a well-known Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and as an actress in films such as "The Other Woman". She is already an up and coming actress/model and was moving forward in her quest for fame prior to the video.