'RuPaul's Drag Race' Queens Who Landed Entries on the Billboard Charts
Music has always been deeply intertwined in the world of drag, with the artform snatching mainstream success starting with RuPaul’s “Supermodel (You Better Work),” which peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993.
These days, many contestants of the Glamazon’s hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race have continued that tradition by putting out their own studio records. Now, releasing music is basically customary for Drag Race contestants, capitalizing on the influx of fandom and new mainstream visibility that the show’s reach draws in.
While not all of these promotional singles and studio albums do well commercially, some queens have managed to serve up some sickening tracks that have landed their name across the Billboard charts.
Following a decade of Drag Race, we collected the chart data for all the show’s alumni and have cataloged below all those who have sashayed their way onto the charts. For your consideration...
Released the day after she snatched the crown as the winner of season 3, "Diamond Crowned Queen" reached No. 35 on the Dance Club Songs chart in 2011.
Willam’s discography is one the most commercially successful of any drag queen. Though her debut album The Wreckoning did not chart, her two follow-ups -- Shartistry in Motion and Access All Areas, a collaboration with fellow queens Courtney Act and Alaska -- peaked at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Comedy Albums chart, respectively. Additionally, Willam has released a multitude of singles that have landed in the top 15 of the Comedy Digital Song Sales chart, featuring many of the other queens from the Drag Race series.
Royale’s collaboration with Willam, "Thick Thighs," peaked at No. 3 on the Comedy Digital Song Sales chart in 2015, which subsequently led to the rise of her 2014 release "Weight," featuring trans hip-hop artist Epiphany Mattel, to No. 13 on the same chart.
Almost a year after winning season 4, Sharon Needles debuted her first album, PG-13, which peaked at No. 4 on the Heatseekers Albums chart, No. 9 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and No. 186 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2013. Her next two albums, Taxidermy and Battle Axe, peaked in the top 15 on the Top Dance/Electronic chart and the Dance/Electronic Album Sales chart respectively.
As one of the American Apparel Ad (AAA) girls alongside Willam and Courtney Act, Alaska has found commercial success with her comedic collaborations. Her solo albums Anus and Poundcake both debuted in the top five of the Top Dance/Electronic Albums and Heatseekers Albums charts. Based on her infamous greeting call, her single “Hieeee” peaked at No. 5 on the Comedy Digital Song Sales chart.
Though none of her solo releases have charted, her collaborations with Willam -- “Chow Down,” “Boy Is A Bottom” and “Blurred Bynes” -- have landed her name in the top 15 of the Comedy Digital Song Sales chart.
As a contestant on season 1 of Australian Idol, Courtney has always incorporated singing into her act. Though she didn’t chart with her solo album Kaleidoscope, she did as a member of the AAA girls trio -- their album Access All Areas peaking at No. 2 on the Comedy Albums chart.
Similarly to her fellow season 6 runner-up Courtney Act, Adore originally appeared as a contestant on season 7 of American Idol and always held musical ambitions. Her first two albums, Till Death Do Us Party and After Party, landed among the top of the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart (No. 3 and No. 1, respectively) and pierced the Billboard 200 chart (No. 59 and No. 159, respectively).
Weeks after season 7’s finale, the high-fashion queen's debut album, Beauty Marked, peaked at No. 17 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and No. 25 on the Heatseekers Albums chart.
As a true folk artist and multi-instrumentalist, Trixie Mattel has seen chart success with her EPs, Two Birds and One Stone. Her second was named by Billboard as one of the 50 best albums of 2018 so far. Released during her run on season 3 of Drag Race All-Stars, the EP peaked at No. 10 on the Independent Albums chart, No. 16 on the Americana/Folk Albums chart and No. 64 on the Top Album Sales chart. It also spent a week at No. 1 on the Heatseekers Albums chart, all contributing to her peaking at No. 39 on the Billboard Artist 100.
Following her crowning as the winner of season 7, Violet Chachki released her BDSM-inspired EP Gagged, which peaked at No. 11 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, No. 48 on the Independent Albums chart and No. 48 on Heatseekers Albums chart.
Unlike most albums released by her Drag Race sisters, Pearl did not provide vocals to her dance album Pleasure but instead produced the entire thing. The record peaked at No. 11 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and at No. 16 on the Heatseekers Albums chart.
Bob the Drag Queen
As a queen who knows her way around a brand, Ms. The Drag Queen partnered up with DJ Mitch Ferrino to capitalize on her season-long catchphrase in "Purse First," which spent one week at No. 1 on the Comedy Digital Sales chart and peaked at No. 15 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart. Drag Race judge and choreographer Todrick Hall made a cameo in the track’s comedic music video.
The Top 4 of 'All Stars' Season 3
As part of the All Stars finale, the top four (BeBe Zahara Benet, Kennedy Davenport, Shangela and Trixie Mattel billed as "The Cast of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, Season 3") supplied solo verses to a remix of RuPaul’s "Kitty Girl,” which ended up peaking at No. 8 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart, RuPaul’s highest peak position on that chart.
Blair St. Clair
Released following her season 10 elimination, Blair’s triumphant dance track "Now or Never" peaked at No. 18 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart, followed by her debut album Call My Life, which made drag queen history debuting at No. 1 on the Dance/Electronic Album Sales chart, No. 11 on Heatseekers Albums, and No. 34 on Independent Albums.
The Top 4 of Season 10
The top four of the show’s 10th season (Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Eureka O’Hara and Kameron Michaels billed as "The Cast of RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 10") wrote and recorded their own verses to a remix of RuPaul’s “American,” which landed at No. 12 on the Dance/Electronic Song Sales chart.