Shangela reflects on her impact 10 years into her illustrious drag career


Tune into We Should Talk every Thursday, where In The Know’s Gibson Johns interviews your favorite celebrities and influencers. Subscribe to We Should Talk here.

Shangela has cemented herself as one of the preeminent drag performers in the world, and she shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

The three-time “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum broke into the mainstream following her time on the show through a role in 2018’s Oscar-winning “A Star is Born,” an HBO show called “We’re Here” and a viral Beyoncé medley performed in front Queen Bey herself, among many other accomplishments. With her new Spotify series “Halleloo Happy Hour,” (and a new line of hand sanitizer aptly called Shanitizer), Shangela is poised to continue her winning streak.

For the latest episode of In The Know’s “We Should Talk,” Shangela talked about her recent projects, opened up about her interactions with pop queens like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Ariana Grande, reflected on her time on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and more.

Listen to the full interview below, and keep reading for highlights from the show:

On helping the drag community during the pandemic: “I saw how so many of our fellow drag community members were being really hard hit. When you don’t got no job, you don’t got no money. And how are you going to eat with no money? I kicked off a charity in partnership with The Actors Fund called Feed the Queens. We’ve raised over $80,000 to help feed out-of-work drag performers.”

On the importance of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”: “The biggest winner of all is the community and the existence of drag. ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ has given us this amazing platform to be able to go out into homes — whether it’s on Hulu or Netflix or Logo or VH1. It’s put us into so many people’s experiences that would not have had a touchpoint with drag if it had not been for this particular show. I’ve always been grateful to RuPaul and the producers of that show for giving us that platform, but then it’s up to us — halleloo! — to decide how to go out there and what to do with it.”

On her new Spotify show, “Halleloo Happy Hour”: “We’ve titled it as a brand new audio experience. [Spotify] knows how to deliver really high quality content, so I was really excited to partner with them and Gimlet Media to have this experience come to life. It’s another touchpoint for me to be able to be involved with my fans… I get to chat with them, and it’s a really cool tool for me to blend music and my favorite songs and playlists that go along with whatever the theme of that show is with great conversation with, not only best friends from my life, so people can get to know me more through my friends, but also I bring in great guests like Nicole Byer. We have even more guests and surprises coming up. I’m really proud of this show — it’s a happy hour, so it’s fun!”

On performing with Miley Cyrus at the VMAs: “Not only was I part of a huge group, but I was flanking Miley’s left shoulder. I was right up on the doll! She’s someone who, as a drag entertainer, I respect so much because she loves her some drag. Not just one of the girls that’s like, ‘I love drag. I love wigs.’ No, she knows the girls. She loves the Haus of Edwards so much, it was me, Laganja and Alyssa. She had learned these moves that we did, she practiced and posted about them and then she invited us to come and she was like, ‘I want you guys right up here with me, and we did the whole thing, and she knew it. She knew it.”

If you enjoyed this interview, check out comedian Benito Skinner’s recent episode of We Should Talk.

More from In The Know:

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