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Amanda Lepore

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Amanda Lepore
Lepore at the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, May 2014.
  • Model
  • Socialite
  • Singer
  • Performance artist
  • LGBTQ+ activist
Years active1989–present
Modeling information
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Hair colorPlatinum blonde
Eye colorBrown

Amanda Lepore is an American model, singer, and performance artist. A former Club Kid,[1] she has appeared in advertising for numerous companies. Lepore is noted as a regular subject in photographer David LaChapelle's work, serving as his muse, as well as many other photographers, such as Terry Richardson and Ruben van Schalm.[2] She participated in LaChapelle's Artists and Prostitutes 1985–2005 exhibit in New York City, where she "lived" in a voyeuristic, life-sized set.[3][4]

Lepore has released several singles, many written by and/or recorded with gay rapper and singer Cazwell. In 2011, she released her debut studio album, I...Amanda Lepore, on Peace Bisquit.[5]

Early life


Amanda grew up in the Essex County community of Cedar Grove, New Jersey,[6][7][8][9] with one sibling, an older brother. Her father was an Italian-American chemical engineer, and her mother was a German-American housewife. Her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and spent considerable time in psychiatric hospitals.[10][11] Lepore later wrote, "Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn't understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys' clothing. I thought they were insane."[11]

When she was 15-years-old, Lepore befriended a transgender dancer named Bambi. Realizing she was transgender from an early age, Lepore began sewing costumes for Bambi in exchange for female hormones.[6][12] Having already grown isolated from her peers and schooling, Lepore's parents withdrew her from public school and hired a private tutor. They also took her to a psychologist, who successfully helped her obtain a prescription to begin hormone therapy, officially.[11][13]

At the age of 17, and through a legal loophole, Lepore married a male bookstore-owner. She was granted permission for gender affirmation surgery,[11][13][14] which she underwent at the age of 19, in Yonkers, New York.[14] Lepore later left her husband. In 1989, she relocated to Manhattan, New York City.

In the early 1990s, Lepore intended to establish herself as an iconic nightlife figure (including becoming a key member of the Club Kids). She supported herself by working in a nail salon, as a part-time dominatrix, and later as a cosmetics salesgirl for Patricia Field. After meeting photographer David LaChapelle one evening, while hosting at Bowery Bar, she began collaborating with him and became a ‘muse’ of sorts for his work.[11][13]

Modeling and acting


Lepore has appeared in numerous pop culture and fashion publications, including French Playboy, Ponytail, DAMn and TUSH. She is on the cover of Lords of Acid's 1999 album Expand Your Head, and on Thighpaulsandra's 2006 album The Lepore Extrusion.

Because of her association with the Club Kids, Lepore had a cameo in the documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary (1998) and the feature film Party Monster (2003). She can be seen briefly in the fashion spoof comedy Zoolander (2001). She was featured in the documentary Dig! (2004) and in Another Gay Sequel (2008). In 2016, Lepore had a major role in José André Sibaja's film The Zanctuary, where she played a drug dealer called Miss Divine. Other cast members included Joey Arias and Sophia Lamar, with whom she also appeared in 2018 documentary I Hate New York from Spanish director Gustavo Sanchez.

Lepore has had cameos in music videos for artists including Elton John, Thalía, The Dandy Warhols, Girl in a Coma,[15] Grace Jones, Keanan Duffty, Sharon Needles, TIGA (for his cover of "Sunglasses at Night"),[16] and the alt rock band The Drums (for "Days"). Lepore appears in many of Cazwell's music videos, including "Watch my Mouth"[17] and "All Over Your Face".[18]

She was Chief of Parade at the 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Australia.[12]



On April 18, 2017, Lepore released her autobiography, Doll Parts. It was co-written with Thomas Flannery Jr. and published through Regan Arts. The book features numerous pictures of Amanda by photographers such as David LaChapelle, Tina Paul, Josef Jasso, Rob Lebow (who photographed the cover), and Joey Falsetta.



Lepore's first single, "Deeper," was a 2003 trance dance song written by Wigstock drag queen Lady Bunny.[citation needed]

In 2005, Lepore released her first album, Introducing... Amanda Lepore, which contained "Champagne" and "My Hair Looks Fierce". In 2007, she released two remix albums, Fierce Pussy and My Pussy E.P. Lepore performed the main title for Another Gay Movie, "I Know What Boys Like" and "Cotton Candy" from the soundtrack of Another Gay Sequel.[19]

Lepore was a part of True Colors Tour 2007, a 15-city North American benefit tour sponsored by the Logo channel, hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper.[20] The tour benefited the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and it included Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Gossip, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, Rosie O'Donnell, Indigo Girls, The Cliks, and other special guests. In 2009, Lepore performed at the Majestic Theatre during Metro Pride Fest in Detroit with The Divas of the Majestic: A Divine Lites Productions and Founder, Electra Lites.[21]

In June 2011, Lepore released her full-length album I...Amanda Lepore at the Highline Ballroom with Cazwell, Kat DeLuna, Neon Hitch, Ana Matronic, Jonté, and many others. Her debut full-length album I...Amanda Lepore was released in 2011 on Peace Bisquit.[22]

In 2013, her version of the Marilyn Monroe song "I Wanna Be Loved by You" was released through Peace Bisquit.[citation needed]

In 2014, Lepore was featured on drag performer Sharon Needles' single, "I Wish I Were Amanda Lepore", and she guest starred in the music video for the track, depicting Needles as a fan obsessed with getting plastic surgery to look like her.[23]

In 2015, she collaborated with Alek Sandar in his song "P.O.R.N.", even appearing in the cover of the single and in the music video.[citation needed]

On July 31, 2015, she released the remix album I... Amanda Lepore – Make over sessions. This album included 2 digital CDs that contained remixes of her first studio album I... Amanda Lepore, released four years prior.[citation needed]

On December 8, 2017, the song "Buckle Up" was released from her forthcoming EP Lepore., which was released on February 16, 2018. The EP contained four new songs: "Buckle Up", "My Panties", "The Jean Genie", and "Too Drunk to Fuck".[citation needed]



In October 1999, Swatch released "Time Tranny", a watch designed by LaChapelle with Lepore on the face, which displays a printed crack on the glass and marble stripes as the background. A second version displays no cracked glass and a blue and yellow striped background.[24]

In April 2006, Integrity Toys launched an Amanda Lepore doll produced by Jason Wu as a benefit for AIDS charities.[25]

Lepore has a line of cosmetics in partnership with CAMP Cosmetics, called "Collection Lepore", as well as a signature perfume.[26]

In 2021, Lepore launched her own lipstick and lip gloss, only available through her website. She has also released a new perfume, Dangerous curves, in 2022 in partnership with The Zoo NYC.




Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Joan Rivers Show Self Guest; 1 episode
1993 Guest; 1 episode
2019 The Boulet Brothers' Dragula Guest judge Season 3, Episode 2 (aired September 3)
Queen of Drags Guest judge Season 1, Episode 2 (aired November 21)
2020 The Real Housewives of New York City Self Season 12, Episode 5 (aired April 30)



Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures, and certifications
Title Album details Certifications
I...Amanda Lepore
I...Amanda Lepore – Make over sessions
  • Released: July 31, 2015
  • Label: Peace Bisquit
  • Format: Digital download
  • Includes 2 digital CDs
  • Remix album
  • Has 2 official covers


Year Album
2005 Introducing... Amanda Lepore
  • Released: September 21, 2005
  • Formats: Digital download
2007 My Pussy
  • Released: 2007
  • Formats: Digital download
2008 Fierce Pussy (The Remix Album)
  • Released: June 1, 2008
  • Formats: CD, digital download
2010 Cazwell and Amanda
  • Released: October 26, 2010
  • Formats: Digital download
2018 Lepore.
  • Released: February 16, 2018
  • Formats: Digital download


Year Title Album
2006 "I Know What Boys Like" Another Gay Movie Soundtrack
2009 "Cotton Candy" I...Amanda Lepore
"My Hair Looks Fierce"


Music videos
Year Title Artist Director Notes
2002 ¿A quién le importa? Thalia Jeb Brien
2009 "Cotton Candy" Amanda Lepore featuring Cazwell Bec Stupak [27]
2010 "Marilyn" Cazwell featuring Amanda Lepore Leo Herrera [28]
"Get Into It" Marco Ovando
2011 "Turn Me Over" Amanda Lepore Marco Ovando
"Doin It My Way" Marco Ovando
2012 "Doin It My Way" Remix Sid Licious
2020 "Nerves of Steel" Erasure Brad Hammer [29]

See also



  1. ^ Graymay, Kevin (May 14, 2014). "After Prison, No After-Hours: Michael Alig, the Former King of the Club Kids, After Prison". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Ruben Van Schalm (gallery)". Kahmann Gallery Photographs. Retrieved May 29, 2023.
  3. ^ LaChapelle, David (2005). Artists and Prostitutes. Los Angeles: Taschen America Llc. ISBN 978-3-8228-1617-2.
  4. ^ Williford, Daniel (2009). Queer Aesthetics. Archived April 23, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Borderlands, Vol. 8. No.2.
  5. ^ "Peace Bisquit — Amanda Lepore (artist page)". PeaceBisquit.com. Retrieved May 29, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Davis, Peter (April 20, 2017). "Amanda Lepore, Confessions From Loving Life as a Living Doll". Observer.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2024.
  7. ^ Bernstein, Jacob (July 19, 2017). "Amanda Lepore, Transgender Club Diva, Tells All About Her Plastic Surgery". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2024.
  8. ^ Peden, Lauren David (September 28, 2005). "Shopping with...Amanda Lepore". dominicantoday.com. Dominican Today. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2011. But that's what makes Amanda (nee Armand) Lepore from Cedar Grove, New Jersey so great. The boy who grew up to be a Vargas pinup girl may be all manufactured artifice on the outside – huge blonde hair, huge red lips, huge gravity-defying boobs.
  9. ^ Musto, Michael (March 11, 2008). "Christian From Project Runway Has a Boyfriend!". villagevoice.com. Village Voice. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Phillips, Ian (October 27, 2001). "How Do I Look?; Transsexual, Muse, Naked Party Animal, Amanda Lepore Walks on the Wild Side". The Independent.
  11. ^ a b c d e Lepore, Amanda. "The Amanda Lepore Story". Buzznet.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Olding, Rachel (February 27, 2010). "Fantastic plastic". smh.com. Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on December 30, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "Amanda's Story on amandaleporeonline.com". Archived from the original on November 3, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
  14. ^ a b Musto, Michael (March 16, 1999). "NY Mirror". Villagevoice.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Road to Home (music video) on YouTube
  16. ^ Sunglasses at Night (music video) on YouTube
  17. ^ Watch my Mouth (music video) on YouTube
  18. ^ All Over Your Face (music video) on YouTube
  19. ^ Monroe, Kennidi (December 22, 2008). Interview: Season Finale, with Amanda Lepore. Archived 2013-04-18 at archive.today TrannyTalk 101
  20. ^ Chinen, Nate (June 20, 2007). "Power to the People (and Some Pop Too)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013.
  21. ^ "Electra Lites to leave Detroit". pridesource.com. PrideSource. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011.
  22. ^ Visco, Gerry (June 29, 2011). Bash Compactor: Golden Girl. New York Press
  23. ^ Schlutt, Marcel (September 23, 2014). "Sharon Needles feat. Amanda Lepore – I Wish I Were Amanda Lepore". Kaltblut. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  24. ^ Clark, Hazel; Brody, David (2009). Design Studies: A Reader. Berg. p. 493. ISBN 978-1-84788-236-3.
  25. ^ Lopez, Vincent (May 9, 2006). Toys, p. 64. The Advocate
  26. ^ Iannacci, Elio (March 17, 2011). The new transsexual chic. Maclean's
  27. ^ "Cotton Candy" (music video) on YouTube
  28. ^ "Marilyn" (music video) on YouTube
  29. ^ Shaffer, Claire (August 11, 2020). "Erasure Team Up With Drag Stars for 'Nerves of Steel' Video". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.