BeBe Zahara Benet

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Bebe Zahara Benet
BeBe Zahara Benet.jpg
BeBe Zahara Benet in June 2009
BornNea Marshall Kudi Ngwa
March 20, 1981 (age 37)[citation needed]
ResidenceMinneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
OccupationDrag performer, singer
Known forRuPaul's Drag Race (season 1) winner
SuccessorTyra Sanchez

BeBe Zahara Benet (born March 20, 1981)[citation needed] is the stage name of Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa,[1] a Cameroonian-American drag performer and singer best known for winning the first season of the reality-television drag competition RuPaul's Drag Race in 2009. In 2018, she also returned as a surprise contestant for the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars.

Early life[edit]

Benet was born in Cameroon.[2] Upon arriving in the United States, Benet settled in Minneapolis to complete his college studies and to be closer to family.[3]


Benet's first experience with drag was at a Paris fashion show, where he was asked to put on a dress to walk the runway as a female as a last-minute replacement for an absent model.[4] His first drag performance was alongside Cyndi Lauper in The Gay 90s bar in Minneapolis.[5]


Benet's first dance single, "I'm the Sh*t", has been remixed by Felix Baumgartner, Ralphi Rosario and Mark Picchiotti.[6] She released her second single, "Cameroon" in July 2010. Benet made a cameo appearance in the music video for Erasure's re-release of their song, A Little Respect, in December 2010 (which was a fundraiser for students of the Harvey Milk Institute in San Francisco.[7] She released her third single "Dirty Drums" on April 17, 2012 via iTunes.[8] and her fourth single, "Face," was released on March 3, 2014.


Benet was announced as one of the nine contestants for the first season of Logo's reality-TV drag-queen competition RuPaul's Drag Race in 2009.[9] She was the inaugural winner of the series.

In 2011, Benet appeared in two episodes of RuPaul's Drag U, serving as a "drag professor".

Benet was revealed as the surprise 10th contestant on the third season premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars. She reached the season finale, but was not chosen to advance to the final two by a jury of previously eliminated queens and subsequently finished in joint third/fourth place along with Shangela.

Benet created a Kickstarter in 2018 to produce a documentary on her life and drag career, titled "Being Bebe".[10]



Year Title
2017 Kisses & Feathers[11]


Year Title
2009 I'm The S**t[12]
2010 Cameroon[13]
2012 Dirty Drums[14]
2014 Face[15]
2017 Get Fierce (Lose Yourself)[16]
2017 Fun Tonite[17]
2017 Starting A Fire[18]
2018 Dirty Drums/Cameroon (All Stars Mix)[19]
2018 Jungle Kitty[20]


  1. ^ Desta, Yohana. "Catching Up with BeBe Zahara Benet, the Very First Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race". HWD. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  2. ^ Peloquin, Jahna (February 2018). "RuPaul's Drag Race's BeBe Zahara Benet Talks About Her Style Evolution". Minnesota Monthly. Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  3. ^ Juergens, Brian (2009-03-25). "Interview with the next drag superstar BeBe Zahara Benet". Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  4. ^ "Absolut Dirty Martini - BeBe Zahara Bennet". Logo TV. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  5. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race's BeBe Zahara Benet Talks About Her Style Evolution". Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  6. ^ "Bebe Zahara Benet - I'm The Sh*t (Incl. Felix Baumgartner & Ralphi Rosario Mixes)". Archived from the original on 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  7. ^ "Gay Iconography: 'A Little Respect' For Erasure's Andy Bell - Towleroad". Towleroad. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Sabancontact, Stephen (2009-03-31). "Let the Prizes Begin!". Archived from the original on 22 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  10. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star BeBe Zahara Benet Launches Kickstarter Campaign For New Documentary". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  11. ^ Kisses & Feathers - EP by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2017-11-17, retrieved 2018-03-04
  12. ^ I'm the S**t by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2009-01-01, retrieved 2018-03-04
  13. ^ Cameroon by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2010-08-23, retrieved 2018-03-04
  14. ^ Dirty Drums - Single by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2012-04-17, retrieved 2018-03-04
  15. ^ Face - EP by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2014-03-03, retrieved 2018-03-04
  16. ^ Get Fierce (Lose Yourself) - Single by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2017-04-21, retrieved 2018-03-04
  17. ^ Fun Tonite - Single by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2017-07-21, retrieved 2018-03-04
  18. ^ Starting a Fire - Single by Bebe Zahara Benet on Apple Music, 2017-11-03, retrieved 2018-03-04
  19. ^ "Dirty Drums / Cameroon All Stars Mix" from Dirty Drums / Cameroon All Stars Mix - Single by Bebe Zahara Benet on iTunes, 2018-01-26, retrieved 2018-03-04
  20. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' star BeBe Zahara Benet slaps haters with 'Jungle Kitty' music video". Retrieved 2018-06-21.

External links[edit]