Shangela Laquifa Wadley

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Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Shangela Laquifa Wadley at DragCon, April 2017.png
Shangela Laquifa Wadley in April 2017, during DragCon at the Los Angeles Convention Center
Born Paris, Texas, U.S.
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.
Occupation Drag Queen
Reality Television Personality
Website Official Website

Shangela Laquifa Wadley is the stage persona of D.J. Pierce,[1] an American drag queen, comedian, and reality television personality who competed on RuPaul's Drag Race Seasons 2 and 3. She was the first contestant eliminated in season two, and returned as a surprise contestant in the series' third season. She was among the top five contestants before her elimination in the eleventh episode. Since RuPaul's Drag Race, Shangela has had several television appearances and continues to perform across the United States and Canada.[2]

Early life[edit]

Pierce grew up in Paris, Texas, and was raised primarily by his grandparents as his mother was in the military and relocated often. He has said he is of African-American and Saudi Arabian descent.[3] Pierce was the first male cheerleader in his local high school since 1968.[4] He began dressing in drag to get A's in creative projects for English classes in high school. After high school, Pierce attended Southern Methodist University and graduated with honors. He briefly worked in public relations before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.[5] RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5 contestant Alyssa Edwards is Shangela's drag mother.[6]

Career[edit]

Shangela emerged as Pierce's drag persona in January 2009.[4] Pierce had choreographed a three-person drag act to "Single Ladies" for a sober charity event in Los Angeles, and when one of the performers cancelled, the other two asked him to fill in.[5] The club's promoter was so impressed with Shangela's performance that he offered to book him for the following week. In 2010, Shangela was crowned in the first California Entertainer of the Year pageant;[7] the first alternate was Chad Michaels.

After five months of performing in Los Angeles, Shangela was selected to join the cast for Season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race. Though he was eliminated in the first episode, he re-applied for the following season and made it to the top 5.

Pierce performing a stand-up act as Laquifa at the Castro Theatre.

Shangela is known for the catchphrase, "halleloo", which the Los Angeles Times considered one of the "2010 Top Terms We Learned on Reality Television."[8] Shangela's comedic persona is Laquifa, who entered the limelight during eighth episode of season three, in which he won the "Ru Ha Ha" competition. Since being on RuPaul's Drag Race, Laquifa has performed comedy as Laquifa in Downelink.com’s "One Night Stand Up!" on LOGO. Shangela has performed in the Drag Queens of Comedy showcase alongside legends Lady Bunny, Jackie Beat and Coco Peru.[9]

Shangela has made several television appearances, including Toddlers & Tiaras, in which he coached his 9-year-old goddaughter to compete in a beauty pageant.[4] Other appearances include episodes of Glee, Community, Terriers, Dance Moms, 2 Broke Girls, Detroit 187 and The Mentalist, as well as a commercial for Orbitz with fellow Drag Race contestants Manila Luzon and Carmen Carrera.[10] Shangela and Manila did an entertainment news segment for US Weekly in which they discuss current male celebrities and reimagine them as drag queens.[11] Shangela was featured as one of OUT Magazine's "Most Compelling People of 2011".[12] Shangela had a non-drag role in a short film, Body of a Barbie, which aired on BET and was a Top 7 National Finalist on the network's Lens on Talent series.[13][14]

He has also been active in AIDS awareness and activism. After being featured in a Gilead Sciences ad titled "Red Ribbon Runway" with fellow Drag Race co-stars Carmen Carrera, Delta Work, Manila Luzon and Alexis Mateo,[15] the dress he was featured wearing was auctioned off by Logo in commemoration of World AIDS Day. Proceeds from the auction were donated to the National Association of People with AIDS.[16]

In 2013, Shangela was featured in an ad for Facebook Home.[17]

On August 14, 2013, Shangela, along with fellow drag queens Detox, Morgan McMichaels, Courtney Act, Willam Belli, and Raven, were featured in the lyric video for Lady Gaga's single "Applause".[citation needed]

Music[edit]

On August 23, 2011, he released his first single "Call Me Laquifa", which is available for purchase via iTunes and other commercial music sites. His second single, "Werqin' Girl" was released on 7 August 2012. The music video for "Werqin' Girl" features appearances by Abby Lee Miller, Jenifer Lewis, RuPaul's Drag Race pit crew member Jason Carter, and Yara Sofia.[18][19]

In 2013, Shangela appeared in the music video "Gone With the Wind Fabulous" by Kenya Moore.[20]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Panty Man Young Poet Short film
2013 Farah Goes Bang Bettina
2013 R.I.P.D. Drag Queen Avatar
2015 TupiniQueens[21] Drag Queen Documentary about drag queen's scene in Brazil.
2016 Hurricane Bianca Stephen

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Terriers Mikaela Episode 9: "Pimp Daddy"
2010 One Night Stand Up Himself/Host Episode 9: "Downelink.com's One Night Stand Up"
2010–12 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself 12th on Season 2 (Eliminated Episode 1), 5th on Season 3 (Eliminated Episode 11) RuPaul's Drag Race (season 4) (guest episode 1)
2011 Spring/Fall Dion
2011 A Mann's World Snip
2011 Detroit 1-8-7 Drag Performer Episode 15: "Legacy/Drag City"
2011 The Soup Awards Himself
2011 Dance Moms Himself Season 1, Episode 10: "Cathy Brings It On!"
2011 Community Miss Urbana Champaign Episode 6: "Advanced Gay"
2012 Toddlers & Tiaras Himself/Guest Mentor Episode 2: "Lollipops and Gumdrops Pageant"
2012 The Soup Himself Season 9, Episodes: 7, 32, 33
2012 The Mentalist Episode 21: "Ruby Slippers"
2012 L.A. Hair[22] Himself Episode 8: "The Big Blow Out"
2012 2 Broke Girls Hallelujah Episode 3: "And the Hold-Up"
2012 Glee Drag Queen Episode 8: "Thanksgiving"
2013 The Bold and the Beautiful Steve
2014 Bones Kimmy Moore Episode 23: "The Drama in the Queen"
2015 Dance Moms Himself Season 5, Episode 26: "Where in the World is Abby Lee Miller?"
2016 The X-Files Annabell Season 10, Episode 3: "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster"
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Himself Season 2, Episode 2: "All Stars Snatch Game"

Discography[edit]

Singles

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shavarebi, Jordan (November 17, 2011). "Catching Up With Shangela". Out. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  2. ^ "On The Move - See Shangela Live!", Shangela.com; accessed February 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "Shangela on Twitter: "Black and saudi arabian (clock the cheekbones!) RT @lilboidancer: To my knowledge...Shangela is not black, hes Puerto Rican..."". Twitter. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  4. ^ a b c "'Halleloo' for D.J. Pierce! Getting to Know the Man Behind Drag Sensation Shangela", afterelton.com; accessed February 19, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "'Bout Me": Shangela - Debutantess Of The Deep South, shangela.com; accessed February 19, 2012.
  6. ^ Duren, Rand. "Meet Alyssa Edwards, the fabulous drag queen from Mesquite who will appear on ‘RuPaul's Drag Race’". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ Calpernia Addams (2010-01-16). "California EOY 2010 - The Recap". Calpernia.com. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  8. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne & Maria Elena Fernandez. "2010 Top Terms We Learned on Reality TV, Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2010; accessed February 19, 2012.
  9. ^ "OUTview online; NEWS and VIEWS, What's your VIEW?: OUTscene: (PRE-view) Le Faux welcomes Drag Race star, Shangela on 4/8-9!". Outviewonline.com. 2011-03-05. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  10. ^ Orbitz Commercial - Rupaul's Drag Race Cast from YouTube
  11. ^ See Brad, Rob, Jake, Zac Reinvented as Drag Queens!, usmagazine.com, April 25, 2011.
  12. ^ Shavarebi, Jordan. "Catching Up With Shangela", Out Magazine, November 17, 2011; accessed February 19, 2012.
  13. ^ "Lens On Talent", BET.com; accessed February 19, 2012.
  14. ^ Profile, outviewonline.com, March 2011.
  15. ^ Red Ribbon Runway. YouTube. July 26, 2011. Event occurs at 0:39. 
  16. ^ Spargo, Chris (2011-12-01). "NOW: Red Ribbon Runway Auction". NewNowNext.com. Logo. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  17. ^ Matyszczyk, Chris. "The new Facebook Home ad, complete with drag queen". CNET. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ Spargo, Chris (December 5, 2012). "Shangela 'Werqin' Girl' Has Arrived, And It Is Fearce". New Now Next. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  19. ^ Feist, Jeremy. "Shangela is a "WERQIN’ GIRL"". PopBytes. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ Spargo, Chris. "‘Gone With The Wind Fabulous’ Video, With Shangela, Is Here". New Now Next. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  21. ^ João Monteiro, TupiniQueens Official Trailer 
  22. ^ James, Diego (July 18, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: See Shangela & Sonique on 'L.A. Hair'". Out. Here Media Inc. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]