Willam Belli at the premiere of Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives.
June 30, 1982 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Occupation||Actor, singer-songwriter, drag queen|
Willam Belli (born June 30, 1982) is an American actor, drag queen, model and recording artist, who is known for his recurring role as transgender woman Cherry Peck in Nip/Tuck and for being a contestant on the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he remains the only contestant ever disqualified from the series. In addition to acting, Belli found viral success with his music video parodies "Chow Down" and "Boy Is a Bottom" with his Los Angeles drag queen pop trio, DWV. However, the group split in June 2014, because of a personal conflict among the groupmates.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Filmography
- 4 Discography
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Willam Belli was born on June 30, 1982, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the younger of two children. He lived in Cocoa Beach, Florida, for middle school and high school. Belli's father worked at the Kennedy Space Center. His aunt is television director Mary Lou Belli.
Belli's first acting credit was as the role of a street hustler named Darren Jacobs on two episodes of The District (2002) and his first TV appearance was on an episode of the game show Street Smarts. He later appeared in the TV Series; The District, Boston Public, Cold Case, The Shield, My Name Is Earl and most notably Nip/Tuck as the transsexual Cherry Peck. Throughout the 2000s he would go on to play small roles in many television shows such as American Wedding, but it would not be until his Rupaul debut that he made a splash.
In 2008, Belli was featured on the single artwork for the song "Breakin' Up" by Rilo Kiley. He has also modeled as part of the Tranimal Master Class Workshop at the Machine Project, which was photographed by Austin Young.
2009–10: Drag career
Belli is a member of the band Tranzkuntinental, which made its debut at The Roxy in 2009. The band was started by Charlie Paulson and Xander Smith and features drag queens Detox, Kelly Mantle, Rhea Litré, and Vicky Vox.
2011–12: RuPaul's Drag Race and further success
World of Wonder contacted Willam's manager asking for him to audition for the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In November 2011, Logo TV announced that Belli was among 13 contestants competing on the fourth season. Fellow castmate Chad Michaels had competed with Belli in the California Entertainer of the Year Pageant in 2010. Belli won the main challenges in the episodes "Float Your Bloat" and "Frenemies," but was disqualified in the latter. In the episode "Reunited," Belli stated that his disqualification was due to conjugal visits made by his husband in his hotel room, though by Belli's own account, the "disqualification" coincided with a previously booked off-Broadway engagement. Belli used the publicity of his disqualification to release his single "Chow Down," which was a parody of Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" that addressed the 2012 Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy. The song featured Detox and Vicky Vox.
On March 12, 2012, he released his first single "Trouble," which was produced by RuPaul's Red Hot collaborator Tom Trujillo. The music video for the song was directed by porn director Chi Chi LaRue and premiered on Logo TV. This was not a particularly successful endeavour for him. On March 21, Belli released "The Vagina Song," a parody of "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars as his third single, which had been previously uploaded to YouTube in 2010. The music video was directed by Michael Serrato, who also directed Belli's music video for "Chow Down."
Belli released "Love You Like a Big Schlong" on April 29, 2012. This was much better received becoming something of a viral hit being watched more than a million times on YouTube alone. Produced by Uncle Slam, the song parodies "Love You Like a Love Song" by Selena Gomez & the Scene. The song was inspired by Belli's loss to 7-year-old Eden Wood in a lip syncing contest during a segment of the 2012 NewNowNext Awards.
In November 2012, Belli was featured with country music artist Drake Jensen on a cover of Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man." That same month, Belli self-released his debut album The Wreckoning via his website.
2013: "Boy Is a Bottom" and DWV success
In January 2013 Belli would have his biggest viral hit with 18 million hits on YouTube alone. When he released "Boy Is a Bottom," featuring Detox and Vicky Vox, to coincide with the fifth season premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race. Its timing and the use of social media made it a very well received release. The song is a parody of "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys and also features an altered version of the "breakdown" from "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" by En Vogue. "Boy Is a Bottom" debuted at number six on Billboard's Comedy Digital Songs, selling 3,000 downloads in its first week.
2014–present: American Apparel and Shartistry in Motion
Belli then became an American Apparel Ad Girl alongside Drag Race alumni Courtney Act and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 to which they supported this with a single entitled, "American Apparel Ad Girls". They also released a second single together, "Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man" for the Christmas season.
On January 13, he released a solo version of the DWV hit "Boy Is a Bottom", in Spanish, entitled, "Es Una Pasiva", which went on to top the comedy iTunes chart. Belli self-released his sophomore studio album, Shartistry in Motion, on June 2.
|2003||American Wedding||Butch Queen|
|2004||The Last Shot||Bus Stop Drag Queen|
|2006||Unbeatable Harold||Anita Boner|
|2007||Because I Said So||Transsexual|
|2008||Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!||Transamerican Stewardess Nancy Needatwat|
|2009||Sex Drugs Guns||Candy|
|2009||Road to the Alter||Jamie|
|2010||Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives||Rachel Slurr|
|2010||BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich||Vasyl Tishenko|
|2011||Cinema Verite||Candy Darling||Television film|
|2012||The Newest Pledge||Sailor|
|2013||Girls Will Be Girls||Prosecuter||post-production|
|2013||X-Rated||Geoffrey Gann/'Karen Dior'||pre-production|
|2013||Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus||Beth Ann-Fetterman||post-production|
|2002||The District||Hustler||Episode: "Oil and Water"|
|2003||Boston Public||Mike||Episode: "Chapter Fifty-Eight"|
|2003||Cold Case||Drag Performer||Episode: "A Time to Hate"|
|2004||The Shield||Colt||Episode: "Posse Up"|
|2004||Eve||Waiter||Episode: "Self Helpless"|
|2004-2006||Nip/Tuck||Cherry Peck||5 episodes|
|2005||My Name Is Earl||D.J.||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2005||Related||Amy||Episode: "Movin' Out, Movin' In, Movin' On"|
|2006||Saved||Tippi||Episode: "Living Dead"|
|2007||CSI: NY||Candy Darling||Episode: "The Lying Game"|
|2007||Women's Murder Club||Sasha Simone||Episode: "To Drag & to Hold"|
|2009||Southland||Sheila||Episode: "See the Woman"|
|2009||Criminal Minds||Walter Patterson||Episode: "Too Hell and Back"|
|2011||Hot in Cleveland||Bar Queen||Episode: "2.16"|
|2011||Wonder Woman||Fake Marilyn Monroe||Television pilot|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race||Himself||10 episodes|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked||Himself||10 episodes|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag U||Professor||Episode: "Ex-Beauty Queens"|
|2012||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Dahlia||Episode: "Code Blue Plate Special"|
|2013||The New Normal||Nana Drag Queen||Episode: "The Goldie Rush"|
|2013||She's Living for This||Himself||Season 2, Episode 1|
|2014||Drag Queens of London||Himself||Season 1, Episode 2|
"Drag Queen Makeover", "Drag Queen Makeunder", "Death by Drag" and "Miles Jai Post Beatdown Makeover"
|2013||Neil's Puppet Dreams||Performer||Season 1, Episode 5: Dream Bump|
|Willam's Beatdown||Host||19 episodes|
|Willam's "This is not The Beat Down" Shit I Do... / "Biliam's Wheatdown"||Himself||5 episodes|
|30 Days of Willam||Host||30 episodes|
|Snore (Downton Abbey)||Maid||Funny or Die feature|
|Rambo, But Gay||Deputy Mitch||Nerdist feature|
|Paint Me Bitch||8 episodes|
|Shartistry in Motion||
|"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
(featuring Detox & Vicky Vox)
|"The Vagina Song"||—|
|"Love You Like a Big Schlong"||25|
|"She Doesn't Know"||—|
|"Let's Have a KaiKai"
(featuring Rhea Litré)
|"Stand by Your Man"
(featuring Drake Jensen)
(featuring Sharon Needles)
|"Potential New Boyfriend"||—|
|"Boy Is a Bottom"
|"That Christmas Song"
|"Only Anally"||—||Sharistry in Motion|
|"American Apparel Ad Girls"
(with Courtney and Alaska)
|"Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man"
(with Courtney and Alaska)
|"Es Una Pasiva"||2015||—||Shartistry in Motion|
|"Ride for AIDS"
(featuring Alaska 5000)
(featuring Latrice Royale)
|"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not released in that territory.|
Awards and nominations
Belli was nominated for his role on RuPaul's Drag Race at the fifth annual NewNowNext Awards which aired on Logo network on April 9, 2012. He lost to Nadia G. of Bitchin' Kitchen which aires on the Food Network Canada and the Cooking Channel.
|Year||Recipient / Nominated work||Award||Result|
|2012||Willam Belli||Most Addictive Reality Star||Nominated|
- Johnson, Liam. "US drag supergroup DWV split up". gaystarnews.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- McCutcheon, Lauren (February 6, 2012). "GET REAL WITH Willam Belli". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Smith, Brian Bowen (2012). "Willam Belli: How to Break the Rules". Dirty. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Willam Belli - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Belli, Willam (December 6, 2012). "Twitter / @willambelli: @KidsGoSplat yes I love Jenny ...". Twitter. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Tranimal Master Class Workshop on Vimeo". Vimeo. February 28, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Lecaro, Lina (May 2, 2011). "L.A.'s A Drag: The Reign of Raja, Tranzkuntinental (and Adam Lambert) On Stage and the Dance Floor". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Horbelt, Stephan (October 13, 2011). "Scream Queens: Meet the Ghouls of Tranzkuntinental". Frontiers. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Belli, Willam (January 27, 2012). "Season 2’s Morgan McMichaels and season 4's Willam Belli with Rihanna for the "S&M" music video.". Tumblr. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Jones, Arnold Wayne (November 15, 2011). "Logo announces cast for Season 4 of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'". Dallas Voice. Voice Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Addams, Calpernia. "California EOY 2010 – The Recap". Calpernia.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Sava, Oliver (March 6, 2012). "Float Your Boat". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Stransky, Tanner (May 1, 2012). "Controversial 'RuPaul's Drag Race' queen Willam explains disqualification: 'My husband was coming to bang me out' -- UPDATED". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Bruno, Paul (May 2012). "Willam Belli: How to Break the Rules". dirty-mag.com. Dirty Magazine. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
I was doing a show off-broadway by that point! It was called Jersey Shoresical. In fact, two days after I got kicked off of drag race I was in Jersey Shoresical in New York, pretty convenient, huh? And we won the Fringe Fest Audience Award. It’s almost like it was planned…
- Lady Bunny (July 24, 2012). "Willam Belli, RuPaul's Drag Race Star, Chats About Chick-fil-A and More". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Spargo, Chris (November 25, 2012). "Willam Returns To Logo With 'Trouble'". New Now Next. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Debord, Matt (October 27, 2010). "WATCH: What Willam Belli Would Do If He Was A Lady Down 'There'". Queerty. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Spargo, Chris (May 1, 2012). "VIDEO: Willam, 'Love You Like A Big Schlong'". New Now Next. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Video: Willam Goes Country With Help From Gay Artist Drake Jensen In "Stand By Your Man"". Instinct. November 9, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Spargo, Chris (November 18, 2012). "Go Buy Willam’s Album, ‘The Wreckoning’". New Now Next. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "This Boy Is A Bottom: Willam, Detox & Vicky Vox Return To Tackle Alicia Keys' 'Girl On Fire'". Instinct. January 28, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "'Boy Is A Bottom' Music Video Parody From Drag Queens Of 'Chow Down (At Chick-Fil-A)' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. January 28, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Caulfied, Keith (February 8, 2013). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Divas Debut in Top 10 on Billboard Dance Charts". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "**She's Living For This**". here TV. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Anderson-Minshall, Diane (October 14, 2012). "WATCH: RuPaul's Willam Belli on Transfashionable Drag Makeover". The Advocate. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Joe Manganiello, Willam, Detox & David Burtka Appear In The Latest Webisode Of Neil's Puppet Dreams". Instinct. January 8, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Beatdown Episode 01 with Willam, YouTube, willam belli (user), retrieved July 29, 2014
- "Billboard Chart Archive" (TO ACCESS, TYPE "WILLAM" IN THE ARTIST BAR, THEN SELECT "COMEDY ALBUMS" IN THE CHART NAME BAR). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- "Billboard Chart Archive" (TO ACCESS, TYPE "WILLAM" IN THE ARTIST BAR, THEN SELECT "COMEDY DIGITAL TRACKS" IN THE CHART NAME BAR). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- "2012 NewNowNext Awards". Logo TV. Retrieved March 31, 2013.