Willam Belli

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Willam Belli
Willam Belli April 2017.png
Willam Belli in April 2017 during DragCon
Born (1982-06-30) June 30, 1982 (age 35)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
Website www.willambelli.com

Willam Belli (born June 30, 1982) commonly referred to as simply Willam, is an American actor, drag queen, model, reality television personality, recording artist and author, who is known for his recurring role as transgender woman Cherry Peck in Ryan Murphy's medical drama Nip/Tuck and for being a contestant on the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he remained 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[edit]

Willam Belli was born on June 30, 1982, in Philadelphia. He is the younger of two children. He lived in Florida for middle school and high school.[2] Belli's father worked at the Kennedy Space Center. His aunt is television director Mary Lou Belli. Willam was overweight when he was young but lost the extra pounds before being emancipated at 16.

Career[edit]

2000–08: Beginnings[edit]

Belli's first acting credit was as the role of a street hustler named Bart Jaker on two episodes of The District (2002) and his first TV appearance was on an episode of the game show Street Smarts.[2][3] 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. He also had a small role in the film 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.[4] He has also modeled as part of the Tranimal Master Class Workshop at the Machine Project, which was photographed by Austin Young.[5]

2009–10: Drag career[edit]

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.[6][7]

In January 2011, he was featured in Rihanna's music video "S&M" along with Detox and Morgan McMichaels as back-up dancers.[8]

Belli with Vicky Vox and Detox Icunt

2011–12: RuPaul's Drag Race and further success[edit]

World of Wonder contacted Willam's management asking for him to audition for the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race.[2] In November 2011, Logo TV announced that Belli was among 13 contestants competing on the fourth season.[9] Fellow castmate Chad Michaels had competed with Belli in the California Entertainer of the Year Pageant in 2010.[10] Belli won the main challenges in the episodes "Float Your Bloat" and "Frenemies," but was disqualified in the latter.[11] In the episode "Reunited," Belli stated that his disqualification was due to conjugal visits made by his husband in his hotel room,[12] though by Belli's own account, the "disqualification" coincided with a previously booked off-Broadway engagement.[13] 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.[14]

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.[2][15] 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,[16] who also directed Belli's music video for "Chow Down."[14]

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.[17]

In November 2012, Belli was featured with country music artist Drake Jensen on a cover of Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man."[18] That same month, Belli self-released his debut album The Wreckoning via his website.[19]

20122013: Youtube Career, "Boy Is a Bottom", and DWV success[edit]

Beginning in December 2012, Belli began a Youtube series associated with thestylishvids titled, "Willam's Beatdown". A comedy segment involving insult humor and video reviews, the series would eventually be renewed for a second, third, and fourth season that then premiered on Belli's self titled channel. In January 2013, Belli would have his biggest viral hit with 20 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.[20] 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.[21] "Boy Is a Bottom" debuted at number six on Billboard's Comedy Digital Songs, selling 3,000 downloads in its first week.[22]

On August 14, 2013, Belli was featured along with Shangela, Detox, Raven, Morgan McMichaels, Landon Cider, Shannel, and Courtney Act, in Lady Gaga's lyric video for her single "Applause".

Belli's trio, including Detox and Vicky Vox, called DWV, officially split in June 2014 due to a personal conflict between the members.[1]

2014–present: American Apparel, Shartistry in Motion, first book, perfume and talk show[edit]

Belli performing in Denver with The AAA Girls

Belli then became an American Apparel Ad Girl alongside Drag Race alumni Courtney Act and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 which they supported with a single entitled, "American Apparel Ad Girls".[23][24] They also released a second single together, "Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man" for the Christmas season.[25][26]

On January 13, he released a solo version of the DWV hit "Boy Is a Bottom", in Spanish, entitled, "Es Una Pasiva",[27] which went on to top the comedy iTunes chart.[28] Belli self-released his sophomore studio album, Shartistry in Motion, on June 2.[29][30]

Belli released his first book Suck Less: Where There's a Willam, There's a Way in October 2016 through Grand Central Publishing. In 2017, he released his first perfume collaboration with Xyrena, Scented by Willam.[31]

On May 18, 2017, it was revealed that Fullscreen had ordered a talk show to be hosted by Belli. Suck Less, billed as a weekly half-hour call-in show 'where Willam throws shade and shows how to slay the game of life in six-inch stilettos' is set to debut in the summer. Friends from Belli's everyday life, as well as some of his favorite drag queens are expected to put in guest appearances over the course of the 13-episode series.[32]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Last Shot Bus Stop Drag Queen
2005 Screech of the Decapitated Marta
2006 Big Top Renee
Unbeatable Harold Anita Boner
2007 Because I Said So Transsexual
2008 Defying Gravity Lola
Dog Tags Alan
Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! Transamerican Stewardess Nancy Needatwat
Crowded Celeste Short film
Tranny McGuyver Officer Mac Short film
2009 Sex Drugs Guns Candy
Tools 4 Fools Blonde Drag Queen Short film
2010 Barry Munday Felicia Uncredited
Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives Rachel Slurr
Silver Lake Dario Short film
Gaysharktank.com Short film
2011 Blubberella Vadge also co-writer
BloodRayne: The Third Reich Vasyl Tishenko
2nd Take Bathroom Tranny
Someplace Better Than Here' Travis Short film
2012 The Newest Pledge Sailor
Fun Size Qwerty
Lost Angeles Bob also known as City of Jerks
The Watch Olivia Uncredited
Fake Fingernails, Cash and Viagra Franklin Short film
2013 X-Rated Geoffrey Gann/'Karen Dior'
Southern Baptist Sissies Benny Television film
2015 Mouthpiece Diva Bell
Hollywood Champagne
2016 Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus Beth Ann-Fetterman
Hurricane Bianca Bailey
2018 Joey Stefano Geoffrey Gann/'Karen Dior'
A Star Is Born Emerald
After Birth Tammy
Swipe Left
A Very Sordid Wedding Himself
TBA Girls Will Be Girls Prosecutor

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004–06 Nip/Tuck Cherry Peck 5 episodes
2011 Cinema Verite Candy Darling Television film
2012 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself 10 episodes
RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked Himself 10 episodes
RuPaul's Drag U Professor Episode: "Ex-Beauty Queens"
2013 The New Normal Nana Drag Queen Episode: "The Goldie Rush"
She's Living for This[33] Himself Season 2, Episode 1
2017 When We Rise Jason Snyder Season 1, Episode 4 and 5
The Twins: Happily Ever After? Himself/Landlord Episode: "Happily NEVER After?"
Episode: "Hoff and Running..."

Web[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Road to the Alter Jamie WorkingBug
2 episodes
2011 Good Job, Thanks! Actress Vimeo
Episode: "We All Need a Meeting"
A Series Of Unfortunate People Cami WorkingBug/Dailymotion
Episode: "Bargain Birthday"
2012 Squad 85 Bar Attendee YouTube/YOMYOMF
Episode 4
2012–13 Transfashionable[34] Himself YouTube/The Stylist
4 episodes
2012–15 EastSiders Douglas/Gomorrah Ray Vimeo/Logo TV/Netflix
7 episodes
2013 Neil's Puppet Dreams[35] Performer YouTube
Episode: Dream Bump
Willam's Beatdown Host YouTube/The Stylist
19 episodes
30 Days of Willam Host Logo TV
30 episodes
Snore Maid Funny or Die
Parody of Downton Abbey set to "Vogue"
The Fairfax File Flame LaTouche Funny or Die
Rambo, But Gay Deputy Mitch YouTube/Nerdist
2014 Willam's This is not the Beatdown Host YouTube
26 episodes
Real World S#!t Show! Host MTV
12 episodes
Jiz Spooge Episode: "Jiz is Dead"
Episode: "Jiz Makes a CUMback"
Mean Boyz Teacher YouTube
Parody trailer of Mean Girls
Hollywoodland Dinner Guest YouTube
Episode 1
2014–present Beatdown[36] Host YouTube
60 episodes
Paint Me Bitch YouTube
24 episodes
2015 The WeHoans Himself YouTube/City of West Hollywood
Parady of The Californians
3 episodes
The Dinner Bash Himself YouTube
2 episodes
Gay of Everything Himself YouTube
1 episode
2015–present Billium's Wheatdown Himself YouTube
11 episodes
2016 Straight Outta Oz Himself YouTube
Music video: "Expensive"
Go-Go Boy Interrupted Club Pantherwarmth Manager YouTube
2 episodes
2017 Suck Less Host Fullscreen

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Ref.
2011 "S&M" Rihanna
2013 "Applause" Lyric video Lady Gaga
2016 "Expensive" Todrick Hall
2017 "Power" Little Mix [37]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak
chart
positions
US
Comedy

[38]
The Wreckoning
Shartistry in Motion
  • Released: June 2, 2015
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
1
Access All Areas
(with Courtney Act and Alaska Thunderfuck)
  • Released: July 7, 2017
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
2
"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Comedy
Digital

[39]
"Trouble" 2012 The Wreckoning
"Chow Down"
(featuring Detox & Vicky Vox)
12
"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)
"RuPaulogize"
(featuring Sharon Needles)
2013 14
"Potential New Boyfriend"
"Boy Is a Bottom"
(with DWV)
6 Non-album singles
"Silicone"
(with DWV)
"Blurred Bynes"
(with DWV)
5
"That Christmas Song"
(with DWV)
"Gaycation!"
(with DWV)
2014
"Hole Pic"
"Only Anally" Shartistry in Motion
"American Apparel Ad Girls"
(with Courtney and Alaska)
10
"Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man"
(with Courtney and Alaska)
Non-album single
"Es Una Pasiva" 2015 Shartistry in Motion
"Ride for AIDS"
(featuring Alaska)
12
"Thick Thighs"
(featuring Latrice Royale)
3
"I'm Not a Pearl" Non-album singles
"Uck Foff" 2016 12
"AAA"
(with Courtney and Alaska)
2017 2 Access All Areas
"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not released in that territory.

Tours[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Suck Less: Where There's a Willam, There's a Way. Grand Central Publishing. 2016. ISBN 978-1455566198. 

Awards and nominations[edit]

NewNowNext Awards[edit]

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.[41]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2012 Willam Belli Most Addictive Reality Star Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Johnson, Liam. "US drag supergroup DWV split up". gaystarnews.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Smith, Brian Bowen (2012). "Willam Belli: How to Break the Rules". Dirty. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Willam Belli – IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ Belli, Willam (December 6, 2012). "Twitter / @willambelli: @KidsGoSplat yes I love Jenny .." Twitter. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Tranimal Master Class Workshop on Vimeo". Vimeo. February 28, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Horbelt, Stephan (October 13, 2011). "Scream Queens: Meet the Ghouls of Tranzkuntinental". Frontiers. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Addams, Calpernia. "California EOY 2010 – The Recap". Calpernia.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sava, Oliver (March 6, 2012). "Float Your Boat". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ 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… 
  14. ^ a b 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. 
  15. ^ Spargo, Chris (November 25, 2012). "Willam Returns To Logo With 'Trouble'". New Now Next. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  16. ^ Debord, Matt (October 27, 2010). "WATCH: What Willam Belli Would Do If He Was A Lady Down 'There'". Queerty. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  17. ^ Spargo, Chris (May 1, 2012). "VIDEO: Willam, 'Love You Like A Big Schlong'". New Now Next. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Video: Willam Goes Country With Help From Gay Artist Drake Jensen In "Stand By Your Man"". Instinct. November 9, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  19. ^ Spargo, Chris (November 18, 2012). "Go Buy Willam's Album, 'The Wreckoning'". New Now Next. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "'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. 
  22. ^ Caulfied, Keith (February 8, 2013). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Divas Debut in Top 10 on Billboard Dance Charts". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Exclusive: Alaska, Courtney Act, and Willam Belli Team Up With American Apparel". September 11, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  24. ^ willam belli (September 30, 2014). "American Apparel Ad Girls with Courtney Act, Alaska 5000 and Willam #AAAgirls". Retrieved August 6, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  25. ^ "These Three Queens Have Just One Wish For Santa". Huffington Post. December 9, 2014. 
  26. ^ Courtney Act (December 8, 2014). "Dear Santa, Bring Me A Man – Alaska, Courtney Act & Willam". Retrieved August 6, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  27. ^ "Willam". www.facebook.com. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Willam". www.facebook.com. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Willam Belli Wants To Get Thrown Out of Her Own Show". April 17, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  30. ^ ""Shartistry in Motion" by Willam on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved August 6, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Willam's New Perfume Smells Like Sandalwood And Sex". Logo TV. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  32. ^ "Drag Queen Star Willam Belli to Host Fullscreen Talk Show as Part of Gay-Pride Content Lineup". Variety. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  33. ^ "**She's Living For This**". here TV. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  34. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Diane (October 14, 2012). "WATCH: RuPaul's Willam Belli on Transfashionable Drag Makeover". The Advocate. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Joe Manganiello, Willam, Detox & David Burtka Appear In The Latest Webisode Of Neil's Puppet Dreams". Instinct. January 8, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  36. ^ Beatdown Episode 01 with Willam, YouTube, willam belli (user), retrieved July 29, 2014 
  37. ^ Salandra, Anam (6 June 2017). "Alaska, Courtney Act, Willam Will Have The "Power" In New Little Mix Video". NewNowNext. Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  38. ^ "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. 
  39. ^ "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. 
  40. ^ Gutelle, Sam (August 21, 2017). "Drag Queens Willam, Alaska, Courtney Act Hit The Road For Fullscreen-Produced Tour". Tubefilter. Retrieved September 30, 2017. 
  41. ^ "2012 NewNowNext Awards". Logo TV. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]