An Angel With An Agenda: Say Halleloo to RuPaul Queen Shangela

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

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You can’t keep a good queen down, you know. Even if she’s been tossed off the Drag Isle of RuPaul Island two times before already. Gurl has a plan this time.

Shangela first competed on the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she was eliminated first, placing 12th in the competition overall. But she’s a fierce one.

Shangela returned to compete on the third season RuPaul’s Drag Race, then after winning two challenges, Shangela was eliminated in Episode 11. Following Carmen Carrera’s subsequent return and elimination, Shangela placed 6th in the competition overall.

And who is the real person behind the wig and fabulous make-up? D.J. Pierce hails from Paris, Texas — not exactly a hotbed of progressive thinking. He grew up as an only child with a single Army vet mom, a hard-working aunt and her grandparents, who remain to this day some of D.J.’s biggest supporters. D.J.’s grandpa was a pig and cattle farmer ranchhand. D.J.’s childhood was spent singing in the church choir, playing Atari Pole Position and tracing dresses from the bridal section of D.J.’s granny’s JCPenney catalog. (All of this and more can be found on Shangela’s website.)

One of Shangela’s first performances in drag was when she was 16 and still in high school — in fact in the 10th grade. D.J. had to put together a book report for his English class. Since the book was the Mark Twain classic that taught generations about the meaning of equality and friendship during an era where slavery was till the law of half the land, D.J. took the book as inspiration and re-wrote the lyrics of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue’s hit from the early ’70s, “Proud Mary,” and performed as Jim from the Book, earning her high marks and praise from all concerned.

D.J. attended Southern Methodist University along with Sahara Davenport, season 2 fellow. Her drag mother is Alyssa Edwards from season 5.

Here’s what she had to tell us about her plans to snatch this season’s All Star crown:

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Last modified: March 22, 2018

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