20 ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ stars, ranked by success

Rupaul's drag race
Some of the drag queens from ‘Drag Race’ have done more than others. Jim Spellman/Contributor/Getty Images
  • “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has launched the media careers of hundreds of drag queens.
  • Some of the drag queens on the show have gone on to make music and run successful businesses.
  • Considering factors like what they’ve achieved since the show and social media followings, we ranked the 20 most successful drag queens.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Season four winner Sharon Needles is a famous name in the drag world, but she has failed to make a lasting impact elsewhere.
Sharon Needles in a leather jacket on stage
Sharon Needles. Robb Cohen/AP
Sharon Needles had more impact immediately following her win. In 2013 — the year following her “Drag Race” win — she released a studio album called “PG-13.” It sold 3,000 copies in the first week and charted at No. 9 on Billboard’s top dance/electronic albums chart.

She released her second album, “Taxidermy,” in 2015, and her third album, “Battle Axe,” in 2017. In 2019, she released a Halloween-themed EP, “Spoopy,” which was well received by critics.

She also was a spokesperson for PETA and has 1 million followers on Instagram.

Symone is the current reigning queen and has already become a success in the modeling world.
Symone at the met gala on the right wearing a gold gown.
Symone. Evan Agostini/AP
Although Symone won the crown just this year, she already reached 1 million followers on Instagram

In the short time since the show, Symone has been featured on the cover of Interview Magazine and even attended the 2021 Met Gala in a Moschino gown. She also appeared in Kacey Musgraves’ movie “Star Crossed.”

With more time in the spotlight, Symone can easily work her way up this list. 

Monét X Change won her season of “All Stars,” but she’s seen the most success with the help of her drag sister, Bob The Drag Queen.
Monet X Change in red jumpsuit holding a septor on drag race
Monét X Change. VH1
Monét X Change won Miss Congeniality on season 10 and then went on to win “All Stars” season four, but — shockingly — she had to share the crown with Trinity Taylor.

She’s been sharing the spotlight ever since: She remains mostly relevant today thanks to the success of her podcast with Bob The Drag Queen called “Sibling Rivalry,” which has been running for more than 140 episodes.

Monét also has 1 million followers on Instagram and released an EP called “Unapologetically” in 2019. Throughout 2019, she also hosted a web talk show, “The X Change Rate,” with Build Series.

Latrice Royale is a fan favorite, but she’s made less of an impact outside the “Drag Race” world than some of her fellow queens.
Latrice Royale in a gold gown with hair up on stage at drag race
Latrice Royale. VH1
Latrice is no stranger to “Drag Race,” and as an icon of the show, she deserves to be on this list. She appeared in season four — winning Miss Congeniality — and two seasons of “All Stars.”

Since appearing on the show, she has started her own management company and appeared in RuPaul’s Netflix series “AJ and The Queen.” She’s also appeared as herself in multiple web series and documentaries, such as 2019’s “Wig” and “Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts,” about her fellow “Drag Race” star. In 2020, she appeared on “Celebrity Family Fortune” as part of the “Drag Race” team.

She also has a million followers on Instagram

Shea Couleé won her season of “All Stars” and now hosts her own podcast.
Shea Couleé in blue wig and black ensemble on drag race
Shea Couleé. VH1
Shea Couleé lost the crown to Sasha Velour in season nine, but she was able to win it during season five of “All Stars.”

Since then she released an EP in 2017 called “Couleé-D” and a number of singles including “Collide” in 2020. 

She now has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and hosts a podcast called “Wanna Be On Top?”

BenDeLaCreme had a dramatic exit from the franchise. She’s since appeared in a couple of Hulu projects.
BenDeLaCreme in purple gown with sheer shawl
BenDeLaCreme. Charles Sykes/AP
BenDeLaCreme won “Miss Congeniality” on season six and was a shoo-in for the third season of “All Stars.” She won more competitions than anyone in the history of the franchise that season, so she shocked audiences when she eliminated herself and left the competition. 

Since then, BenDeLaCreme has started her own live-events production company and has gone on tour with fellow “Drag Race” alum Jinkx Monsoon. They turned that tour into a special on Hulu called “The Jinkx and Dela Holiday Special.”

She has 1 million followers on Instagram and most recently appeared in Hulu’s “Happiest Season,” also with Jinkx Monsoon.

Although Vanessa Vanjie Mateo was the first to leave her season, she has had a lasting impact on the franchise.
Vanessa Vanjie Matteo in green shirt and brown wig on stage at rupaul drag race
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. VH1
In season 10, Vanjie was the first to go home, but as she left the stage, she repeated her name three times. RuPaul latched on to that moment, and it quickly became a meme. Despite being the first to go home, Vanjie because a superstar in the drag world and was even invited back for the following season to try again. 

She now has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She’s starred in Iggy Azaela’s music videos and also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” alongside the rapper. Vanjie has also worked on several other shows with the producers of “Drag Race,” like “Vegas Revue” and “Gay Sex Ed.”

Alaska Thunderf— has released several albums after being crowned the season two “All Stars” winner.
Alaska dressed in gold gown, blonde wig, and black feathers on drag race
Alaska. VH1
With 1.8 million followers on Instagram, Alaska has solidified her place in the world of drag. After being crowned the “All Stars” winner in 2016, she has gone on to release music. In 2015, she released her debut album, “Anus,” which peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s top dance/electronic albums chart, and followed it up with 2016’s “Poundcake” (which peaked at No. 4) and “Vagina” in 2019.

She has a memoir coming out later this year called “My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska?: A Memoir.”

Willam Belli’s dramatic exit from “Drag Race” made her one of the most famous drag queens.
Willam in a black dress and blonde wing on drag race stage
Willam. VH1
With 1 million followers on Instagram, it may be hard to believe that Willam was once shrouded in scandal. In season four, Willam was mysteriously disqualified from “Drag Race” for breaking the rules. Over the years, several different explanations were offered but nothing concrete.

Since then, Willam has appeared in Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” and the Netflix series “EastSiders,” which earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. 

She also recorded three comedy albums — including one that reached No. 1 on Billboard’s comedy albums chart in 2015 — and was named one of the “most powerful drag queens in America” by Vulture in 2019.

 

Valentina also had one of the most dramatic exits on the series and continues to be a standout.
Valentina wearing gold revealing gown with hair slicked back
Valentina. Richard Shotwell/AP
During her last lip sync battle on season nine, Valentina famously asked to keep her mask on because she didn’t know the words. She was kicked off the show, but that didn’t stop her rise to stardom. 

She guest appeared in “Claws” and Vogue’s YouTube channel. Valentina even graced the pages of Vogue Mexico.

Most notably, she played Angel in Fox’s “Rent: Live” and even made an appearance in 2021’s “In The Heights.”

These days, she has 1.5 million followers on Instagram.

After winning the 10th season of “Drag Race,” Aquaria made a name for herself in the fashion world.
Aquaria Met Gala 2019 in white wig and black eyeshadow
Aquaria. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
In 2019, Aquaria took home the crown, and now she is a fashion model with 1.7 million followers on Instagram

After “Drag Race,” she modeled for Moschino and H&M in 2018 and signed with IMG Models. Most notably, she became the first drag queen to ever be invited to the Met Gala in 2019. That same year, she appeared in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Beauty Fashion Show in the fall.

Alyssa Edwards is a fan favorite and remains one of the most recognizable queens.
Alyssa Edwards with a blonde wig and red lips
Alyssa Edwards. Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Logo
With 1.9 million followers on Instagram, Alyssa Edwards is well-loved in the franchise. 

After appearing on season five of “Drag Race” and the second of “All Stars,” she started her successful YouTube series “Alyssa’s Secret,” which has notched up millions of views. 

In 2018, Netflix released a documentary called “Dancing Queen” about the dancing school she owns and runs in Texas.

Although Violet Chachki has millions of Instagram followers, she has remained mostly under the radar outside of the drag community.
Violet Chachki in black wig and blue dress
Violet Chachki. Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
Since winning season seven of “Drag Race” in 2015, Violet Chachki hasn’t done much in the mainstream media. She has become a performance artist, performing stripteases and aerial acrobatics while on tour. She also attended the 2019 Met Gala.

The only reason she didn’t place lower in this ranking is that she has earned 2 million followers on Instagram, making her one of a handful of “Drag Race” queens to reach the 2 million mark. 

Sasha Velour has the most memorable win in “Drag Race” history, and she has kept the momentum going.
Sasha Velour RuPaul's Drag Race wearing blue suit and holding up a red book with her name and picture on it
Sasha Velour. Santiago Felipe/Getty Images
“Drag Race” fans will forever remember the moment in the season nine finale when Sasha Velour pulled off her wig and rose petals fell out, while she lip-synced to Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional.” She took home the crown that night after staying mostly under the radar the whole season.

She now has 1.8 million Instagram followers, and she appeared on notable TV shows like “The Bold Type” and “Broad City.”

She’s had her own New York Fashion Week show. The queen also runs a drag show called “Nightgowns,” prompting Fast Company to say she is “disrupting the business of drag” in 2019.

As a Fulbright scholar, Velour has also spoken at The Teen Vogue Summit and The Smithsonian’s “The Long Conversation” about LGBTQ issues and history. 

Bob The Drag Queen has become a recognizable face in comedy after winning her season.
Bob The Drag Queen with a gold necklace and colorful makeup
Bob The Drag Queen. Roy Rochlin/ Getty Images
Bob The Drag Queen won season eight of “Drag Race” and has gone on to flourish in the comedy world. For starters, she released her song “Purse First” in 2016, which peaked at No. 43 on Billboard’s hot dance/electronic songs chart and now has over 3 million views on YouTube. She also now has 1.5 million followers on Instagram.

She is known for her comedic videos on TikTok where she has 1.7 million followers. Bob also has two comedy specials, including “Suspiciously Large Woman” in 2017 and “Live at Caroline’s” in 2020. The drag queen also stars in HBO’s “We’re Here” with Shangela and Eureka, while also appearing in shows like “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “Tales of The City.”

Most notably, she hosts a successful podcast with her drag sister, Monét X Change, called “Sibling Rivalry.”

After leaving “Drag Race,” Adore Delano became popular in the music world.
Adore Delano in a pink wig and black t shirt
Adore Delano. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Adore Delano started her career on “American Idol” in 2008 under her real name, Danny Noriega. In 2014, she joined the “Drag Race” cast for season six and made it to the finals. She returned for “All Stars,” but she became the first contestant to eliminate themselves. 

Since then, Adore has earned 2.1 million followers on Instagram and released three studio albums, including “Till Death Do Us Party” in 2014, “After Party” in 2016, and “Whatever” in 2017.

“After Party” reached the top of the dance charts on iTunes in just five minutes after being released. It also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s top dance/electronic albums chart.

Shangela has become a bonafide superstar, rounding out the top four “Drag Race” queens.
Shangela in gold gown and large brown wig
Shangela. Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
Although Shangela has 1.5 million followers on Instagram (well below the rest of the top five), she still earned her spot high on this list because she has had mainstream success. 

Not only did she appear on seasons two and three of “Drag Race” and the third season of “All Stars,” but she’s also guest-starred in shows like “2 Broke Girls,” “Glee,” “Bones,” “The Mentalist,” and “The X-Files.”

She also made an appearance in Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” in 2018 and performed with Miley Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. 

 

Katya Zamolodchikova is the third-most recognizable face from “Drag Race.”
Katya in red hat and red shirt and blonde wig on drag race
Katya. VH1
With 2.4 million followers on Instagram, Katya is well known in the drag community, despite not winning her season of “Drag Race” in 2015 nor “All Stars.”

She has partnered with Trixie Mattel to star in their web series “UNHhhh” and Netflix’s “I Like to Watch.” Katya also co-wrote “Trixie and Katya’s Guide To Modern Womanhood,” making her a New York Times bestselling author. 

The drag queen also has a standup special from 2020 called “Help Me I’m Dying.”

Katya has also been vocal about her struggle with addiction, saying, “I thought I just had a drug problem. It wasn’t just a drug problem.”

Bianca Del Rio is the most-followed “Drag Race” queen on Instagram, and she’s one of the most successful.
Bianca Del Rio dressed in red dress and pretending to scream
Bianca Del Rio. Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images
With 2.5 million followers on Instagram, Bianca del Rio continues to attract fans with her dry, brutal wit after winning “Drag Race” in 2014. 

Since then, she has released two feature films, “Hurricane Bianca” and “Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate.” She has a couple of stand-up specials, including “Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate” in 2015.

Even The New York Times called her the “Joan Rivers of the Drag World.” 

She will also appear in the upcoming movie adaptation of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.”

After winning the third season of “All Stars,” Trixie Mattel has become a music and comedy icon.
Trixie Mattel dressed in black and white top with blonde wig
Trixie Mattel. John Lamparski/Getty Images
In 2018, Trixie won the “All Stars” season and now has over 2.4 million followers on Instagram. But her success goes well beyond the “Drag Race” universe and social media. 

Most notably, she has formed a comedic partnership with fellow “Drag Race” alum Katya. Together, they host their highly successful YouTube show “UNHhhh” where views often reach the millions. They also host “I Like to Watch” for Netflix.

The two also published their bestselling book, “Trixie and Katya’s Guide To Modern Womanhood.” 

Outside of her partnership with Katya, Trixie is a successful businesswoman, launching a beauty brand, Trixie Cosmetics, which has lipstick, blush, and glitter. She also recently bought a local LGBTQ bar in Milwaukee and saved it from closing. Trixie even got her own Discover+ show about renovating a motel called “Trixie Motel.”

While staying at the top of the drag queen and businesswoman games, Trixie is also a successful musician, releasing three studio albums. For instance, her album, “One Stone,” hit No. 1 on the iTunes charts. Trixie’s first album called “Two Birds” debuted at No. 16 on the Americana/folk albums chart and also reached No. 2 on the Heatseekers albums chart.