RuPaul’s Drag Race reached the milestone 15th season this year. For over a decade, the reality TV show has celebrated drag culture while helping drag queens reach mainstream audiences. Many Latine drag queens over the years have contributed to the drag excellence that has come from RuPaul’s franchise while turning out some memorable music.
One of the first major drag pop stars to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race was Adore Delano. The Mexican-American singer competed in season six in 2014. She finished as one of the runner-ups to Bianca Del Rio, who became the first Latina drag queen to snatch the crown. Another Latina who proved her pop prowess was Valentina, who competed in season nine in 2017. Earlier this year, she starred in the movie musical remake of La Usurpadora.
With RuPaul expanding her empire with international franchises, Latina drag queens from around the world have gotten chances to shine too. Envy Peru, the first Peruvian drag queen to compete across the franchises, became the first winner of Drag Race Holland in 2020. Drag Race España has allowed Latin American drag queens who have relocated to Spain to compete. Diamante Merybrown and Clover Bish have released music from their memorable talent shows from that franchise.
The upcoming eighth season of the All Stars spin-off features one of the casts with the most Latinas. Kandy Muse, Jessica Wild, Monica Beverly Hillz, Jaymes Mansfield, Kahanna Montrese, and Naysha Lopez hope to become the first Latina drag queen to join the Drag Race Hall of Fame as an All Stars winner.
Many of the Latine drag queens will be present at DragCon in Los Angeles, CA, on May 12 and 13. Among those confirmed so far are the current All Stars cast, Anetra and Mistress Isabelle Brooks — who were among this year’s top four queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race,— and Lolita Banana, the first Mexican-born drag to compete in the franchise. The drag queens will take over the Los Angeles Convention Center for the event.
To get ready for DragCon and the upcoming season of All Stars, here are eight of our favorite songs by the legendary Latine superstars of the RuPaul’s Drag Race universe.
Adore Delano - “I Adore You”
RuPaul’s Drag Race wasn’t Adore Delano’s first time appearing on reality TV. In 2008, she competed on the seventh season of American Idol out of drag as Danny Noriega. After creating her drag persona, she became a breakout star on season six of Drag Race. In 2014, Delano released her debut album Till Death Do Us Party, which solidified her as a bonafide drag pop star. The LP included her emotional track “I Adore You.” Backed by trap-lite beats, Delano sang her heart out about missing an ex who lingered on her mind. She channeled the punk aesthetic of her drag into an angst-driven bop.
Valentina - “A Prueba De Todo”
Valentina proudly represented her Mexican roots during her memorable run on season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Though she finished in seventh place, she became a fan favorite. Valentina competed again in the fourth season of All Stars in 2018. For her talent show, she performed the original song “A Prueba De Todo.” Valentina channeled the music of Mexican pop icons like Thalia and Paulina Rubio in her empowering electro-pop banger. The song would lead to a full-circle moment in her career. She worked on it with Grammy and Latin Grammy winner Sebastian Krys. Earlier this year, Valentina reunited with Krys for the movie musical remake of La Usurpadora.
Alexis Mateo - “Baila!”
Alexis Mateo proudly represented Puerto Rico during her run on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she came in third place back in 2011. Mateo later returned for the first season of All Stars a year later and got her true Ru-demption in 2020 on the fifth season of All Stars. She had Ricky Martin in awe during her talent show number performing her original song, “Baila!” In the conga-infused banger, she invited the world to dance with her while saying her catchphrases like “Sickening, no?” and “Act a fool, girl.” During that season, Mateo became the first drag queen to mention reggaeton music on Drag Race while talking about her love for Daddy Yankee.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo - “Miss Vanjie”
A Latina drag queen who proved losing is the new winning was Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. Alexis Mateo’s drag daughter was the first queen to be eliminated on season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2018. On her way out, the Puerto Rican drag queen made a memorable exit that included repeating her name “Miss Vanjie.” The moment went viral online, and Vanessa later released her song “I’m Vanjie.” Backed by house music beats, she boasted about her success while calling herself a “puta muy loca.” The fierce dance track preceded her return the following year on season 11 of All Stars, where she finished in fifth place.
Inti - "Q'IWA"
Inti was the first Latine drag queen to compete on Drag Race España when the international spin-off debuted in 2021. They also became the first Bolivian-born drag queen to compete in any Drag Race franchise. During their brief run on the show, Inti proudly represented their Indigenous Quechua roots through their fashion. They were also involved in the Spanish drag ball scene before appearing on the show. In their first single, “Q’IWA,” they blended all their worlds and came through with a powerful dance track about embracing who they are. Inti quit Drag Race España and finished the series in eighth place.
Diamante Merybrown - “Chocolate”
Diamante Merybrown was the only Latina drag queen to compete on season two of Drag Race España. During her run on the show, the Dominican drag queen proudly represented her Caribbean roots with her drag. Merybrown made a splash with her in the talent show episode with her original song “Chocolate.” Backed by a reggaeton beat, she celebrated her beauty as an Afro-Latina with playful lyrics. Merybrown placed at the top that week with her spectacular performance of the feel-good anthem. She later finished in seventh place in the competition. Last December, Merybrown also released her dembow-infused banger “Pollo Frito” featuring Choriza May, a Spanish contestant on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Clover Bish - “Sí Soy Mujer”
Clover Bish is currently competing in season three of Drag Race España. For the first time, more than one Latina competes. This includes Clover Bish, who is of Afro-Cuban descent, Mexican drag queen Visa, and Venezuelan drag queen María Edilia. Clover Bish is also making Drag Race herstory as the second cisgender woman to compete in any franchise following Victoria Scone from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. She celebrates that fact and pushes back against people who have a problem with cisgender women doing drag in “Sí Soy Mujer.” In the club banger seemingly inspired by Chelley’s “I Took the Night,” Clover Bish sings in Spanish, “Take a seat and watch / Yes, I’m a woman.”
Jaymes Mansfield - “Estoy Perdida”
Though Jaymes Mansfield’s run on RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2017 was very brief, she has built an empire for herself in the years that followed. Back in season nine, the Mexican-American drag queen was the first to be eliminated. Since then, she launched Jaymes Mansfield Beauty, which includes her popular wig line, and amassed a big following of fans on her YouTube channel. Mansfield is one of six Latinas returning for season eight of All Stars, premiering on May 12. Ahead of her return, she released her Spanglish bop “Estoy Perdida,” which features her puppet personality Huey Highlight. In the music video, Mansfield channels iconic looks by Selena Quintanilla and dons a dragged-out Mexican charro suit.