13 Music Videos Starring Drag Queens
Drag queens have long offered joy, levity and glamor in an often frustrating, tense, dull world.
Unfortunately, bills proposed and laws passed across the United States in 2023 are attempting to limit drag queens and force them off the stage. Thankfully, pop stars such as Lizzo and Hayley Kiyoko are rallying to show their support for drag performers and the art of drag.
That should hardly be surprising, however, as drag queens have been a staple in pop culture for decades, from the domination of RuPaul’s Drag Race on TV to references and appearances in countless films and other popular media.
READ MORE: Adam Lambert Speaks Out Against Drag Bans
Pop stars and other musicians have been featuring drag queens in their music videos for years, too. These glam cameos have helped bring queer icons to the mainstream and are proof that the industry won’t bow down anytime soon to the idea of stifling LGBTQ+ creativity and representation.
Below, discover 13 music videos that feature cameos from incredibly talented drag queens!
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Lady Gaga has never hesitated to celebrate all things queer. She put her support of drag culture on full display when it was time to film the lyric video for her 2013 hit “Applause.”
The fun lyric video, which was filmed during a drag show, features cameos from RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Raven, Shangela, Morgan McMichaels, Shannel and Detox.
Miley Cyrus embraced the aging process on her 2017 single “Younger Now.” Perhaps appropriately, she paired the track with a kitschy, colorful throwback music video starring an older, wiser cast including drag queen James “Gypsy” Haake, who was 85 years old at the time of filming.
Kacey Musgraves channels The Plastics from Mean Girls with a trip to the mall in the star-studded music video for her 2021 “Simple Times” music video. The throwback to the golden era of the early 2000s is full of pastel fashion and fun references. However, things take a turn when the country hit-maker and her group of friends pull off a costume change to wreck a wedding shop. The video notably features Drag Race star Symone as a part of Musgraves’ girl gang.
Kesha’s feminist anthem “Woman” is truly inclusive. The 2017 single celebrates the power of womanhood, and its accompanying music video makes it clear she’s singing about all sorts of women. The video highlights several drag queens and was filmed at a bar that regularly hosts drag shows.
Taylor Swift showed her support for the LGBTQ+ community in a big way with the release of her 2019 single “You Need to Calm Down.” The single’s accompanying music video features a number of queer stars, including drag icon RuPaul and Drag Race alums Trinity the Tuck, Delta Work, A-Keria C. Davenport, Adore Delano, Tatianna, Trinity K. Bonet and Jade Jolie, who dress up as some of the era’s most recognizable female pop stars!
As an eternal ally to the LGBTQ+ community, it should hardly come as a surprise that Christina Aguilera’s beloved 2002 “Beautiful” music video highlights queer stories. Aside from shining a light on a gay couple, the video also features a drag queen getting done up at her vanity and looking stunning while doing so.
Released in April 2020, Sam Smith and Demi Lovato’s “I’m Ready” might have been one of the final music videos filmed before the pandemic threw a wrench into release schedules. The anthemic track was paired with a bold and daring visual featuring cameos from Gigi Goode and Valentina of Drag Race fame.
Iggy Azalea introduced her long-awaited sophomore album with “Sally Walker” in 2019. The edgy track puts a fun spin on the classic nursery rhyme, and its accompanying music video is a spectacle with a funereal theme and cameos from drag queens Vanessa “Vanjie” Mateo, Mayhem Miller and Shea Coulee. It’s truly up there with her classic Clueless-referencing “Fancy” video!
The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” was an inescapable hit when it arrived back in 2009, and the accompanying music video is a perfect time capsule to the party culture of the era. It also features Drag Race alum Ongina. Years later, the drag star recalled the experience in a conversation with Billboard, telling the outlet that she and Fergie were “kind of like friends” and that the shoot was “amazing.”
Kim Petras was churning out queer pop anthems for years before she joined forces with Sam Smith on their world-conquering “Unholy.” Take her sugary sweet anthem “Malibu,” for example. The song arrived early in the pandemic and was paired with an “At Home Edition” music video starring fellow pop stars, other celebs and drag queen Aquaria. The Drag Race Season 10 winner brings even more glamor to the fun and campy video, which was released during a very dark time.