My Pride Anthems: Shangela

The RuPaul's Drag Race and We're Here star discusses her love of "legendary divas" (and even manages to squeeze a bit of name-dropping in, too).
My Pride Anthems
My Pride Anthems
HuffPost UK

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, and that includes how we’re all celebrating Pride in 2020.

With huge public gatherings out of the question, we’re asking a range of LGBTQ celebrities and allies for their personal Pride anthems, to help us all get into the Pride spirit from lockdown.

RuPaul’s Drag Race’s very own Shangela is the latest star to share her musical picks in our My Pride Anthems series.

Christopher Smith/HBO

Although she’s best known for her stints on series three of Drag Race and All Stars 3 (not to mention that brief appearance in season two), Shangela more recently appeared opposite Lady Gaga in the film A Star Is Born, and joined fellow queens Bob The Drag Queen and Eureka in the HBO series We’re Here.

Here, she tells us about her love of “legendary divas”, and even manages to squeeze a bit of name-dropping in there. Well, she is a Professional...

Aretha Franklin – A Deeper Love

“I didn’t even have to think about this one, honey. This was the first song that came to mind. Yes, ma’am, Miss Aretha. This song screams Pride, it is about the love that you have for yourself.

“My favourite part is when she says ’I get up out of bed, I put on my clothes, ‘cause I’ve got bills to pay’. Yes ma’am. I love Aretha Franklin, she’s one of the greatest singers, and big powerhouse divas like that, I always love.”

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

“We’re in a rough time in our society right now, but we still need to have moments to celebrate, and listening to this album [Lady Gaga’s Chromatica], I feel able to celebrate with one of my new favourite anthems, which is Rain On me.

“It brought together two of my favourite divas – who I’ve worked with, both of them, how amazing is that to say? And throughout this Pride season I’m gonna need love, I’m gonna need equality, I’m gonna need all the good things to rain on me, honey.

“And this song acknowledges that there are challenges in this life. ‘I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive,’ she’s saying ‘I’d rather not have the pain on the rain fall on me, the adversity and the challenges – but at least I’m able, and I’m able to push forward, and have hope’.”

Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé – Savage

“In these days, we’ve got to have the confidence like Savage. And come on, it’s Beyoncé. And I like Meghan – I liked that Hot Girl Summer Track too, you know?

“I just think that she’s a fun girl that I’d wanna hang with. We’d have a good time.”

Barbra Streisand – Don’t Rain On My Parade

“I don’t want nothing to rain on my parade. And you know what, a lot of things our trying to rain on our parades right now. We’ve got the pandemic, we’ve got oppression, we’ve got police brutality, we have a lot more problems in our society, but don’t let that rain on your parade. You still have to find a way to have joy in your life... and I say ‘don’t rain on my parade’.”

Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

“I know you thought I was going to choose It’s Raining Men. So, as much as I love my pop songs, I also love the legendary classics of legendary divas. And one of those is Diana Ross.

“And trust me, as soon as it is safe to do so, I am coming out, I am coming out of this house, I’m coming out of these pyjamas, I am coming out.”

Shangela – Werqin’ Girl (Professional)

“You know, I wrote that song straight from my heart – during that time in 2012 I had just left Drag Race… I had to grow up in drag, and I wanted to get better in all the skills that I had, and I wanted to be a professional! I wanted people to know that I came to work.

“I never won the crown at RuPaul’s Drag Race but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to go out there and work for it, for my moment. I came to work! I am a professional.”

We’ll be adding each celebrity’s song choices to our bumper My Pride Anthems playlist each day. Take a listen below:


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