14 queens have been crowned on RuPaul’s Drag Race in the US, and seven queens have entered the Hall of Fame after winning a season of All Stars. Alas, numerous other queens have made herstory in different ways for either standing out in the competition or making a huge career for themselves outside of the series.
From touring the world to releasing original music to becoming social media sensations to being featured in different films and TV shows, many Drag Race queens have made a mark in Hollywood regardless of their actual placements on the show. While RuPaul will always be credited as the ultimate drag performer who took drag into mainstream media, several of her Drag Race children are now also moving the needle when it comes to representing the artform of drag in reputable spaces in the entertainment industry.
As of 2022, Mama Ru has introduced nearly 200 queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race. And yet, only a handful of them have gone on to win a prestigious Emmy Award in their careers. Most of them have won these trophies as a direct result of their work on Drag Race, but others have broken the mold and stood out in different projects that are completely unrelated to the franchise.
Scroll through to find out which RuPaul’s Drag Race queens have won Emmy Awards.
Laila McQueen competed on season eight Drag Race and was unfortunately sent home during the series’ second-ever double elimination. Since then, McQueen has focused on her makeup artistry and has become known for incorporating body hair – such as beards – into her mug. In 2022, McQueen, a.k.a. Tyler Devlin, won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program (Non-Prosthetic) for her work as a makeup artist on HBO’s We’re Here. As a result, McQueen became the first-ever Drag Race alum to win an Emmy unrelated to Mama Ru’s franchise.
Back in 2018, Delta Work became the first-ever Drag Race alum to win a Primetime Emmy. Work won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special for her styling RuPaul’s wigs on Drag Race season 10. Despite her Emmy-winning contributions to the series, Work is no longer involved with Drag Race in any capacity.
Raven started working as RuPaul’s makeup artist on season nine of Drag Race, and she’s still responsible for Mama Ru’s mug to this day. In 2020, Raven’s work as a makeup artist earned herself an Emmy Award for Outstanding Contemporary Makeup for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program. Specifically, Raven’s Emmy trophy came as a result of her makeup artistry throughout season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
One would be remiss not to include Mother RuPaul on this list given all of the Emmy records broken by the Drag Race host over the years. In 2021, RuPaul became the most-awarded person of color in Primetime Emmy history. When it comes to the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category, RuPaul also leads the pack with six wins – a comfortable margin ahead of Jeff Probst’s four wins for his hosting duties on Survivor.
A very significant honorable mention for this list is Willam. Despite not winning the award that she was nominated for, Willam became the first RuPaul’s Drag Race alum in herstory to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category. This took place in 2020, when Willam was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series for her acting work on EastSiders.