Songs from RuPaul's Drag Race alumni aren't always sickening in the flattering sense of the word. But numerous queens from the game-changing reality series have proven they're just as adept at creating their own music as they are lip-syncing to other artists' hits. Whether singing or rapping or doing something in between, plenty of RPDR veterans know how to dominate the mic.
From parodies to bitch tracks to heartfelt originals, here are some of our favorite songs from contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race, listed in no particular order.
Aja goes as hard on the mic on "Brujeria" as she went in on Valentina in Untucked. Over a rattling beat and an eerie vocal loop, Aja declares she's "Sabrina the Teenage Bitch" and cackles like a wild sorceress brewing up a witchy hip-hop concoction.
Blair St. Clair, "Now or Never"
It's no surprise that this constantly-crying queen is in touch with her feelings, but Blair St. Clair made the fanbase do a spit take when she revealed she can successfully tap into that emotional well to create an affecting, empowering and hook-y dancefloor anthem like "Now Or Never." And girl can sing.
Tammie Brown, "Porta Potty Prostitute"
The alpha oddball on Drag Race, Brown rides a sprightly new wave guitar riff to deliver one of the most bizarre metaphors about love gone wrong imaginable with "Porta Potty Prostitute." This '80s-flavored track is as delicious as the imagery is disgusting.
RuPaul ft. Alaska, Detox, Katya and Roxxxy Andrews, "Read U Wrote U" (Ellis Miah Mix)
An instant gay bar classic, "Read U Wrote U" featured the top four contenders of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 2 laying down braggadocious verses referencing everything from Drag Race herstory to Russian literature to to The Wizard of Oz. It's pure fire, and a perfect team karaoke number.
Aja, Alexis Michelle, Peppermint and Sasha Velour ft. DJ Mitch Ferrino, "C.L.A.T."
RuPaul's Drag Race season 9 boasted four New York City queens, and all of them teamed up on "C.L.A.T." to deliver a sickening house banger that hits on everything from gender as a construct to building your art from the ground-up, viral clips be damned, NYC style.
Tatianna, "The Same Parts"
Season 2 contestant Tatianna went from obscure Drag Race tri answer to RPDR G.O.A.T. when she took the stage in All Stars 2 and delivered her flawless spoken word parody piece "The Same Parts." It was a cappella on the show, but this musical version matches the expertly tailored lyrics with stretchy synths and a brittle 808 beat.
Jinkx Monsoon, "Hold On"
An unexpectedly affecting portrait of a dissatisfied middle-aged housewife, Jinkx Monsoon's "Hold On" is basically the story of Mrs. Dalloway set to the music of Hairspray. It's just under three minutes, but the detailed lyrics ensure it stays with you much longer.
Courtney Act, "Body Parts"
A semi-finalist on Australian Idol, Courtney Act – unlike many Drag Race vets – can legitimately sing. "Body Parts" is a fun, frothy and frisky '80s throwback, with echoes of Oli Newton-John's "Physical" and Giorgio Moroder.
Violet Chachki, "Bettie"
A dark slab of industrial dance, Violet Chachki's harrowing Bettie Page, BDSM-inspired "Bettie" is one of the most expertly crafted, musically adventurous tracks to come from a RPDR alum. With an aesthetic that's more art than camp, the Gagged EP did exactly that to us.
Alaska Thunderfuck, "Puppet"
A deliriously upbeat, catchy hook pairs well with the unrepentantly filthy (and hysterical) lyrics on this standout track from All Stars 2 winner Alaska. She has a number of excellent songs, but the Lil' Poundcake-inspired "Puppet" is undeniable.
Bob the Drag Queen, "Purse First"
With music from drag queen whisperer DJ Mitch Ferrino, Bob the Drag Queen's "Purse First" is actually a legit banger from a Drag Race winner who doesn't primarily identify as a singer. Named after Bob's workroom entry strategy, "Purse First" boasts clever lyrics, Bob's irresistible personality and…quacking.
Adore Delano, "I Adore U"
As an American Idol veteran (Danny Noriega auditioned with "Proud Mary" and memorably snapped back at Simon Cowell on live TV), Adore Delano can truly sing. As such, Delano has a number of killer studio tracks, but the synth-y, lovelorn "I Adore U" – which shows off her vocal control, heart-on-sleeve personality and sass – is our favorite.
The AAA Girls, "American Apparel Ad Girls"
Alaska, Willam and Courtney Act combined forces for an all-star jam that draws on Capital Cities' excellent "Farrah Fawcett Hair" and touches on everything from bisexual Uber drivers to the turtle kid to using the bathroom immediately after drinking coffee. In short, it covers everything worth talking about in life.
Shangela, "Werqin' Girl (Professional)"
"Figure it out quick like Nancy Drew / Catch on quick like halleluuuu." The Unsinkable Shangela Laquifa Wadley is a drag queen of nine lives, and while singing isn't a big part of her repertoire, the frenetic, M.I.A.-esque "Werqin' Girl (Professional)" demonstrates she can create magic on the mic.
Trixie Mattel, "Mama Don't Make Me Put on the Dress Again"
Country music might not be renowned for its LGBTQ inclusivity, but you don't necessarily get to choose the music that you love. Fan favorite Trixie Mattel's old-timey country ditty "Mama Don't Make Me Put on the Dress Again" (there's more fiddle here than most songs on country radio) is a moving exploration of homesickness, alcoholic daddies and bouncing out on your lover.
Sharon Needles, "Call Me on the Ouija Board"
It's hard to write a love song from a fresh perspective, but with "Call Me On the Ouija Board," Elvira-loving season 4 winner Sharon Needles delivers an inventive, bubbly dance-pop track that combines the supernatural and the sensual. Not so much a cult favorite as an occult favorite.
Ginger Minj, "Dream a Little Dream"
We only got to hear a short snippet in All Stars 2, but Ginger Minj's highly personal "Dream a Little Dream" is a vocal tour de force about loving yourself with bluesy rock guitar, moody organ riffing and a Gospel choir.
Willam ft. Sharon Needles, "RuPaulogize"
Willam reinvents OneRepublic's massive hit "Apologize" as "RuPaulogize," turning the power ballad into a Hi-HRG-inflected dance track with goofy, vulgar and hilarious lyrics. Best of all, it's just one of many dirty pop song reinventions in Willam's substantial arsenal.
Miss Fame, "Rubber Doll"
Miss Fame's impact on drag far outstretches her season 7 ranking, and the electronic pop of "Rubber Doll" exemplifies her ability to construct a cohesive world that mixes camp, couture and clever wordplay without letting the audience see a single seam.
Manila Luzon, "Hot Couture"
Third season runner-up Manila Luzon serves "Hot Couture" (everything from Gaultier to… Target) on this amiable dance-pop jam reminiscent of early Lady Gaga.