The RuPaul’s Drag Race and We’re Here drag superstar revealed Friday during her historic appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon what went down when she encountered the power couple for the first time after performing a medley of the singer’s hits at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards.
“I was standing there dressed as Beyoncé and I look up and I’m standing next to Jay-Z…. I need to say something cool because I want to be invited to the house to kick it!” she told Fallon. “He didn’t laugh at my joke, but he was really sweet!”
Sean Gallagher/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ queen Shangela on ‘The Tonight Show’
The A Star Is Born actor said she then followed a natural “light” emanating from Beyoncé’s spirit (of course) and immediately began fangirling to the icon’s face — a sentiment Bey returned.
“Honestly, she was so kind. She was like, ‘You were so good,’ and I was like, ‘You’re so good!'” Shangela recalled. “I literally was erupting everything she said back to her. I couldn’t think of anything to say, but I love her!”
Shangela kicked off the interview by showing Fallon how to pop a fan in her signature style (“I want you to give it some gusto, Jimmy!” she urged the host) — something she also showed Vice President Kamala Harris how to do while the politician traversed the 2020 campaign trail.
Fallon later asked Shangela about her groundbreaking HBO series We’re Here, in which she travels around the country making over small-town Americans with fellow Drag Race alums Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka. She previously told EW that the experience of filming season 2 on the streets of Selma — particularly the Edmund Pettus bridge, where civil rights activists famously marched for equality 60 years ago — was a life-changing one.
“You think of the history of that bridge, of the trauma that bridge holds, of the significance of the moment, that so many people made the attempt to march across that bridge and were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the people who survived, the people who came back and triumphantly marched across, fighting for equality, and here we are in 2021!” she said.
She added, “Especially as Black people [and] as LGBTQIA+ people, we’re still fighting for equality, we’re fighting discrimination, we’re fighting for acceptance and equal treatment for all people. Standing on that bridge as a Black gay person raised in the South, as someone who’d come to that town to help amplify the voices and find a community of support for the gays there, but also as a person that understood the significance of the moment, it was very powerful.”
Watch Shangela’s full interview on The Tonight Show above.
We’re Here streams Mondays on HBO Max.
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