‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Why Beyoncé Songs Have Become More Common in Recent Years

<p><em><a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/rupauls-drag-race/”>RuPaul’s Drag Race</a> </em>has entertained audiences around the world since its debut in 2009, and the series has only continued to explode all over the globe with <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/every-rupauls-drag-race-international-spin-off-due-release-2022.html/”>international spin-offs</a>. Every episode of <em>Drag Race </em>culminates in a lip sync battle between two (or more) queens to some beloved hit songs. But throughout all those years, Beyoncé songs were notably absent from the lip syncs. In recent years, however, Bey has become a more common lip sync artist. </p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full”><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”832″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg?strip=all&quality=95″ alt=”Beyoncé” class=”wp-image-3420907″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg?w=640&h=444 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg?w=768&h=532 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg?w=1024&h=710 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg?w=87&h=60 87w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyonce-Drag-Race.jpg?w=150&h=104 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Beyoncé | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy</figcaption></figure>

<h2>Beyoncé songs have become more common in recent years on ‘Drag Race’</h2>

<p>Beyoncé has been a part of popular culture for over two decades, first as a member of Destiny’s Child and later as a solo star. But despite her worldwide fame and hallowed place in the LGBTQ community, Beyoncé songs were notably absent from <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race </em>for many years. </p>

<p>2022 marked a turning point for Beyoncé representation in <em>Drag Race</em> lip syncs, as several of her songs were used on season 14 of <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race </em>and season 7 of <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars</em>. In 2023, she’s already been featured in one <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/rupauls-drag-race-season-15-most-lip-sync-lalaparuza-songs-have-been-used-in-past-drag-race-lip-syncs.html/”>lip sync on season 15 of <em>RPDR</em></a>. </p>

<figure class=”wp-block-embed is-type-rich is-provider-twitter wp-block-embed-twitter”><div class=”wp-block-embed__wrapper”>
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-width=”550″ data-dnt=”true”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>? Spoilers ahead! ?<br><br>Put your hands UP! ? The bottom two from this week’s maxi challenge gave us Sasha Fierce realness in a lip sync to “Single Ladies” by <a href=”https://twitter.com/Beyonce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Beyonce</a>! ? What’d you think? ? <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/DragRace?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#DragRace</a> <a href=”https://t.co/ykdB22tZfa”>pic.twitter.com/ykdB22tZfa</a></p>— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RuPaulsDragRace/status/1631836608474546176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>March 4, 2023</a></blockquote><script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

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<h2>A bigger budget for ‘Drag Race’ allows Beyoncé song clearances </h2>

<p>For every song used in a lip sync on <em>Drag Race</em>, producers behind the show have to secure licensing rights in order to broadcast the song with the queens performing to it. Since <em>Drag Race </em>began airing on VH1 in 2019, the network has continued to put more money behind the show as it became a flagship series and began <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/emmy-awards-rupauls-drag-race-brings-home-multiple-wins-can-show-beat-the-amazing-race.html/”>racking up Emmy Awards</a> left and right, making RuPaul the most-awarded reality show host in Emmy history and the Television Academy’s most-awarded performer of color. </p>

<p>Season 14 marked the first time the winner of the season would be awarded a $150,000 grand prize. Similarly, the runner-up won a $50,000 prize. </p>

<p>With season 15, <em>Drag Race </em>made the jump to MTV. And with the broader access means a bigger prize budget, as the winner will receive a $200,000 cash prize. </p>

<p>An ever-increasing budget for <em>Drag Race </em>has allowed for greater freedom in licensing songs for the show. Not only are songs used in lip sync battles, for examples, but queens are now allowed to use songs of their choice in the talent show challenge. This has resulted in unconventional song choices on <em>Drag Race </em>such as Enya’s “Only Time” and The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” </p>

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-width=”550″ data-dnt=”true”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Spoiler alert! <img src=”https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/14.0.0/72×72/26a0.png” alt=”⚠” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” /><br><br>The bottom two Queens turn out a sexy lip sync to “Suga Mama” by Beyoncé! ? What’d you think? <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/DragRace?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#DragRace</a> <a href=”https://t.co/4n48u1QSeY”>pic.twitter.com/4n48u1QSeY</a></p>— RuPaul’s Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RuPaulsDragRace/status/1492324494236688384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 12, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

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<h2 id=”h-every-beyonce-song-used-on-drag-race-over-the-years”>Every Beyoncé song used on ‘Drag Race’ over the years</h2>

<p>The first time a Beyoncé song was used on <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race </em>was way back in its first season. During the makeover challenge, the queens were tasked with preparing their drag children for a performance of “Freakum Dress.” In another episode on season 1, teams in a challenge are assigned to perform either “Independent Women Part 1” or “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. Because the songs weren’t properly cleared before the show aired, the first season of <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race </em>remained “The Lost Season” for many years as fans struggled to find a way to watch it. </p>

<p>The second time a solo Beyoncé song was used on <em>Drag Race </em>was on season 1 of <em>Drag Race Thailand</em>. Dearis Doll and B. Ella lip synced to “Crazy in Love,” Bey’s breakout hit single from 2003. </p>

<p>Beginning with season 14 of <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race </em>in 2022, more Beyoncé songs became a part of lip sync battles. Jasmine Kennedie and Maddy Morphosis duked it out to the sexy <em>B’Day </em>smash “Suga Mama.” A few episodes later, Angeria Paris VanMicheals, Jorgeous, and Lady Camden performed in a three-way lip sync to “Radio” from <em>I Am… Sasha Fierce</em>. And in the final episode before the reunion and finale, Angeria and eventual winner Willow Pill performed <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/lady-gaga-revealed-telephone-song-beyonce-physical-phone.html/”>“Telephone,” the beloved collaboration between Lady Gaga and Beyoncé</a> from the turn of the last decade. </p>

<p>Season 15 of <em>RuPaul’s Drag Race </em>featured a long-awaited “Night of 1000 Beyoncés” runway category. To accompany the runway, the bottom two queens in the episode performed to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” </p>

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