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You’ve probably never heard of 2 of the most popular drag queens on Instagram

Gloria Groove, music video, drag queen
Gloria Groove

Most people would likely assume that RuPaul is the most-followed drag queen on Instagram; after all, she’s the longtime drag ambassador who founded the wildly successful Drag Race series.

But RuPaul’s actually not the reigning queen of Instagram. In fact, the top two most-followed queens aren’t even from the United States.

Here’s a run-down of the top five most-followed queens— as of April 8, 2022 — and why they became so famous.

1) Pablo Vittar – 12.5 milion followers

 

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While Brazilian drag performer Pabllo Vittar started gaining notoriety after appearing on the adult primetime talk show Amor & Sexo (Love and Sex), her music has helped her achieve national fame.

Her 2015 song “Open Bar” became a hit by adding original Portuguese lyrics to Major Lazer’s song “Lean On.” Her 2017 debut album Vai Passar Mal (“It’s Going to Be Bad”) and her 2019 song “Amor de Que” (“Love of What”) were both featured prominently during Brazil’s carnival season. In same year, he became the first drag queen ever nominated for a Grammy.

2) Gloria Groove – 4.358 million followers

 

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Like Vittar, Groove appeared on Amor & Sexo early into their career. However, while Vittar performs pop, Groove has defined themselves as a “half-drag queen, half-rapper” with reggaetone, R&B, soul, funk and trap musical stylings.

Groove, who identifies as non-binary, has said they want to use their voice to point out Brazil’s social issues. “My music hopes to signify the existence of thousands of LGBTIQ people — our music becomes a platform of love and self-acceptance,” Groove said.

3) RuPaul – 4.356 million followers

 

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Even though RuPaul was a regular fixture of queer and underground New York night life throughout the 1990s, she first gained national celebrity through her 1993 track “Supermodel (You Better Work).” She has since introduced more people to drag culture than possibly any other drag performer in the world.

RuPaul has gone on to host the mega-successful Drag Race series, which now has 12 international spinoffs. She has also released 14 studio albums — though none of their songs have ever performed as well as “Supermodel.” She has also appeared in numerous LGBTQ-themed films and TV shows.

4) Trixie Mattel – 2.7 million followers

 

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It wasn’t shocking that Mattel was eliminated twice when she debuted in season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race: She withered under the judges’s critiques of her non-traditional makeup. Since then, she has blossomed into a true comedic and musical artist who victoriously won the series’ third All-Stars installment.

She and fellow Drag Race performer Katya Zamolodchikova have built a massive following with their YouTube shows UNHhhhandTrixie and Katya Save the World. She has also launched Trixie Cosmetics, released four country music albums and become co-owner of Wisconsin’s oldest LGBTQ+ bar, This Is It!

5) Bianca Del Rio – 2.5 million followers

 

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This blisteringly funny queen emerged as the clear winner in season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race, becoming the first Latina queen to win and the first winner never to have appeared in the bottom of a challenge or in a lip-sync elimination battle.

She has since appeared as the titular heroine of two Hurricane Bianca films, playing a teacher who reemerges as a fierce female anti-bullying advocate after getting fired for being gay. She has also gone on several comedy tours including The Rolodex of Hate, Not Today Satan, Blame It On Bianca Del Rio and It’s Jester Joke.