Shangela Laquifa Wadley (born DJ Pierce on November 22, 1981) is an African-American drag queen, comedian, and reality television personality and contestant on the second and third seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race. He was the first to be eliminated among the season-two contestants, but made a surprise return in the third season by springing out of a box. He was among the final five before his elimination in episode eleven, and he has had several TV appearances and nationwide performances since the show.
On Dance Moms
In Cathy Brings It On, Laquifa made her first appearance while being presented by Abby. She proceeded to sing her own song, "They Call Me Laquifa", to the girls before teaching them several moves. The prime purpose of her appearance was to teach just Nia the Death Drop, when three episodes prior (in She's a Fighter), Nia had done a solo called "They Call Me Laquifa" from Laquifa herself.
Pierce grew up in Paris, Texas, and was raised primarily by his grandparents because his mother was in the military and relocated often. Pierce was the first male cheerleader in his local high school since 1968. He began dressing in drag to get As in creative projects for English classes in high school. After high school, Pierce attended Southern Methodist University and graduated with honors. He briefly worked in public relations before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.
Shangela emerged as Pierce's drag persona in January 2009. Pierce had choreographed a three person drag act to "Single Ladies" for a sober charity event in Los Angeles, and when one of the performers cancelled, the other two asked him to fill in. The club's promoter was so impressed with Shangela's performance that he offered to book his for the following week. After only five months of performing in Los Angeles, Shangela was selected to join the cast for Season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race.
Shangela is known for his catchphrase, "halleloo," which the Los Angeles Times considered one of the "2010 Top Terms We Learned on Reality Television." His comedian persona is Laquifa, who entered the limelight during eighth episode of season three, in which he won the "Ru Ha Ha" competition. Since being on RuPaul's Drag Race, Laquifa has performed comedy as Laquifa in Downelink.com’s “One Night Stand Up!” on LOGO. Additionally, he has performed in the Drag Queens of Comedy showcase alongside legends Lady Bunny, Jackie Beat and Coco Peru.
He has also had several television appearances, including Toddlers & Tiaras, in which he coached his 9 year-old goddaughter to compete in a beauty pageant. Additionally, Shangela has had appearances in episodes of Community, Terriers, Dance Moms, and Detroit 187. He has also appeared in a commercial for Orbitz with fellow Drag Race contestants, Manila Luzon and Carmen Carrera. Shangela was featured as one of OUT Magazine's Most Compelling People of 2011. He also had a non-drag role in a short film, Body of a Barbie, which aired on BET and was a Top 7 National Finalist on the network's Lens on Talent series.
On 23 August 2011, he released his first single "Call Me Laquifa," which is available for purchase via iTunes and other commercial music sites. His second single, "Werqin' Girl" was released on 7 August 2012.