Why is Trixie Mattel so popular?

Trixie Mattel is diving into home renovation with Discovery+ docu-series Trixie Motel, another huge milestone since her RuPaul’s Drag Race days.

It’s about time Trixie Mattel got her own show! The RuPaul’s Drag Race star exploded on to our screens in 2015 as the sassy Barbie queen with her huge blonde hair and pink outfits. Despite being eliminated four weeks into the programme, she’s turned her brief opportunity into a business empire.

Her latest project, Trixie Motel, follows the behind-the-scenes transformation of a run-down motel into the “ultimate drag paradise”. If the Queen Of Hearts and Yeehaw Cowgirl room themes are any indication, it’s not your regular hotel.

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Why is Trixie Mattel so popular?

Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery

She’s earned a fortune with her addictive personality

The Wisconsin-native is easily one the most successful stars to come out of Drag Race, despite her initial brief stint. She was brought back on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, only to be eliminated again in season 7, although she finally earned the well-deserved crown in 2018’s All Stars.

With three successful comedy series alongside fellow drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova, a make-up brand and a music career, her net worth has been estimated at $10 million. Her new Trixie Motel charges $750 per night, so she should be doing ok!

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Trixie Mattel: From Drag Race alum to make-up mogul

Trixie Cosmetics

Following her Oh Honey! collaboration with Sugarpill Cosmetics in 2018, Trixie launched her own brand – Trixie Cosmetics – a year later. Packaged in vibrant pinks and yellows, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the TV personality – it’s giving off a children’s magazine make-up aesthetic and we love the nostalgia.

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She’s got a host of celeb friends

Trixie began regularly uploading to her YouTube channel two years ago and has became a fully fledged YouTuber with 1.6 million subscribers. Her most popular videos are the fun Get Ready With Me slots with celebrity friends, including Iggy Azalea, Jojo Siwa and Margaret Cho.

A Billboard chart-topping artist

Looking at Brian Firkus’ alter ego, you wouldn’t think she’s a folk singer, but the 32-year-old has released four albums in the genre. Her debut album, Two Birds, was written entirely by her and efforts paid off since it reached number two on the Billboard Heartseekers chart and number six on US independent albums.

She reached the top spot with her next album, One Stone, in 2018.

The Blonde & Pink Albums – a double-disc affair – dropped on 24 June 2022, featuring Shakey Graves and Grammy-winning singer Michelle Branch.

Her Hello Hello music video gave major Beyoncé Single Ladies vibes, with the elaborate dance routine and two back-up dancers.

Why is Trixie Mattel so popular?

screenshot, YouTube – Trixie Mattel

Trixie landed Netflix web series with Katya

Her hilarious chemistry with Katya has been a fan-favourite since their Drag Race days, so much so they collaborated on least three shows, including Streamy-winning UNHhhh, and Netflix-produced I Like to Watch.

The latter is just the queens reacting to Netflix shows but their running commentary always has us crying with laughter.

Why is Trixie Mattel so popular?

screenshot, YouTube – Still Watching Netflix



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Why is Trixie Mattel so popular?

Yasmine Leung

Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.

Trixie Mattel, drag queen extraordinaire, was introduced to the world seven years ago with a heavy contour and a Dolly Parton-esque blond wig ​​on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Her over-the-top Barbie appearance on Season 7 gave way to a character that enthralled fans with a biting sense of humor and sharp musical talents, and she would go on to win the third installation of “Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars” a few years later. And while drag queens are known for their ability to lip-sync and perform, Trixie stands out for zeroing in on the importance of lyricism.

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Now she’s releasing “The Blonde & Pink Albums,” a double album out June 24 that highlights her new, sunny style.

“If I quit drag tomorrow, I would still write songs for the rest of my life, because that’s kind of my first love,” said Trixie, known outside of drag as Brian Firkus.


Her art form of choice is in the political hot seat, as elected officials from Arizona, Texas and Florida have recently suggested they will try to ban children from drag shows. While she declined to comment on the widening controversy for this article, her trademark humor about the subject is still evident on her Twitter. (In response to a user telling her to stay away from kids, Trixie simply replied “Girl I hate children.”)

The comic, singer and entrepreneur only started playing guitar and singing because she was interested in songwriting. “The artists I liked on the radio all played guitars. It was the era of Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch and Sheryl Crow and Green Day, and a lot of the music I was listing to was guitar-driven,” she said.

Part of her fondness of guitar grew out of necessity. “I grew up in the country extremely broke,” explained Trixie, who is from Wisconsin. “That’s what poor people play.”


Her first album, “Two Birds,” was heavily folk- and country-inspired because she wrote it about a breakup with a guy she dated back home. But Trixie is a California girl now, and the music from her fourth studio album reflects that shift. “You can just feel the California sunshine in this music,” she said of her new songs, most of which she wrote in her pink-interiored condo.

“The Blonde & Pink Albums” also see a bigger tonal shift than just style: For the first time she can recall, some tracks are written from the perspective of Trixie as drag queen. “In the beginning, I thought there was a fakeness for writing for the character in a way, so that’s why my early records especially are very personal and very somber. … It was during a time when I was trying to prove my musicianship, so I thought that if I didn’t make serious-sounding music, no one would take me seriously,” she said.

Drag queens are not the ones sexualizing drag story hour

“Hello Hello,” about a drag queen picking up a guy at a bar, isn’t something Trixie has actually done. But the latest albums, conceived during quarantine, are filled with fantasy.

“A lot of the songs are imagined scenarios, like ‘Girl of Your Dreams.’ … It’s based on a fantasy of something that hasn’t happened because I spent two years stuck inside,” Trixie said. “You can see that I was using this record as a little bit of a distraction at the time I was writing it, which is why we get out of my head a little more and we get into imagined scenarios or fables or other people’s stories.”

Trixie still mines material from her real life, too. “White Rabbit” was written while she was on an anniversary trip to Lake Arrowhead in California with her partner of six years, producer David Silver. Despite owning a motel with him — the focus of her new Discovery Plus show “Trixie Motel,” which follows her as she renovates the seven-room, pink-laden Palm Springs business — the duo doesn’t live together. “I’m a very difficult person to get close to and, in relationships, when things are going well I tend to panic and look for the door. … I ended up writing a song about a white rabbit being the metaphor of the person checking the clock and looking for the door in a relationship. Head between the knees, ready for impact.”


Trixie’s other long-term relationship, with her comedy partner, fellow drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova, also has its limitations. The “on-camera best friends” have worked together on the YouTube series “UNHhhh,” Netflix’s “I Like To Watch,” the book “Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood” and are on a comedy tour.

“We save all the magic for the studio, so unless we’re doing podcasting or YouTube or anything, we really keep it concise so when we get together we have something to talk about,” Trixie said. “ … We let our friendship exist sort of within these bounds of when it needs to be showcased.”

Trixie also believes some of the magic from their chemistry comes from their opposite personalities: She describes herself as “terribly ambitious” while Katya is more easygoing with her career. Katya “doesn’t care about being recognized or noticed or accoladed or awarded or whatever, whereas I think I always want whatever recognition or showcasing I can get,” Trixie said. “She really helps me relax sometimes — reminds me it’s not brain surgery, it’s just drag. And I think I always help her commodify the art a little bit. … I’m always trying to succession plan us and she’s always trying to make sure we don’t kill the enjoyment.”

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is more than a TV show. It’s a movement.

Trixie’s ability to commodify and plan is evident in her own brand. She has her own makeup line, Trixie Cosmetics, her motel and her music. As “Drag Race” host RuPaul told Jimmy Kimmel on the latter’s late-night show, “Trixie Mattel is so rich now. She is so rich. She’s got TV specials and albums and ornaments.” And that’s largely by design.


“Usually by the time something is in motion, I have thought about it or wanted it long enough that I had to force it into motion or pay for it to be in motion,” Trixie said.

Trixie, who is Native American, likens her business sense to putting her ear to the ground and listening for bison. “If I think something is a good idea I usually can’t be convinced otherwise. I need to either see it fail or see it succeed,” she said. “It’s not analytical as much as it’s instinctual.”

Bianca Del Rio, who was crowned the winner of RPDR season six, had 2.5 million followers on Instagram as of June 2022. Other Drag Race contestants with over two million followers on the platform are Katya Zamolodchikova, Adore Delano, Plastique Tiara, and Violet Chachki.

What pronouns do Trixie Mattel use?

(Trixie uses she/her pronouns; out of drag, Firkus uses he/him.)

Is Trixie Mattel successful?

RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel is one of the most successful contestants to have ever been on the show.

Has Trixie Mattel ever won a lip sync?

Miss Mattel certainly didn't have the best track record across the third All Stars edition of Drag Race (she won two challenges but was never singled out for owning a lip-sync for her legacy), but RuPaul clearly valued her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent on display outside the confines of the show enough to ...