NPR’s music blog “The Record” has a story about women who perform in character, which has a particular focus on drag-type/influenced performances and personas:
Pop Personae: Why Do Some Women Perform In Character?: There are some pop stars right now who look a lot like drag queens — Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Katy Perry, even Ke$ha. I went to an apartment full of pillows and animal prints to ask an expert why this is so. It’s the home of Bebe Zahara Benet, winner of the first season of the glitter-drenched reality show Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Is there anything in particular about these pop stars that reminds Bebe of her colleagues? She opens her eyes wide and stares at me. (via The Record : NPR.)
Surprisingly, they don’t discuss Janelle Monáe (about whom I’ve written extensively, and ecstatically, in the past) – even though she has been featured frequently and prominently elsewhere in the NPR empire, and has created one of the more striking pop personas of recent years. And her tuxedo stylings clearly fit into a certain type of male drag framework.