RuPaul Was Surprised Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Were 'Drag Race' Fans
By Paige Gawley
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Even RuPaul is surprised by some of his celebrity fans. During Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 60-year-oldhost of RuPaul'sDrag Race tells guest host Loni Love about one of the most unexpected fans of his long-running competition series.
"I was walking into a hotel in New York... and Kobe and his wife were in the lobby," RuPaul recalls bumping into the late NBA pro Kobe Bryant and his wife, Vanessa. "They said that they watch the show. I was surprised by that. That surprised me."
Vanessa expressed her love for RuPaul on Instagram back in 2017, sharing a pic of herself looking glam with dramatic makeup and sunglasses.
"#Mood When @rupaulofficial complimented me on my lipstick and asked me what color it is," Vanessa captioned the pic at the time. "Yes! #Werk Love RuPaul!"
Kobe, who died in a 2020 helicopter crash alongside his daughter, Gianna, and seven others, and Vanessa are just two of the many fans that Drag Race has amassed since its 2009 premiere.
"I didn't think it'd be this big," RuPaul admits of the competition series. "I thought there would be people who enjoy it the way that I do. I love drag. I love people who don't take life too seriously and who like to have fun. I like people who are courageous. Drag queens throughout history have always had to dance to the beat of their own drummer, so I'm there for anyone who can do that."
"I knew that people would love that part of it, the celebration of drag," he adds. "I didn't know it would be as big as it is."