Trixie Mattel

Trixie Mattel
Trixie Mattel in 2020 for Netflix.png
Mattel in 2020
Born
Brian Michael Firkus

(1989-08-23) August 23, 1989
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (BFA)
Occupation
  • Drag queen
  • singer-songwriter
  • comedian
  • television personality
  • television judge
  • author
  • DJ
  • entrepreneur
  • YouTuber
Years active2008–present
Known for
TitleDrag Race All Stars Winner
PredecessorAlaska
SuccessorMonét X Change and Trinity the Tuck
Partner(s)David Silver (2016–present)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • autoharp
  • clarinet
Labels
YouTube information
Channel
Genres
  • Comedy
  • beauty
  • music
  • toys
Subscribers1.46 million subscribers[1]
(November 2, 2021)
Total views160.4 million[1]
(November 2, 2021)
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers2016
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg1,000,000 subscribers2020

Updated: May 29, 2021

Brian Michael Firkus (born August 23, 1989),[2] best known by her[a] stage name Trixie Mattel, is an American drag queen, reality television personality, singer-songwriter, and entrepreneur from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mattel is best known for competing on the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race and being the winner of the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.

Mattel is also known for co-hosting the web series UNHhhh and previously co-hosted its Vice spin-off, The Trixie & Katya Show, alongside fellow drag queen and frequent collaborator Katya Zamolodchikova. Mattel's first studio album, Two Birds, was released in 2017, followed by her second album, One Stone, in 2018. Both charted on the Billboard Folk Albums chart at number 16.[3] Her third album Barbara was released in 2020, and her first EP Full Coverage, Vol. 1 which features Mattel's covers of various songs was released in 2021.

Mattel and Katya wrote the book Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood in 2020, which became a New York Times bestseller.[4] Mattel is also the CEO and founder of Trixie Cosmetics, a cosmetics brand.[5][6] Mattel operates a YouTube channel where she showcases the brand's products, reviews products from other makeup brands, posts new music and music videos, and video collaborations with other drag queens and various celebrities. She also has a Twitch channel where she streams games such as The Sims 4 and Dead by Daylight.[7][8] In June 2019, she appeared on New York magazine's list of "the most powerful drag queens in America", ranking fourth.[9] Mattel is set to judge the drag queen singing competition series Queen of the Universe in 2021.[10]

Early life

Firkus was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[11] He is half Ojibwe and comes from a Native American family living in Crivitz, Wisconsin.[12][13] He had an abusive stepfather who would call him a "trixie" when he acted feminine, which would later inspire his drag name. He almost went by the name Cupcake before deciding on Trixie Mattel.[14] After graduating from high school, Firkus attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where he received a BFA in Music Theatre and was introduced to drag while performing in a production of The Rocky Horror Show at the Oriental Theatre.[15][16]

Career

2008–2014: Career beginnings

Firkus first performed in drag at LaCage NiteClub in Milwaukee.[17] Firkus became a staple of the Milwaukee drag scene while also performing in Chicago alongside drag queen friends of hers such as Kim Chi and Shea Couleé, who would later go on to also appear on RuPaul's Drag Race.[18][19][20] In 2014, Firkus attended The Institute of Beauty and Wellness before withdrawing later that same year to participate in RuPaul's Drag Race.[21]

2015–2017: RuPaul's Drag Race, UNHhhh, Two Birds, and The Trixie & Katya Show

Katya Zamolodchikova with Trixie Mattel

In 2015, Mattel first achieved notoriety as a competitor in Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race. She was first eliminated in episode four and later reentered the competition in episode eight by winning the "Conjoined Twins" challenge with Pearl Liaison. Mattel was once again eliminated in episode 10,[22] placing sixth overall and becoming the first queen to last more than one episode after returning to the competition.[22] After her run on the show, Mattel performed her stand-up comedy tour Ages 3 and Up from 2015 to 2017.[23]

In October 2015, Mattel guest-starred in a special edition of WOWPresents' Fashion Photo Review[24] with fellow season seven contestant Katya Zamolodchikova. The positive reception for that episode resulted in World of Wonder launching UNHhhh, a comedy web series featuring the duo. The series became one of the most successful shows on the WOW Presents YouTube channel and earned them their first Streamy Award nomination for Show of the Year at the 7th Streamy Awards.[25] In November 2016 Mattel had a guest appearance as herself on American Horror Story: Roanoke.

In addition to her comedic drag persona, Mattel is also a country folk singer-songwriter. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Mattel listed her primary influences as June Carter Cash and Dolly Parton and states that she grew up on the music of George Jones, Conway Twitty and Johnny Cash. She is also a fan of Jason Isbell, Kris Kristofferson, Aimee Mann, Michelle Branch and Kacey Musgraves.[26] Mattel self-released her debut studio album Two Birds on May 2, 2017.[27] The album debuted at number two on the Heatseekers Albums chart, number six on the Independent Albums chart, and number 16 on the Americana/Folk Albums chart.[28][29][30] In December 2017, Mattel released Homemade Christmas, an EP of three recorded Christmas songs that featured Zamolodchikova.[31][32]

In October 2017, it was announced that UNHhhh would come to an end after its second season. Shortly after, a television spin-off of UNHhhh for Viceland called The Trixie and Katya Show premiered. The show ran until March 2018. Midway through the season, Zamolodchikova suffered a mental health crisis triggered by a relapse into addiction, which caused her to be replaced by Bob the Drag Queen for the remainder of the season.[33][34] The duo later reunited in October 2018 for a third season of UNHhhh.

In November 2017, Mattel and Zamolodchikova starred in a drag stage adaptation of the 1997 cult film Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, entitled Trixie and Katya's High School Reunion.[35][36] Also in November 2017, Mattel produced a video for GQ Magazine Trixie Mattel Makes a PB&J (and More Importantly, a Cocktail),[37] earning a nomination from the James Beard Foundation Awards in the humor category.[38]

2018–2019: All Stars, One Stone, and Moving Parts

Mattel later returned to the Drag Race franchise for the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, which started airing on January 25, 2018. On March 15, 2018, her fellow competitors voted for her to advance to the final two, where she ultimately won against runner-up Kennedy Davenport in the final lipsync battle.[39][40] In December 2018 she competed on the television special RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-slay Spectacular and won in a tie with the other competitors.[41][42]

On February 3, 2018, Mattel released an acoustic version of her song "Moving Parts" as a tease for her upcoming album. It became her first charting single, peaking at number 83 on the Scottish Single Chart.[43] She dropped her second studio album, One Stone, on March 15, 2018, the same night as the All Stars finale.[44] The album peaked at number 16 on the Folk Albums chart, number ten on the Independent albums chart, and number one on the Heatseekers chart, becoming Mattel's first album to reach the top spot on a Billboard chart.[29][28][30]

In April 2018, she launched her new comedy world tour Now with Moving Parts, followed by the Super Bowl Cut tour later that same year.[45] A documentary film titled Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019, and screened until May 2019. It documents Mattel as she embarks on her "Moving Parts" tour following her All Stars win, as well as her personal struggles.[46] The documentary was made available on Video On Demand platforms on December 3, 2019. An accompanying acoustic soundtrack was released later in December.[47] Mattel's first comedy special, Trixie Mattel: Skinny Legend, aired on OutTV in Canada on September 26, 2018.[48]

2019–present: Barbara, Trixie and Katya Save the World, and Trixie & Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood

In a September 2018 interview with Billboard, she announced that she was working on her third studio album, Barbara, featuring an "electro-folk" sound.[49] "Yellow Cloud" was released as the first single from the album on May 17, 2019, though it did not make the final cut. "Malibu" was released as the official first single on January 24, 2020 and the album was released a week later through Producer Entertainment Group and ATO Records.[50] The album later received a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Best Breakthrough artist.

In January 2019, Mattel and Zamolodchikova launched the fourth season of UNHhhh. In June 2019, Mattel was one of 37 drag queens featured on the cover of New York magazine. The magazine ranked the 100 most powerful drag queens in America and placed Mattel at number 4.[51]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, filming of the fifth season of UNHhhh was put on hold. In its place, Mattel and Zamolodchikova launched Trixie and Katya Save the World, a spin-off filmed from their homes. Mattel also took the time to start building her YouTube channel, which previously featured make-up tutorials and music videos, and expanded to include content reflecting her pastime as a toy collector, with videos reviewing new Barbie collections, talking about doll history, or baking with Easy Bake Ovens.[52] Mattel and Zamolodchikova resumed filming the fifth season of UNHhhh later in 2020 and launched their podcast The Bald and the Beautiful.[53] On July 14, 2020, Mattel and Zamolodchikova released Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood, a parody of women's self-help books. The book was a New York Times best-seller.[54]

In September 2020, Mattel released a cover of Lana Del Rey's "Video Games", which charted at number 66 on the Scottish singles chart and number 89 on the UK Downloads chart. In December 2020, it was announced that Mattel and Zamolodchikova would co-host the 10th Streamy Awards in Los Angeles. In the same ceremony, the duo was nominated for Show of the Year and Unscripted Series for UNHhhh, winning the latter category.[55] In February 2021, Mattel released a cover of the Violent Femmes track "Blister in The Sun", as the lead single from her EP, Full Coverage, Vol. 1, her newest material since "Barbara."[56] In May 2021, it was announced that Mattel would star in Trixie Motel, a reality series on Discovery+ that will follow Mattel's efforts to renovate an old motel in Palm Springs.[57][58] In mid 2021 it was hinted then formally announced on July 1, 2021 that Mattel will co-star in a dating show with Zamolodchikova, to help her find a partner.[59]

In August 2021, Mattel launched an advice newsletter, Gooped, with Zamolodchikova.[60] In November 2021, Mattel announced "The Trixie Doll" in collabration with Integrity Toys.[61]

On November 12th, she released a song called "Hello Hello" which is loosely inspired by 60s power pop. The music video was choreographed by fellow drag race alumni Laganja Estranja.[62] Joseph Longo of Them said: "With “Hello Hello,” Mattel makes her case for pop star status — elaborate choreography, suave backup dancers, expressive makeup and a sparkly mini-dress."[63]

Personal life

Firkus is openly gay.[64] Since 2016, he has been in a relationship with filmmaker David Silver, who also produced his documentary Moving Parts.[65][66] He is a vegetarian.[67][68]

Firkus's Trixie Mattel persona is largely based on his love of Barbie Dolls. He owns a large collection of Barbies, which he has shared in various videos on his YouTube channel.[69]

Other ventures

Trixie Cosmetics

On May 1, 2019, Mattel announced that she would be releasing her make-up brand Trixie Cosmetics later that month and would be available at RuPaul's DragCon LA on May 24, 2019.[70] Mattel had previously dipped into the makeup industry with her Oh Honey! collaboration with independent makeup brand Sugarpill Cosmetics in 2018.[71]

In 2020, Trixie Cosmetics launched a collaboration collection with Zamolodchikova called "Red Scare".[53]

This Is It!

In February 2021, Mattel announced that she had become co-owner of Wisconsin's oldest LGBTQ+ bar, This Is It!, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[72]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotesRef.
2019Trixie Mattel: Moving PartsHerself (in and out of drag)Documentary[73]

Television

YearTitleRoleNotesRef.
2015RuPaul's Drag RaceHerself (contestant)Season 7, 6th place[74]
2016Herself (guest)Season 8, Episode 10: "Grand Finale"
2015RuPaul's Drag Race: UntuckedHerselfSeason 7
2016American Horror Story: RoanokeHerselfSeason 6, Episode 10: "Chapter 10"[75]
2016Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaulHerselfSeason 1, Episode 5: "Featuring Mindy Cohn"
Season 2, Episode 2: "Featuring Frankie Grande"
2017–2018The Trixie & Katya ShowHerself (co-host)14 episodes[76]
2018RuPaul's Drag Race: All StarsHerself (contestant)Season 3, Winner[40]
2018RuPaul's Drag RaceHerself (guest)Season 10, Episode 1: "10s Across The Board"[77]
2018Super DragsChampagne (voice)English dub; Main cast
2018Larry King NowHerselfGuest
2018RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-slay SpectacularHerself (contestant)Joint Winner
2019RuPaul's Drag Race: All StarsHerself (guest)Season 4, Episode 10: "Super Queen Grand Finale"
2019RuPaul's Drag RaceHerself (guest)Season 11, Episode 5: "Monster Ball"
2019Trixie Mattel: Skinny LegendHerselfTelevision special[48]
2020RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag RaceHerself (mentor)Season 1, Episode 1: "Secret Celebrity Edition #101"; Winner[78]
2021Crank YankersHerselfSeason 6[79]
2021Queen of the UniverseHerselfJudge[80]

Web series

YearTitleRoleNotesRef
2015–2017Hey QweenHerself (guest)3 episodes
2015Transformations with James St. JamesHerselfEpisode: "Trixie Mattel"
2016Gay of ThronesHerselfSeason 6, Episode 4: "Thrust of the Stranger"[81]
2016–presentUNHhhhHerself (co-host)5 seasons, 143 episodes (incl. specials)
With Katya Zamolodchikova
[82]
2018–presentThe Pit StopHerself (host)All Stars 4, Canada season 1, Season 13, All Stars 6[82]
2019The X Change RateHerself (guest)Episode: "Trixie Mattel"
2019–presentThat's Our SallyHerselfQueerty Production
2019–presentI Like to WatchHerself (co-host)Netflix YouTube show[83]
2020Trixie Mattel: One Night OnlyHerselfMusical comedy special[84]
2020Trixie & Katya Save the WorldHerself (co-host)
2020Gayme ShowHerselfGuest judge[85]
2020Instant InfluencerHerselfGuest judge[86]

Discography

Tours

  • Ages 3 and Up (2015–2017)[87]
  • Now with Moving Parts Tour (2018)[88]
  • Super Bowl Cut (2018)
  • Skinny Legend Tour (2019)[89]
  • Grown Up Tour (2020)[90]
  • Trixie and Katya Live! (with Katya) (2022)

Bibliography

  • Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood. Plume. 2020.ISBN 9780593086704.

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryWorkResultRef.
2017Streamy AwardsShow of the YearUNHhhhNominated
2018James Beard Foundation Journalism AwardHumorTrixie Mattel Makes a PB&J (and More Importantly, a Cocktail)Nominated
2019Streamy AwardsUnscripted SeriesUNHhhhNominated
2020Show of the YearNominated[91]
Unscripted SeriesWon
Queerty AwardsDocumentaryTrixie Mattel: Moving PartsWon[92]
Drag RoyaltyHerselfNominated[93]
Indie Music Video"Yellow Cloud"Won[94]
WOWIE AwardsOutstanding PaletteTrixie Cosmetics' Summer of Love PaletteWon[95]
2021GLAAD Media AwardsOutstanding Breakthrough ArtistBarbaraNominated[96][97]
Queerty AwardsIndie Music Video"Malibu"Won[98]
PodcastThe Bald and BeautifulWon
Canadian Podcasting AwardsOutstanding Foreign SeriesWon[99]
American Influencer AwardsDrag Influencer of the YearHerselfWon[100]
Streamy AwardsShow of the YearUNHhhhPending[101]
Unscripted SeriesPending

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  1. ^ Mattel has stated that he is fine with any pronouns in a Proud Radio interview; this article uses both he/him and she/her pronouns.

External links

Media files used on this page

YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg
The gold play button awarded to YouTube channels with 1 000 000 (one million) subscribers or more.
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg
The silver play button awarded to YouTube channels with 100 000 (one hundred thousand) subscribers or more.
Trixie Mattel in 2020 for Netflix.png
Author/Creator: Netflix, Licence: CC BY 3.0
This is a photo of American drag queen performer Trixie Mattel, taken in 2020 for Netflix's LGBTQ Pride presented by The Most
Trixie and Katya's High School Reunion 3.jpg
Author/Creator: hinnk, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Katya Zamolodchikova and Trixie Mattel in Peaches Christ's Trixie and Katya's High School Reunion at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, California, United States