Daniel Anthony Noriega , [28] [27] ​ ( September 29, 1989) better known by the stage name Adore Delano [30] is an American drag queen, singer-songwriter, YouTuber, and actor. Delano first appeared as a contestant on the seventh season of American Idol in 2008 as Danny Noriega. Adore Delano went on to compete in the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race , becoming a favourite among fans and ultimately making it into the final three. She released her debut studio album Till Death Do Us Party in 2014, followed by her second studio album After Party in 2016.

Early life

Noriega was raised in Azusa, California, where he attended Sierra High School. [2]

Career

2008: American Idol

In 2008, Noriega appeared on the seventh season of American Idol , making it to the semi-finals. He became known for his flamboyant personality and sassy rapport with the judges, notably a comment towards judge Simon Cowell, which later went viral. After watching him on Idol , Rosie O'Donnell invited Noriega to perform on her R Family Vacations cruise. [3] Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres also invited Noriega to be a guest on her show. [4]

Performances:
Stage Theme Song choice Original artist Result
Audition Singer's Choice " Proud Mary " Creedence Clearwater Revival Advanced
Hollywood Singer's Choice " When I Need You " Albert Hammond Advanced
Top 24 The 1960s " Jailhouse Rock " Elvis Presley Safe
Top 20 The 1970s " Superstar " Delaney & Bonnie Safe
Top 16 The 1980s " Tainted Love " Gloria Jones Eliminated

2009–14: YouTube, RuPaul's Drag Race and Till Death Do Us Party

Following American Idol , Noriega became a YouTube personality, performing skits as themselves, in drag as Adore Delano, or as their other drag character, Angel Baby. In June 2009, Noriega released the music video for his song "24/7," featuring Diamonique, their sister. [5]

After seeing RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Raven perform at the nightclub Micky's in West Hollywood, Noriega was inspired to enter a drag competition at the club, later winning it. [6] Following the win, Noriega started performing in Southern California as Adore Delano. Along with other RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, Adore walked the Marco Marco runway for Los Angeles Fashion Week in 2013. [8] In December 2013, Logo announced that Adore Delano was among 14 drag queens who would be competing on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race . [16] Adore had previously competed for the season 5 fan-vote, ultimately losing to Penny Tration. Despite a slow start to the competition, Delano eventually went on to win three challenges, the joint most of the season. She became a member of the final three and in the season finale, was ultimately named co-runner up along with Courtney Act, losing out to Bianca Del Rio.

Immediately following the finale of Drag Race , Delano released the single "DTF" on May 20, 2014, as the lead single from her debut album " Till Death Do Us Party ". The full album was released on June 3, 2014, charting at number three on the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart, 11 on the US Independent Albums chart, and number fifty-nine on the Billboard 200, making Delano the highest charting artist of any RuPaul's Drag Race contestant. Throughout the rest of 2014, Delano focused primarily on promotion for the album, releasing music videos for the majority of its tracks, including "I Adore U" which peaked at 49 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs.

In November 2014, Delano announced that a second album was in the works, that is expected to see a 2015 release.. In regards to the album's sound, she said it would be darker in content, “It’s going to be a little more serious. I’ve gone through a lot of shit this year – I fell in love, I got to travel the world, my dad passed away, I want to write about real shit. It’s darker I think, but it’s still me.” [10] In May 2015, Delano announced she had started writing sessions for the album. [11]

2016–present: After Party and RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars 2

In August 2015, Delano spoke to So So Gay, revealing that her double album would feature 22 songs, and will be released sometime in 2016. This was changed in a recent interview with Queen Magazine, confirming that half of the songs would be used for another album. She has performed a new song from the album, "I Can't Love You" various times on her tour. She's described it as "about not being able to give your full self to someone. It's a sad song". On November 17, 2015, Delano confirmed that her upcoming album's name was going to be called After Party. She confirmed it via Twitter, and later on through Facebook. [12] The album was put on Amazon Music for pre-order, with a release date of March 11, 2016. [13] The first single, "Dynamite," was released February 26, 2016, the second single, "Take Me There," was released March 10, 2016, and the third single, "I.C.U.," was released on September 1, 2016. [31] Adore was one of ten contestants on the second season of All Stars on RuPaul's Drag Race [2] , but after tough critiques, she gave up in episode 2.

Personal life

Noriega came out at 12 years old. [32] As of 2017, Noriega identifies as non-binary, saying that "gender isn't a real thing... it's just something they came up with to categorize and control people". [33]

Lawsuit

On April 4, 2017, Delano filed a lawsuit against Producer Entertainment Group, alleging she had earned $2.5 million over the past three years, though only about $300,000 was actually paid to her. [34]

Discography

Tours

Headlining

  • Till Death Do Us Party Tour (2014-2015)
  • After Party UK Promo Tour (2016)
  • After Party Tour (2016-2017)
  • Birthday Tour (2017)
  • Whatever Tour (2017-2018)

Co-headlining act

  • Battle of the Seasons 2015 Condragulations Tour (2015)
  • Battle of the Seasons 2016 Extravaganza Tour (2016)

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2014 Adore Delano America's Next Drag Superstar Nominated
2016 Drag Queen of the Year Nominated [35]

Filmography

Film

Title Year Director Role Notes Ref.
Dragged 2015 Christopher Birk Herself In production [15]
TupiniQueens 2015 João Monteiro Herself Documentary about drag queen's scene in Brazil. [48]

Television

Title Year Role Notes Ref.
American Idol 2008 Themself [17]
The Ellen DeGeneres Show [4]
RuPaul's Drag Race 2014 Themself Season 6 – Runner-up [17]
RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked Companion show to RuPaul's Drag Race [17]
Chasing Life 2015 Adore Delano
RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars 2016 Themself Season 2 – 9th Place (Quit)

Web series

Title Year Role Notes Ref.
Let the Music Play 2014 Themself [18]
Hey Qween 2015 Episode: "Adore Delano"

Music videos

Title Year Artist Director Ref.

-

"Oh No She Better Don't" 2014 RuPaul Steven Corfe [19]
"Sissy That Walk" Steven Corfe [48]
"Mean Gays" Courtney Act Kain O'Keeffe [38]
"The T" 2016 Alaska Ben Simkins [36]