They say It's not about winning the race, but just finishing it. Well whoever made that up has clearly never met a professional drag queen, as reality competition series RuPaul's Drag Race has seen over 100 female illusionists battling for top prizes and the title of America's Next Drag Superstar. The series, which is now airing its ninth season over on VH1, has catapulted many of its contestants to stardom, including Adore Delano aka American Idol alum Danny Noriega. And now the drag queen/recording artist is suing for millions of dollars.
Danny Noriega, who performs as the drag personality Adore Delano, is reportedly suing his managers at Producer Entertainment Group for millions of dollars. Despite earning $2.5 million for his work in the past two years, he's only seen about $300K. TMZ is reporting that he's suing Producer Entertainment for $1 million in lost wages, and another $2.5 mil in punitive damages. That's a lot of coin, girl.
Danny Noriega has reportedly found examples of the managers taking the majority of the money made from his various tours, gigs, as well as the proceeds from Adore's two albums. TMZ is also hinting that they've obtained documents where the team threatened to destroy the singer's career if he continued to inquire about the missing money. Yikes.
Producer Entertainment Group has reached out to CinemaBlend personally to respond, with a statement reading:
Producer Entertainment Group (PEG) remains under contract with Adore Delano (AKA Daniel Noriega). We are confident that this alleged suit, as PEG first became aware of it through a news agency and not formal service of process, will be found to be frivolous in nature. With respect to the allegations, they are categorically inaccurate in every regard, including Mr. Noriega's income, expenses and PEG's commissions. We maintain a professional, upstanding and successful relationship with our client roster and are dismayed by Mr. Noriega's unfounded allegations. PEG would never take actions that are adverse to the careers of our artists and continues to work with Adore on existing business and engagements.
Adore Delano, who was a finalist during Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race, is one of the show's biggest success stories. Danny Noriega first got America's attention while competing as a teenager in the seventh season of American Idol. While his talent was undeniable, he didn't make it past the semi-finals. But a new audience fell in love with Noriega when he appeared on Drag Race, and Adore Delano is one of the most popular contestants of all time. Adore in constantly touring, and both of her albums have done very well in the charts.
Adore Delano recently returned to the Drag Race world while appearing as a contestant in RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2. But after surviving the first elimination and getting some harsh criticism on the main stage, she decided to unexpectedly drop out of the season. She would later return for the reunion, revealing that she probably should have stuck it out and stayed on the season for her many fans.
It should be interesting to see how Danny Noriega's case against Producer Entertainment Group pans out. Considering his gross, he probably should have been taking home more than the $300K that was reported. The management company actually represents most of Drag Race's biggest stars, so this case could very ripple through the community and affect how they each do business moving forward.
We'll be sure to update you on Danny Noriega/Adore Delano's lawsuit as more details become public. You can currently watch new episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race Fridays on VH1.