RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Baga Chipz credits Amy Winehouse with her success

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·2-min read

Watch: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Baga Chipz reveals her unlikely path into drag

While she may be, by her own accounts, “really famous” and a “national treasure” it wasn’t always that way for drag star Baga Chipz. In fact, it was thanks to another UK national treasure that Chipz took her first steps into drag – and began her ascent to super stardom.

While living in a small flat in Birmingham, her flatmate Raven decided to make over Chipz declaring she could make money dressed as a woman! Chipz requested a makeover to look like one of her favourite singers - Amy Winehouse.

Read more: Amy Winehouse's mum remembers singer on anniversary of her death

“I like that kind of look - that fifties, sixties, Gothic, black hair, bat wing makeup,” recalled Chipz.

“Three black wigs turned into a beehive - and I looked at myself in the mirror and I was like, “Oh, I look the bee's knees!’ I was even doing the moves.”

ARGANDA DEL REY, SPAIN - JULY 04:  Amy Winehouse performs on stage during Rock in Rio Day 3 on July 04, 2008 near Madrid in Arganda del Rey, Spain.  (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
ARGANDA DEL REY, SPAIN - JULY 04: Amy Winehouse performs on stage during Rock in Rio Day 3 on July 04, 2008 near Madrid in Arganda del Rey, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Since appearing on the first UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Chipz has appeared on other reality shows such as Celebrity Masterchef and Celebrity Karaoke Club, and it was actually thanks to a little karaoke club – Route 2 – in Birmingham that helped Chipz secure her first job as a drag artist.

The wannabe Amy decided to get on stage and sing Valerie and it was the reaction to her warbling that set her on her current career path.

Listen: RuPaul’s Drag Race stars reveal all on the Reality Check Podcast

“Being a woman on stage was just a mind-blowing experience,” said Chipz.

“I just felt like everybody's eyes were burning into my soul. It was a buzz. I got a standing ovation - everyone was clapping, everyone was cheering!”

Baga Chipz's first foray into drag was as a Amy Winehouse tribute act in Birmingham! (Image: Getty Images)
Baga Chipz's first foray into drag was as a Amy Winehouse tribute act in Birmingham! (Image: Getty Images)

The magnificent response she received led to her being offered a permanent gig as Amy every week at the club.

She said: “It was my first every pay cheque!”

Even though Chipz no longer performs as Winehouse, she has fond memories of that phase of her career – and even modelled Chipz on the famous singer.

Read more: Baga Chipz reveals how she fought to fit in at school

“I developed Baga Chipz, this tarty, Brummy babe that everybody wants - a council estate princess that would sleep with your dad!” explained Chipz.

She continued: “I've made a career out of it. And look at me now - from this young little gay boy doing karaoke, I am now the most famous woman in Britain!”

Watch: A look queen makeup tutorial by Blu Hydrangea