Willam Belli (born June 30, 1982) is an American actor, drag queen, model and recording artist, who is known for his recurring role as transgender woman Cherry Peck in Nip/Tuck and for being a contestant on the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he remains the only contestant ever disqualified from the series. In addition to acting, Belli found viral success with his music video parodies "Chow Down" and "Boy Is a Bottom" with his Los Angeles drag queen pop trio, DWV. However, the group split in June 2014, because of a personal conflict among the groupmates.
Willam Belli was born on June 30, 1982, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the younger of two children. He lived in Cocoa Beach, Florida, for middle school and high school. Belli's father worked at the Kennedy Space Center. His aunt is television director Mary Lou Belli.
Belli's first acting credit was as the role of a street hustler named Darren Jacobs on two episodes of The District (2002) and his first TV appearance was on an episode of the game show Street Smarts. He later appeared in the TV Series; The District, Boston Public, Cold Case, The Shield, My Name Is Earl and most notably Nip/Tuck as the transsexual Cherry Peck. Throughout the 2000s he would go on to play small roles in many television shows such as American Wedding, but it would not be until his Rupaul debut that he made a splash.
In 2008, Belli was featured on the single artwork for the song "Breakin' Up" by Rilo Kiley. He has also modeled as part of the Tranimal Master Class Workshop at the Machine Project, which was photographed by Austin Young.
2009-10: Drag career:
Belli is a member of the band Tranzkuntinental, which made its debut at The Roxy in 2009. The band was started by Charlie Paulson and Xander Smith and features drag queens Detox, Kelly Mantle, Rhea Litré, and Vicky Vox.
In January 2011, he was featured in Rihanna's music video "S&M" along with Detox and Morgan McMichaels as back-up dancers.
2011-12: RuPaul's Drag Race and further success:
World of Wonder contacted Willam's manager asking for him to audition for the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In November 2011, Logo TV announced that Belli was among 13 contestants competing on the fourth season. Fellow castmate Chad Michaels had competed with Belli in the California Entertainer of the Year Pageant in 2010. Belli won the main challenges in the episodes "Float Your Bloat" and "Frenemies," but was disqualified in the latter. In the episode "Reunited," Belli stated that his disqualification was due to conjugal visits made by his husband in his hotel room, though by Belli's own account, the "disqualification" coincided with a previously booked off-Broadway engagement. Belli used the publicity of his disqualification to release his single "Chow Down," which was a parody of Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" that addressed the 2012 Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy. The song featured Detox and Vicky Vox.
On March 12, 2012, he released his first single "Trouble," which was produced by RuPaul's Red Hot collaborator Tom Trujillo. The music video for the song was directed by porn director Chi Chi LaRue and premiered on Logo TV. This was not a particularly successful endeavour for him. On March 21, Belli released "The Vagina Song," a parody of "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars as his third single, which had been previously uploaded to YouTube in 2010. The music video was directed by Michael Serrato, who also directed Belli's music video for "Chow Down."
Belli released "Love You Like a Big Schlong" on April 29, 2012. This was much better received becoming something of a viral hit being watched more than a million times on YouTube alone. Produced by Uncle Slam, the song parodies "Love You Like a Love Song" by Selena Gomez & the Scene. The song was inspired by Belli's loss to 7-year-old Eden Wood in a lip syncing contest during a segment of the 2012 NewNowNext Awards.
In November 2012, Belli was featured with country music artist Drake Jensen on a cover of Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man." That same month, Belli self-released his debut album The Wreckoning via his website.
2013: "Boy Is a Bottom" and DWV success:
In January 2013 Belli would have his biggest viral hit with 18 million hits on YouTube alone. When he released "Boy Is a Bottom," featuring Detox and Vicky Vox, to coincide with the fifth season premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race. Its timing and the use of social media made it a very well received release. The song is a parody of "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys and also features an altered version of the "breakdown" from "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" by En Vogue. "Boy Is a Bottom" debuted at number six on Billboard's Comedy Digital Songs, selling 3,000 downloads in its first week.
On August 14, 2013, Belli was featured along with Shangela, Detox, Raven, Morgan McMichaels, Shannel, and Courtney Act, in Lady Gaga's lyric video for her single "Applause".
Belli's trio including Detox, and Vicky Vox; called DWV; officially split in June 2014 due to a personal conflict between the members.
2014-present: American Apparel and Shartistry in Motion:
Belli then became an American Apparel Ad Girl alongside Drag Race alumni Courtney Act and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 to which they supported this with a single entitled, "American Apparel Ad Girls". They also released a second single together, "Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man" for the Christmas season.
On January 13, he released a solo version of the DWV hit "Boy Is a Bottom", in Spanish, entitled, "Es Una Pasiva", which went on to top the comedy iTunes chart. Belli self-released his sophomore studio album, Shartistry in Motion, on June 2.
The Last Shot
Bus Stop Drag Queen
Because I Said So
Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!
Transamerican Stewardess Nancy Needatwat
Sex Drugs Guns
Road to the Alter
Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives
BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich
The Newest Pledge
Girls Will Be Girls
Geoffrey Gann/'Karen Dior'
Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus
Episode: "Oil and Water"
Episode: "Chapter Fifty-Eight"
Episode: "A Time to Hate"
Episode: "Posse Up"
Episode: "Self Helpless"
My Name Is Earl
Episode: "Movin' Out, Movin' In, Movin' On"
Episode: "Living Dead"
Episode: "The Lying Game"
Women's Murder Club
Episode: "To Drag & to Hold"
Episode: "See the Woman"
Episode: "Too Hell and Back"
Hot in Cleveland
Fake Marilyn Monroe
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked
RuPaul's Drag U
Episode: "Ex-Beauty Queens"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Episode: "Code Blue Plate Special"
The New Normal
Nana Drag Queen
Episode: "The Goldie Rush"
She's Living for This
Season 2, Episode 1
Drag Queens of London
Season 1, Episode 2
"Drag Queen Makeover", "Drag Queen Makeunder", "Death by Drag" and "Miles Jai Post Beatdown Makeover"
Neil's Puppet Dreams
Season 1, Episode 5: Dream Bump
Willam's "This is not The Beat Down" Shit I Do... / "Biliam's Wheatdown"
30 Days of Willam
Snore (Downton Abbey)
Funny or Die feature
Rambo, But Gay
Paint Me Bitch
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license