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Nina West

Nina West
Host Nina West.jpg
Nina West performing in 2009
Born
Andrew Levitt

August 10, 1977
ResidenceColumbus, Ohio, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Alma materDenison University
OccupationDrag queen, actor, singer
Years active2001–present
Known forRuPaul's Drag Race (season 11)
Websiteninawest.com

Nina West is the stage name of Andrew Levitt,[1] an American drag queen, actor, and singer based in Columbus, Ohio.[2] She rose to national prominence with her appearance on the eleventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race, where she placed sixth and won Miss Congeniality. New York magazine named West one of the top 100 Most Powerful Drag Queens in America in June 2019.[3]

Education

Levitt was raised in Greentown, Ohio. He graduated from Denison University[1] with a degree in theatre.[4] He planned to pursue acting, until the September 11 attacks.[5]

Career

Nina West performing in her annual Halloween show, Axis Nightclub, 2018

West began dabbling in drag in 2001.[1] Her drag mother is Virginia West.[6] She hosts the annual "Heels of Horror" show at Axis Nightclub,[7] and has also hosted the competition "So You Think You Can Drag?"[8] In 2008, she won the Entertainer of the Year award;[9] her ensemble later inspired the singer Sia's outfit at the 2016 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.[10] West was included in Columbus Business First's "40 Under 40" list in 2018.[11][12] Levitt worked as a social media strategist for Axis Nightclub as of 2018 and has done social media and marketing for Union Cafe since 2013.[1][13]

West competed in the eleventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race.[14] She won the third episode for her performance in the 'Diva Worship' challenge, and impersonated Sarah Sanders on the fourth episode, "Trump: The Rusical".[15] In the "Snatch Game" challenge, she became the first queen in the show's history to impersonate someone from the actual original Match Game, with her impersonation of Jo Anne Worley.[16] She then won the "Dragracadabra" challenge in episode ten.[17][18] She was eliminated in the following episode, losing a lip sync to Silky Nutmeg Ganache.[19][20]

After her elimination a number of celebrities and public figures took to social media to voice their support for Nina West including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez[21] and Scott Hoying. West reported that Rihanna sent her a private message following her elimination.[22]

A street in Columbus was named after Levitt, called "The Nina West Way".[23][24] She was interviewed with Adore Delano and Monet X Change for an episode of The View in June 2019.[25]

She starred in Coaster, an animated short film directed and produced by Amos Sussigan and Dan Lund.[26]

She attended the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, where she became the first person person to walk the purple carpet in full drag [27]

Music

Nina West promoting Drag Is Magic at RuPaul DragCon 2019 in Los Angeles

After her elimination, West announced she will release a children's music album, Drag Is Magic, and a comedy EP, John Goodman, by May 17, 2019.[28] She released a music video for her first single "Hucks" on May 10, 2019.[29]

Personal life and philanthropy

Levitt lives in Columbus, Ohio.[1] He is gay and an advocate and fundraiser for the LGBTQIA community. His focuses have included HIV/AIDS testing and safe sex, marriage equality, and trans rights. The Nina West Fund, established at The Columbus Foundation c. 2015,[30] is thought to be the only "drag-queen-supported fund of its kind" in the U.S.[1] The fund has raised more than $2 million,[30][31] supporting charities such as the ACLU of Ohio (fundamental rights), Dress for Success Columbus (career development for women), Equitas Health (focused on HIV/AIDS treatment),[32] and Kaleidoscope Youth Center (the largest LGBTQIA youth center in Ohio).[33]

In 2017, he received the Create Columbus Commission Visionary Award from the Columbus City Council and an equality award from the Human Rights Campaign Columbus chapter.[5]

Discography

Extended plays

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and album details
Title Details Peak chart positions
US Kids[34] US Comedy[35]
Drag Is Magic
  • Released: May 17, 2019
  • Label: Producer Entertainment Group
  • Formats: Digital download
9
John Goodman
  • Released: May 17, 2019
  • Label: Producer Entertainment Group
  • Formats: Digital download
2

Singles

Year Title
2019 "Hucks"

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2019 Coaster Nina Short film

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Contestant (6th place & Miss Congeniality)
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked
2019 The View

Music videos

Year Title Artist Role Ref.
2019 "Scores" Kahanna Montrese Coach [36]
2019 "Hucks" Herself Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump
2019 "Drag Is Magic [37]
2019 "Treat Yourself" [38]
2019 "Lisa Frankenstein" [39]

Web series

Year Title Role Ref.
2019 Watcha Packin' Herself [40]
2019 Queen to Queen Herself [41]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Wagner, Mike (January 28, 2018). "Gay-rights advocate Nina West has long used drag-queen act to raise money for charities". The Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on October 22, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Seman, Gary, Jr. "Everyday heroes: Drag queen gives to LGBT charities so others don't have to feel alone". The Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Archived from the original on 2017-08-27. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  3. ^ The Editors (June 10, 2019). "The Most Powerful Drag Queens in America: Ranking the New Establishment". New York. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Generosity Embraces Belonging: The Nina West Fund". Columbus Foundation. 2018.
  5. ^ a b Clark, Joe (2017-06-15). "The positive impact of becoming Nina West". WCMH. Archived from the original on 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  6. ^ "How Nina West Channeled Her Republican Childhood into Queer Activism". www.out.com. 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  7. ^ Soroka, Breanna. "Review: Heels of Horror combines pop culture, Halloween". The Lantern. Archived from the original on 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  8. ^ "Photos: Weekends events for Columbus and central Ohio, September 21–23". The Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  9. ^ Thurston, Susan (17 July 2009). "Will This Lady Be a Champ?". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 4 May 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Avery 4/22/2016, Dan. "How A Drag Queen Inspired Sia's Unbelievable Coachella Costume Reveal | NewNowNext". Newnownext.com. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  11. ^ "CBF Morning Run: Reliving a splendid night at the casino, getting to know 40 Under 40, saying LoveSac and regretting it, mixing beer and ice cream, not climbing Everest and chewing on a midnight stout (Video)". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  12. ^ "What to expect at HighBall this weekend, and Nina West on why you should go (photos)". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  13. ^ Mantey, Jackie (2013-07-31). "People to Watch: Activist/Ambassador/Entertainer: Andrew Levitt". Columbus Alive. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  14. ^ "Miss Vanjie rejoins RuPaul's Drag Race: See the full season 11 cast". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2019-01-25. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  15. ^ "RPDR S11E4: Nina West Shares Her Story Of Growing Up As A Republican While Growing Up As Gay". Z6mag. 2019-03-23. Archived from the original on 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  16. ^ "Nina West Made Snatch Game Herstory on 'Drag Race'–and Here's How". Decider. 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  17. ^ Rogers, Matt. "RuPaul's Drag Race Recap: Practically Magic". Vulture.com. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  18. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Power Ranking Season 11: Episode 10". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  19. ^ Blanton, Kayla. "The 'Drag Race' Judges Did Nina West & Miss Vanjie Dirty This Week". Bustle. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  20. ^ Swift, Andy; Swift, Andy (2019-05-10). "RuPaul's Drag Race Recap: Which Queen Won't Be Twinning Season 11?". TVLine. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  21. ^ Duffy, Nick. "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a fan message to Drag Race star Nina West". Pink News. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  22. ^ Evans, Mel (2019-05-12). "Rihanna sends message to Nina West following Drag Race elimination". Metro. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  23. ^ "Columbus names street after RuPaul's Drag Race queen Nina West". Gay Star News. 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  24. ^ "Street in the Short North to be renamed after Nina West". WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports. 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  25. ^ Gremore, Graham (2019-06-12). "Meghan McCain interviewed three drag queens on "The View" for Pride and people weren't having it". www.queerty.com. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  26. ^ Nolfi, Joey (2019-10-02). "Drag Race MVP Nina West's whimsical new short could lead to an Oscar nod". Ew.com. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  27. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (2019-09-22). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Contestant Nina West Makes Emmys History Walking Purple Carpet In Full Drag". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  28. ^ West, Nina (2019-05-10). "WHAT? Two EP's? Pre-order now! JOHN GOODMAN http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1462770495?ls=1&app=itunes … DRAG IS MAGIC http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1462773617?ls=1&app=itunes …pic.twitter.com/LfZifn3XxJ". @NinaWest. Retrieved 2019-05-10. External link in |title= (help)
  29. ^ Nina West (2019-05-10), Nina West - HUCKS (Official Music Video), retrieved 2019-05-12
  30. ^ a b "The Philanthropy of Nina West". ColumbusUnderground.com. 2017-10-10. Archived from the original on 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  31. ^ "Is this the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race season 11?". Gay Times. 2018-10-24. Archived from the original on 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  32. ^ "Columbus Foundation". ColumbusFoundation.org. 2018.
  33. ^ "ABOUT - Kaleidoscope Youth Center". Kaleidoscope Youth Center of Ohio. 2019.
  34. ^ "Billboard Kid Albums June 1, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  35. ^ "Billboard Comedy Albums June 1, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  36. ^ Kahanna Montrese (2019-03-08), Kahanna Montrese - "Scores" (Official Music Video), retrieved 2019-09-21
  37. ^ Nina West (2019-05-21), Nina West - Drag Is Magic (Official Music Video), retrieved 2019-06-13
  38. ^ Nina West (2019-09-27), Treat Yourself, presented by OraQuick, retrieved 2019-09-27
  39. ^ Nina West (2019-09-27), Lisa Frankenstein, retrieved 2019-10-11
  40. ^ VH1 (2019-05-10), Whatcha Packin’: Nina West | Season 11 Episode 11 | RuPaul's Drag Race, retrieved 2019-06-13
  41. ^ VH1 (2019-05-24), Queen to Queen: Brooke Lynn Hytes, Yvie Oddly & Nina West - RuPaul's Drag Race, retrieved 2019-07-09

External links