Laganja Estranja

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Laganja Estranja
Laganja20160806 034227.jpg
Jay Evan Jackson

(1988-12-28) December 28, 1988 (age 31)
Alma mater California Institute of the Arts

Laganja Estranja is the stage name of Jay Evan Jackson,[1] an American choreographer and drag queen based in Los Angeles, California. Laganja competed on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, finishing in eighth place.

Early life

Jackson was raised in Dallas, Texas, and attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.[1] Jackson obtained both a bachelor's and master's degree in dance and choreography from the California Institute of the Arts.[2]



Laganja Estranja, Jeffree Star and Gia Gunn at RuPaul's DragCon LA 2018

Laganja Estranja's drag debut was at Micky's West Hollywood on November 7, 2011.[3] After winning the Amateur Competition, Laganja became an official "Showgirl" with a monthly gig at Micky's. Laganja went on to win "Queen of Queens" at 340 Nightclub in Pomona, CA and "Best Newcomer" in West Hollywood.[4]

In April 2013 Laganja Estranja auditioned for RuPaul's Drag Race.[5] She was accepted onto the show, and filmed in the summer of 2013.

In 2014, the sixth season of drag-oriented reality competition RuPaul's Drag Race aired on LogoTV.[6] Laganja performed moderately well on the show, winning a challenge while partnered with eventual runner-up Adore Delano.[7] Laganja was eliminated in the eighth episode of the season, placing her in a small category of contestants in the show's history who were eliminated the week after winning a challenge.[7] At the outset of the show, Laganja received quite a lot of attention on social media for her now-iconic entrance.[8] During the show, Laganja became infamous for her over-the-top dramatics, catchphrases, and emotional breakdowns. Eventual winner Bianca Del Rio credited Laganja as the root of every memorable quote from the following season of RuPaul's Drag Race.[9] Laganja's mannerisms have since been parodied by fellow drag queens, including Alaska Thunderfuck.[10]

Laganja Estranja is the drag daughter of Alyssa Edwards, and the drag sister of Shangela.[6] and Plastique Tiara —all of whom competed on RuPaul's Drag Race, Edwards appearing on season 5 and season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars, Wadley appearing on season 2 and 3 and All Stars season 3, Gunn on season 6 and All Stars season 4, and Tiara on season 11. Under the moniker of the Haus of Edwards, they have internationally toured and performed together on multiple occasions,[11] most notably at the pre-show warm-up for the finale episode of the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race.[12]

In 2018, Laganja Estranja was interviewed by Billboard Pride for her notable role in the drag community. In this interview, Billboard Pride highlights her drag career as well as her choreography work with Miley Cyrus for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.[citation needed]

Laganja currently hosts her own web show on the drag-centric platform World of Wonder, the same production company behind RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's DragCon LA, and RuPaul's DragCon NYC.[13]


In 2014, Laganja contributed vocals to a cover of RuPaul's "Jealous of My Boogie", for the album RuPaul Presents: The CoverGurlz. Throughout 2014, Laganja was featured on three singles, contributing a rap verse to each song. In 2015, she released her debut single as a lead artist, titled "Legs", which featured American rapper Rye Rye. In June 2015, "Legs" was rated as the third best song by a RuPaul's Drag Race contestant by Pitchfork Media.[14] In June 2015, Laganja was featured on fellow RuPaul's Drag Race star, Alaska Thunderfuck's debut album, Anus, on the track "Gimme All Your Money".[15]

In 2016, she released both her third single "Tease 4U" and a Christmas Album with the Haus of Edwards. Her single on the album is entitled "Green XXXmas," and the video featured exotic dancer Candace Cane.[16] In September 2018, she released her fourth single "Look At Me" featuring J. Tyler, and an accompanying video. The video took a stance against arrests for marijuana possession.[17] In November 2018, she released a lyric video for her fifth single "Smoke Break."[18]

Lifestyle brand

The Laganja Estranja lifestyle brand includes a collaboration preroll joint with San Francisco's The Hepburns, called "LAhepburns."[19] Laganja also partnered with FRUIT SLABS, a company making cannabis infused, vegan, real-fruit squares for their 2019 PRIDE collection. Laganja worked with FRUIT SLABS to create a one-of-a-kind flavor to be offered for a limited time.[20]

Cannabis advocacy

As a cannabis right activist, Laganja has hosted conversations on cannabis legalization at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and at Impulse in San Francisco.[21] She has also been featured twice in High Times Magazine as well as on the cover of Dope Magazine,[22] making her the first LGBTQ+ advocate on the cover of a cannabis magazine.[23]

In September 2018, Laganja was interviewed[24] by Civilized Magazine about her music video[25] for Look at Me that “slammed” the war on drugs. The interview by Civilized — a magazine reported to be for the millions of adults who choose to enjoy cannabis recreationally[26] — covered a number of aspects behind the imagery of Laganja's music video.

In December 2018, Laganja was featured in a Facebook live broadcast by Merry Jane. In this episode, Laganja talks fun-and-games topics like sky diving in drag and her favorite cannabis strains. But, she also goes into serious topics like “weed slut-ness” and important cannabis policy news.[citation needed]

Leafly, the world's largest cannabis information site, featured Laganja on their in-house podcast in January 2019.[27] The podcast, The Hash, explored, alongside Laganja, topics like homophobia in the cannabis industry and what it's like to often be the only queer person in a room.


Graduating from The California Institute of the Arts in 2011 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance and choreography, Laganja is a skilled choreographer, teacher, and dancer. A Presidential Scholar in The Arts, Laganja performed her original work “not today” at the Kennedy Center in 2007.[28] Laganja is also a YoungArts Silver Winner[29] and returns every year to the program to mentor high school students in Miami, Florida.

Laganja's choreography credits include Germany's Next Top Model, NYC Cosmetics FACE Awards, and for commercial artists such as Miley Cyrus and Brooke Candy.[30]

In the summer of 2017, Laganja led a dance theatre project on gender expression with artists across Europe assembling in Nottingham, UK for a four-day workshop and showcase exploring the boundaries of gender identity.[31] “G[END]ER” was in collaboration with Backlit Gallery, Kitty Tray, and Nottingham Contemporary. In the fall of 2018, Laganja elaborated on this idea of gender expression with her dance residency at YoungArts.[32] The immersive experience included live vocals, original compositions, and curated set design.

Laganja's moves have also been featured on several popular dance YouTube channels including, but not limited to, Brian Friedman and DanceON.

In the fall of 2018, Laganja found herself partnered with the Pérez Art Museum Miami (Pamm)[32] to present the art of drag for a one-day Poplife Social YoungArts Takeover. The event at the world-renowned art museum included an invitation from Laganja herself, “Onto Pamm’s terrace to warm up their dance muscles, ‘sissy that walk’ across the space and participate in a fan dance inspired by traditional Japanese performance.”

Laganja's Dance School

In 2016 Laganja's Dance School, an international high-heels masterclass and confidence workshop, was founded with partner Kristen Lovell.[33] The master class has been held in dozens of cities in the United States and as an international experience, has traveled to Manchester, Nottingham, London, Newcastle, Dublin, Lima, Mexico City, and Amsterdam.[34][35]

The class includes an extensive warmup/stretch, across the floor exercises, and a final combination of original choreography. Participants are encouraged to express themselves, gain new skills, and feel amazing in this hip-hop oriented jazz funk atmosphere.

Laganja's Dance School is also held weekly at The Basement Center of NoHo in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and a beginning Heels Technique class is held at Downtown Dance and Movement in Downtown Los Angeles. Dancers and non-dancers are encouraged to participate and push the limits of their bodies. Class is taught at a professional level, but all ages and abilities are welcome.[34]

In 2019 the documentary "Laganja's Dance School" was released. The documentary was directed by Selene Kapsaski and chronicles Laganja Estranja teaching a dance class in London.[36]


In 2014, Laganja launched a collection of marijuana-themed merchandise including a jewelry line called "Laganja Estranja Is My Enemy".[37] Laganja has also collborated with Blunted Objects on a marijuana-themed statement necklace.[38]

As a model/brand ambassador, Laganja embodies the company she endorses and represents by increasing brand awareness with an authentic flair. While she does not have a marketing degree, it is clear that, through her social media skills, Laganja provides the utmost exposure for any partner.

With her established online presence of over one million followers collectively,[39] Laganja always provides professional, modern marketing to consumers. Laganja maintains long lasting relationship with many diverse companies as a product and brand ambassador.[40][41][42][43][44][45]

Personal life

Laganja spoke out against Donald Trump while he was running for President of the United States, and she is committed to continuing to use her platform for social change.[46]



As lead artist

Title Year
(featuring Rye Rye)
"Tease 4u" 2016

As featured artist

Title Year
"Got Beat"[49]
(Kraax featuring Laganja Estranja, Cool B. & Lissa Wick)
"Oh No She Better Don't"[50]
(RuPaul featuring Drag Race Season 6 Cast)
"Gold Grill BBQ"[51]
(Krysta Youngs featuring Laganja Estranja & Melanie Fontana)
"Gimme All Your Money[52]
(Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 featuring Laganja Estranja)

Guest appearances

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Jealous of My Boogie"[53] 2014 RuPaul RuPaul Presents: The CoverGurlz
"Gimme All Your Money"[15] 2015 Alaska Thunderfuck Anus



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself (Contestant) Season 6 – 8th place [6]
2014 Untucked Himself Companion show to RuPaul's Drag Race [7]
2015 Skin Wars Himself Season 2 - Guest [54]
2017, 2019 Bong Appétit Himself Season 1, Episode 6 - Guest [55][56]
2018 Germany's Next Topmodel Himself Season 13, Episode 14 - Guest
2018–19 So You Think You Can Dance Himself (Contestant) Season 15 [57][58][59]
2019 Queen of Drags Himself (guest) Episode 6

Music videos

Title Year Director Ref.
"Jealous of My Boogie" 2014 Jay Jackson [60]
"Got Beat" 2014 Kristen R. Lovell [61]
"Gold Grill BBQ" 2014 Kristen R. Lovell [62]
"Legs" (featuring Rye Rye) lyric video 2015 Zigmortius [63]
"Gimme All Your Money" (featuring Laganja Estranja) 2016 Justin Andrew Honard [64]
"Green XXXMas" 2016 Kristen R. Lovell [65]

Music video appearances

Title Year Director Ref.
"No Bueno"
(Angel Haze)
2013 Frank Borin [66]
(Todrick Hall)
2016 Todrick Hall [67]
"Gimme All Your Money"
(Alaska Thunderfuck 5000)
2016 Justin Andrew Honard & Nick Laughlin [68]


  1. ^ a b Tracy, Liz (September 20, 2018). "ay Jackson, aka Drag Race Star Laganja Estranja, Gets Personal". Miami New Times. Florida. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
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  3. ^
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  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Avery, Dan (December 13, 2013). "Meet The Queens Of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6: Laganja Estranja, Milk, Magnolia Crawford". NewNowNext. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Reynolds, Daniel (April 11, 2014). "Last Words With RuPaul's Drag Race's Laganja Estranja". The Advocate. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
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  9. ^ "Catchphrases of Season 7 – 12 Days of Crowning: RuPaul's Drag Race Season 7" (SKIP TO 3:17). YouTube. May 27, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  10. ^ "Walking with Laganja in Nature". YouTube. May 19, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "The Haus Of Edwards National Tour April 2015". ITDEvents. December 24, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  12. ^ Jacobs, Blake (June 1, 2015). "The Kids BEAT THE WALLS for the Haus of Edwards at RuPaul's Drag Race Grand Finale!". World of Wonder. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "Puff Puff Sessions". WOW Presents Plus. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
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  15. ^ a b "iTunes – Music – Anus – Album by Alaska Thunderfuck". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Look At Me feat. J. Tyler". YouTube. Laganja Estranja YouTube channel. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "Smoke Break". YouTube. Laganja Estranja YouTube channel. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  19. ^ Spirus, Dr (October 29, 2018). "Laganja Estranja comes to YASS Magazine". YASS Magazine. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  20. ^ "FRUIT SLABS on Instagram: "This year we are celebrating PRIDE with lots of passion - a new flavor developed in collaboration with the one and only @laganjaestranja ✨…"". Instagram. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  21. ^ "CANNABIS". Laganja Estranja. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  22. ^ "DOPE MAGAZINE NORCAL ISSUE #4 SEPTEMBER 2015 "THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE"". Issuu. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  23. ^ "Laganja Estranja Stars on the Cover of Dope Magazine | "Balancing Gay Rights, Cannabis, and the Pursuit of Happiness" by Sharon Letts". Laganja Estranja. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  24. ^ "Laganja Estranja's Political Imagery Against the War on Drugs Highlighted in New Music Video by Civilized Magazine". Laganja Estranja. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  25. ^ LaganjaEstranja (September 3, 2018), LAGANJA ESTRANJA | "Look At Me" feat. J. Tyler | Official Music Video, retrieved May 28, 2019
  26. ^ "About Civilized". Civilized. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  27. ^ "Drag Queen Laganja Estranja Battles Homophobia in Cannabis Culture". Leafly. January 22, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  28. ^ Tracy, Liz (September 20, 2018). "Jay Jackson, AKA Drag Race Star Laganja Estranja, Gets Personal". Miami New Times. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  29. ^ "National YoungArts Foundation Season Kicks off with Dance Residency, Community Events and Performances by Jay Jackson of RuPaul's Drag Race and So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  30. ^ Hasse, Javier (September 4, 2019). "Cool Cannabis Careers: Laganja Estranja, LGBTQAI+ Marijuana Icon And Performance Artist". Forbes. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  31. ^ LaganjaEstranja (November 26, 2017), LAGANJA ESTRANJA | End Of Gender | Exploritive Workshop | Nottingham, UK, retrieved May 28, 2019
  32. ^ a b "Laganja Estranja sashays into Pamm". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  33. ^ Tracy, Liz (September 20, 2018). "Jay Jackson, AKA Drag Race Star Laganja Estranja, Gets Personal". Miami New Times. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  34. ^ a b edibleslist. "LaGanja Estranja's Dance School | Edibles Magazine™". Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  35. ^ "Jay Jackson". IMDb. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  36. ^ "Laganja's Dance School". MUBI.
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Laganja Estranja x Blunted Objects Gold Statement Necklace". Blunted Objects. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  39. ^ "MODELING/BRAND AMBASSADOR". Laganja Estranja. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  40. ^ Estranja, Laganja (July 3, 2017). "Always take the higher path!! Thank you @TheHigherPathLA for starting my week right!! And how's the Adidas tee?! STUN!!". @LaganjaEstranja. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  41. ^ LaganjaEstranja (July 11, 2016), LAGANJA ESTRANJA DROPS | "MedMen", retrieved July 29, 2019
  42. ^ WOWPresents (September 18, 2017), #MarcoMarcoShow Backstage NY Style Fashion Week w/ Sasha Velour, Laganja Estranja, Gia Gunn, Milk, retrieved July 29, 2019
  43. ^ YayOrNayNicole (March 9, 2017), Fake A Tan Body With Makeup | Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs & Melanie Mills Hollywood Gleam, retrieved July 29, 2019
  44. ^ "Laganja Estranja | Jay Jackson on Instagram: "#Repost @pleasershoes ・・・ For the last 24 years Pleaser USA has been about filling a void in the shoe industry; whether you are an exotic…"". Instagram. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  45. ^ #WhenTheKushyPunchHits and you fulfill... - Laganja Estranja, retrieved July 29, 2019
  46. ^
  47. ^ "iTunes – Music – Legs (feat. Rye Rye) – Single by Laganja Estranja". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  48. ^ ""Hotbox" Preview". June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015 – via YouTube.
  49. ^ "iTunes – Music – Got Beat (feat. Laganja Estranja, Cool B. & Lissa Wick) – Single by Kraax". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  50. ^ "iTunes – Music – Oh No She Better Don't (feat. The Cast of Rupaul's Drag Race Season 6) – Single by RuPaul & DJ ShyBoy". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  51. ^ "iTunes – Music – Gold Grill BBQ (feat. Laganja Estranja & Melanie Fontana) – Single by Krysta Youngs". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  52. ^ "iTunes - Music - Gimme All Your Money (feat. Laganja Estranja) - Single by Alaska Thunderfuck 5000". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  53. ^ "iTunes – Music – RuPaul Presents the CoverGurlz – Album by RuPaul". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  54. ^ Smothers, Thairin (June 8, 2015). "RuPaul's Drag Race Stars on Skin Wars Season 2". World of Wonder. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  55. ^ "BONG APPETIT Season 1". Viceland. January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  56. ^ "Devil's Lettuce". Video. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  57. ^ "See 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Alum Laganja Estranja's 'SYTYCD' Audition (VIDEO)". TV Insider. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  58. ^ "Laganja Estranja — BIO". Laganja Estranja. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  59. ^ "Jay Jackson Isn't Done Yet With 'So You Think You Can Dance'". Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  60. ^ "RuPaul Presents: The CoverGurlz – Laganja Estranja "Jealous of My Boogie" Music Video". January 28, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via YouTube.
  61. ^ ""Got Beat" – Kraax ft. Laganja Estranja, Cool B & Lissa Wick". March 17, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via YouTube.
  62. ^ ""Gold Grill BBQ" - Krysta Youngs feat. Laganja Estranja and Melanie Fontana". July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014 – via YouTube.
  63. ^ ""LEGS feat. Rye Rye"". August 30, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015 – via YouTube.
  64. ^ ""Gimme All Your Money feat. Laganja Estranja" - Alaska Thunderfuck". April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016 – via YouTube.
  65. ^ LAGANJA ESTRANJA | "Green XXXMas" | Official Music Video, retrieved May 28, 2019
  66. ^ "Angel Haze – No Bueno (Official Video)" (SKIP TO 1:49). YouTube. June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  67. ^ Tharrett, Matthew (July 21, 2016). "Kim Chi, Willam, Mariah, Alaska And Laganja Get "Expensive" With Todrick Hall". Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  68. ^ Alaska Thunderfuck (April 1, 2016), Gimme All Your Money feat. Laganja Estranja [Official], retrieved May 28, 2019

External links

  • Official website
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