Before RuPaul was the Supermodel of the World, it was only because of trailblazers like Jim Bailey, Charles Pierce and Divine. Baltimore resident Harris Glenn Milstead became known to the world through his work in cult films by John Waters, better known as drag queen Divine. In addition to working both in movies and on stage, Divine also made several records, performing Hi N-R-G dance songs for the clubs. When you have an icon like Divine, once described by People magazine as the 'Drag Queen of the [20th] Century,' there will be no lip-synching for anyone's life. Give a listen to the 1982 hit, Native Love (Step By Step).
That song was followed up in 1983 with the catchy Love Reaction. Once again, you can clearly see the character of Divine, the large-living wife with more self-confidence than self-awareness. She would only vary the economic range of the woman, from trailer trash to middle-aged soccer mom.
In 1984, Divine once again proved that self-confidence is indeed intoxicating. When she sings I'm So Beautiful, it is tough not to smile and feel good.
In 1985, Divine had a feature role in the Paul Bartel's Western melodrama, Lust In The Dust. The film reunited Divine with costar Tab Hunter, a major heartthrob in the 50s and 60s. Hunter, who openly acknowledged his homosexuality in a 2005 autobiography, also shared the screen with Divine in Polyester, a John Waters film. Coincidentally while working on that Western, Divine released a remake of the song Walk Like A Man, also featuring the Western motif.
Unfortunately, Divine passed away in 1988, a week after the opening of Hairspary, for which he received great praise. But he certainly left a legacy of great films and some fun music, and is still remembered today.