|Full Name||RuPaul Andre Charles|
|Age||62 years old|
|Birthday||November 17, 1960|
|Birthplace||San Diego, California, United States|
|Net Worth||$60 million|
|Social Media||Facebook –
RuPaul Andre Charles, known mononymously as RuPaul, is an American actor, model, musician, and television personality who has become the most famous drag queen in the world. I‘ve been a devoted fan of RuPaul since the 90s when he first burst onto the scene with his massive bouffant wigs, killer dance moves, and infectious dance hits like "Supermodel". In my view, RuPaul is a true trailblazer and inspiration for the LGBTQ+ community. Let‘s take a closer look at his groundbreaking career.
Humble Beginnings and Rise to Fame in the 1990s
RuPaul Charles was born on November 17, 1960 in San Diego, California. As a shy young boy, he found refuge in his identity as a natural performer, dancing and singing for family members. In the early 1980s, RuPaul moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he became a staple at underground nightclubs as a backup dancer before discovering his talent for drag. According to RuPaul, he got his big break impersonating Diana Ross at a club‘s amateur night contest. His spot-on lip syncing and glamorous look earned him both applause and cash tips.
“I consider myself to be a shapeshifter. My real job is to dress up as whatever people can project their fantasies onto.” – RuPaul
By the early 1990s, RuPaul had relocated to New York City where he signed with Tommy Boy Records. His debut album Supermodel of the World was released in 1993, featuring the now iconic dance/house single "Supermodel (You Better Work)". RuPaul delivered flawless model "realness" in the music video, strutting the runway in couture dresses. The song‘s success led to TV appearances, modeling gigs, and even his own MAC cosmetics campaign with the tagline "I am the MAC girl".
Some of my favorite RuPaul pop culture moments from this breakthrough era include his cameo in the B-52‘s "Love Shack" music video, hosting his own VH1 talk show called The RuPaul Show, and guest starring on Walker, Texas Ranger. RuPaul also published his first memoir Lettin‘ It All Hang Out in 1995. Overall, the 90s cemented RuPaul‘s status as the world‘s most famous drag queen. He brought drag into mainstream pop culture with talent, style, and infectious positivity.
The Runway Smash Hit of RuPaul‘s Drag Race
After years of mainstream success, RuPaul decided to give back to the drag community by creating a competition series to spotlight up-and-coming queens. RuPaul‘s Drag Race premiered in 2009 on Logo TV, with RuPaul searching for "America‘s next drag superstar." The show featured RuPaul alongside a panel of judges putting contestants through challenges testing their skills in areas like fashion design, acting, comedy, lip syncing, and runway walks.
With its heartfelt moments, over-the-top drama, and insane runway eleganza, Drag Race became a cult favorite among LGBTQ+ viewers and allies. As a superfan myself, I‘ve loved watching RuPaul take young queens under his wing and push them to embrace their uniqueness and inner diva. The show is entertaining but also empowering.
“The only advice I can give baby drag queens is to be 100% true to yourself every single day you’re in drag. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.” – RuPaul
Over the past decade, Drag Race‘s popularity has skyrocketed. The show moved from Logo TV to VH1, expanded to include All Star seasons with fan favorites, and launched international editions in the UK, Canada, Holland and beyond. RuPaul‘s Drag Race has earned 19 Emmy Awards so far, including multiple wins for RuPaul as Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.
For many young LGBTQ+ viewers, RuPaul and Drag Race serve as inspirations to embrace their identities. Past contestants like Bianca Del Rio, Alaska Thunderfuck, and Trixie Mattel have gone on to huge success. In my opinion, RuPaul‘s genius lies in transforming the idea of drag from niche performance art to beloved mainstream entertainment.
An Icon and Pioneer with a Lasting Legacy
At 62 years old, RuPaul Charles shows no signs of slowing down. He just keeps sashaying down that runway hosting new seasons of Drag Race year after year. Some of my favorite recent moments include his Saturday Night Live hosting gig in 2020 and inducting the Weather Girls into the R&B Music Hall of Fame.
In 2018, RuPaul made history as the first drag queen to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also landed on Time Magazine‘s annual Time 100 list of most influential people in 2017. Through his decades-spanning career, RuPaul has broken countless boundaries and brought increased visibility to the LGBTQ+ community.
"You‘re born naked and the rest is drag." – RuPaul‘s famous catchphrase
In my view, RuPaul is rightfully hailed as the most famous and successful drag queen of all time. He has shown the world the artistry, creativity, and humanity behind drag performance. With his self-assuredness, quick wit, and message of inner confidence, RuPaul has inspired people everywhere to embrace what makes them unique. For the LGBTQ+ community and beyond, he is a true icon and a "glamazon" warrior.