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RuPaul Andre Charles, better known simply as RuPaul, is an American drag performer, actor, television host, and recording artist. RuPaul is well known for appearing in several films, and being the host and judge for his own popular reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he has received 14 Primetime Emmy Awards as of 2024.[2]

RuPaul is considered to be the most commercially successful drag queen in the United States.[3] In 2017, he was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.[4]

Drag Name Origin[]

RuPaul decided to keep her birth name RuPaul, but without Charles at the end.

Biography[]

RuPaul, birth name RuPaul Charles, was born in San Diego, California on November 17, 1960. He was named by his mother, Ernestine Charles; the "Ru" came from roux, which is the term for the base of gumbo and other creole stews and soups. Finding global success in the 90s and again in recent years with his TV shows, including RuPaul's Drag Race, and his oversized personality, RuPaul has become a beacon in LGBTQ+ communities.[citation needed]

A black and white photo of young RuPaul styled in genderfuck drag. He looks to the camera with a smoldering expression and one arm above his head.

Young RuPaul in genderfuck drag

At the age of 15, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his sister and her husband. There, he was studying at the School of Performing Arts - though never graduated - and worked in his family's business of selling used cars for six years. By the 1980s, RuPaul began crossdressing and was known to be a "gender bender", performing at Atlanta clubs either as a go-go dancer or with his new wave/punk band, RuPaul and the U-Hauls and later, Wee Wee Pole.[citation needed]

After spending a brief time in New York City, RuPaul moved back to Atlanta and participated in underground cinema, starring in the Starbooty film trilogy alongside his roommate Lady Bunny and DJ Larry Tee. RuPaul decided that he would make a name for himself before moving to New York, pasting posters and selling postcards of himself that said "RuPaul is Everything," among others, all throughout midtown Atlanta.[citation needed]

1980s-rupaul

"In the summer of '89, one word could be used to describe me and my wigs; Thirsty."

In 1987, RuPaul officially moved to New York City where he would become part of the burgeoning drag scene. RuPaul has said that he changed his image from "punk drag" to "black hooker drag" while in New York. He quickly befriended several Club Kids, a group of counterculture nightlife entertainers known for their flamboyancy and eccentricity, after Susanne Bartsch hired him to appear at her iconic parties. Here, RuPaul would meet Michelle Visage who would become his on-air sidekick and one of his closest friends. He continued to perform in clubs as a dancer and made many appearances at Lady Bunny's annual drag festival, Wigstock, in the East Village. His larger-than-life personality and ease on stage earned him popularity and he, along with Susanne Bartsch and Lady Bunny, became a staple within New York's nightlife. Before the decade was over, RuPaul would be hailed as the Queen of Manhattan.[citation needed]

1993-rupaul-lgbt-march

RuPaul performs at the LGBT March On D.C., April 1993

RuPaul gained worldwide fame with the release of his 1993 album, "Supermodel of the World". The album's first single, "Supermodel (You Better Work)", reached the Top 50 of the pop charts and no. 2 on the dance club charts. The single was also nominated for the Best Dance Music Video award in the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. In 1994, RuPaul landed a modeling contract as the first face of MAC Cosmetic's Viva Glam line. With his new "glamazon supermodel" drag caricature, RuPaul became one of the first drag queens to enter the mainstream and has subsequently become an icon of pop culture.[citation needed]

2000s-rupaul

Rupaul at VH1 Divas 2000: Tribute to Diana Ross

In 1996, he debuted his own TV talk show on VH1, called The RuPaul Show. Co-hosted by Michelle Visage, it was one of the first TV programs in the United States hosted by an openly gay person. His first guest was his number one icon and muse, Diana Ross. Other notable guests included Cher, Bea Arthur, and Nirvana while his show aired for 2 years. RuPaul continued his acting and music career throughout the 90s, though took a step back from the industry and moved to Los Angeles in 1998. Ready to return to show business, RuPaul released his fourth album, "Red Hot", in 2004 and starred in the 2007 film Starrbooty, which served as the fourth film in the Starbooty series.[citation needed]

It wasn't until 2009 when RuPaul truly made his mark on the cultural landscape with the debut of RuPaul's Drag Race, a reality TV game show that first aired on Logo. The success of the show has sparked several spin-off series including Untucked, RuPaul's Drag U, and RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars. RuPaul has been noted as having a large part in RuPaul's Drag Race 's continuous television success. By pioneering queer representation on television, many believe RuPaul to have essentially revolutionised the portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. He first won an Emmy for his work on the show in 2016, and one year later the show garnered 8 nominations, including Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for the first time in its 11-season run, and a second consecutive win for RuPaul in the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.[citation needed]

RuPaul is married to Georges LeBar, an Australian author and painter. The two met in 1994 at the Limelight nightclub in New York City, marrying in January 2017. Together, they live on a 50-acre ranch in Wyoming.[citation needed]

Memorable Quotes[]

  • "We're all born naked and the rest is drag."
  • "You can call me he, you can call me she, you can call me Regis and Kathie Lee, just so long as you call me."
  • "As the two of us sat watching TV, Kurt Loder popped up on the tube, teasing an MTV News story with footage of me frolicking around a shopping mall in Jersey City. He said "Coming up next, she's er-ah he's 6' 4" and supermodel of the world. Me and Mama both looked at each other, and in that moment we simultaneously realized that her prediction, made 32 years prior, had finally come true. I was a star. That was the last time I saw Mama. " - on his mother Ernestine Charles
  • "When I got into drag, straight men, straight women, everybody would go, 'bitch, damn.'"
  • "Every time I bat my eyelashes, it's a political act."
  • "That is the key to navigating this life — don't take it too seriously. That's when the party begins."
  • "Remember, this country was founded by a bunch of men wearing wigs."
  • "I've dedicated my career to fighting the mundane. My hope is that my career will be a shining example to children everywhere that life is more meaningful when you are not afraid to see all colors of the rainbow."
  • "Hey squirrel friend! When one video ends, just open up another one! It's called binge-viewing. Go ahead! I support you..." (After most YouTube videos)

  • "Ooh, girl... She done already done had herses!"
  • "Ooh girl... Her majesty has already done had herses"!
  • "Hello, hello, hello!"
  • "Now, just between us squirrel friends, what do you think?"
  • "Oh, Pit Crew!"
  • "In the great tradition of Paris is Burning, 'Get out your library cards!'"
  • "Because reading is what?" ("Fundamental!")
  • "Now listen, I gotta tell ya..."
  • "Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win!"
  • "How are you going to make it funny?"
  • "Your country breakfast is ready!"
  • "Why it gotta be black?"
  • "Why it gotta be white?"
  • "Shake the dice and steal the rice, it's Santino!"
  • "Silence! I've made my decision. Bring back my girls!"
  • "Bring back my All Stars."
  • "Who should go home tonight and why?"
  • "Thank you, ladies. While you untuck in the Interior Illusions Lounge, the judges and I will deliberate."
  • "Thank you, ladies While you untuck in the Werkroom, the judges and I will deliberate."
  • "I've consulted with the judges, but the final decision is mine to make."
  • "I've consulted with the judges, but quite frankly, I don't give a fuck what they think."
  • "Con-drag-ulations, you are the winner of this week's challenge!"
  • "You're a winner, baby!"
  • "I'm sorry, my dear, but you are up for elimination."
  • "Two queens stand before me."
  • "Two queens stand behind me."
  • "The time has come, for you to lip-sync for your life!"
  • "Good luck, and don't fuck it up!"
  • "Shantay, you stay."
  • "Sashay away."
  • "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?" ("AMEN!")
  • "Now let the music play!"
  • "The Winner of RuPaul's Drag Race is...
  • "Starting with"
  • "Up next is..."
  • "HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"

  • "CAMEROOOOON!"
  • "Extravaganza Eleganza!"
  • "Yes, something to wash down the fava beans."

  • "Tyra Sanchez, the other Tyra!"
  • "That's so Raven, That's so cabaret!"
  • "Why are you laughing?" - to Morgan McMichaels when she laughed after being put in the bottom.

  • "RAJAAAA!"
  • "Ladies, I must admit...that made me feel uncomfortable."
  • "Drag is not a contact sport."

  • "London, Paris, Milan!"
  • "May I call you Jiggly?"
  • "I'll have a Latrice Royale on the rocks."
  • "No tea, no shade!"
  • "Time to push, ladies. PUUUSSH! Because I'm about to crown..." (moan) "America's Next Drag Superstar."
  • "I get worried when you do that ‘oh it's going to be fine' … there have been times when you've done that and then uh-uh *mumbles*"
  • "Impersonating Beyoncé is not your destiny, child."
  • "It has come to my attention that you have broken the rules... rules that are in place to protect the fairness of this competition."
  • "Lady turqoahhhhhzzzzeEeh."

  • "IVYYY WINTERRRRRS!"
  • "Alaska, the 49th state!"
  • "Deeper, Penny Tration!"
  • "I can't wait to see how this turns out."
  • "We as gay people, we get to choose our family, do you know what I'm saying? We are a family here. I love you."
  • "What you just did on this runway is the passion I am looking for. Shantay, you both stay!"
  • "That would be Michelle."

  • "Magnooooolia Crawford!"
  • "G-G-G-Gia!"
  • "Blame it on Bianca Del Rio."
  • "Dip into the cool waters of Darienne Lake."
  • "Hey ladies! I hate to break up a good time, but I've got company coming in the morning, darlings... so SHUT YOUR STINKING PIEHOLES AND GO TO BED!"

  • "LaGuardia, Newark, Kennedy."
  • "Wake up, Pearl!"
  • "Bitches, better beware." (to Kennedy Davenport after lip-syncing with Katya)
  • "Fu Man Chu betta werk!" (to Kandy Ho's bearded runway)
  • "How's your head?"

  • "Bob The Drag Queen, not to be confused with Bob the (occupation)."
  • "Kim Chi. Tonight, you put your left foot forward. Both of them."
  • "Neither one of you survived that lip-sync. I must ask you both to sashay away..."
  • "I just had to eliminate two queens. How soon can you get here?"

  • "We've been in touch with the doctor. You need time to heal."
  • "Valentina, this is a lip-sync for your life, we need to see your lips. Take that thing off your mouth."
  • "It's a lip-sync. What part of that do you not understand?"
  • "And when she does, she will sauté it in a peanut sauce."
  • "Nina Bo'nina Brown...
    • Zeta Jones."
    • Nelson Riley."
    • Joyner Kersee."
    • Gurley Brown."
    • Jessica Parker."
    • Anderson Lee."
    • Pinkett Smith."
    • Rodham Clinton."
    • Faye Baker."
    • Louise Ciconne."
    • Earl Jones."
    • Kennedy Onassis."
    • Abdul Jabbar."
    • Miller Boyette."
    • Bowyer-Chapman."
    • Tyler Moore."
    • Ellis Ross."
    • Champagne King."
    • Bader Ginsberg."
    • Stewart Masterson."
    • Carrington Colby."
    • Andre Charles... you are part of my family now!" (upon her elimination)

  • "My safe word is "Chaka Khan"!"
  • "Don't you start with me, Michelle!"
  • "VANJIE!!!"
  • "Bring back my gills!"

  • "Uhhh you playing the race card?"
  • "For the first time in Drag Race herstory... all of you are gonna Lip-Sync for Your Lives."
  • "Six queens stand before me..."
  • "Dr. Reverend Silky Nutmeg Ganache."
  • "I'm your new mommy."
  • "Meh." (after Nina West and Silky Nutmeg Ganache's lip-sync)

  • "Welcome to the main stage of Nicki Minaj's Drag Race"
  • "Jan, simply... Jan."
  • "Crystal Methyd DeBarge."
  • "Jan, tonight you ruled the world! You're safe." (to Jan after the Rusical)
  • "Well Maria, can you take a big black cock?"
  • '"Guess who's black in the house." (referring to Widow Von'Du)
  • "LeBron Essence Hall."

  • "Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win!"
  • "I'm sorry my dear but you are getting the Porkchop."
  • "Do you like surprises?"
  • "Oh, goodie! Three queens stand before me..."
  • "Do re mi, LaLa Ri."
  • "I'dica??...You'dica!"
  • "Syracuse, Schenectady, Utica."
  • "That was 100% pure FUN!" (to Denali and Kahmora after their lip-sync)
  • "I pity the fool that has to go against you!"
  • "This bitch is crazy." (to Utica Queen)
  • "Okay, fuck all of you."
  • "Symone, Symonyay!"
  • "Kandy! Wait! I'm not ready for you to go yet. Not yet..."
  • "Baby Gott Mik!" (referring to Gottmik's "new single on iTunes")

  • "She's not a big pill, she's a Wittle Piw!"
  • "I DON'T WANNA SEE ANYMORE FLIP-FLOPS ON MY STAGE!"
  • "Oh, my coffee enema is kicking in."
  • "You don't gotta reinvent the wheel! The wheel is fine!"
  • "Is your pussy on fire?"
  • "Jorgeous, you were born to do drag!"

  • "You better walk that fucking duck."
  • "The Robin Fierce!"
  • "Those words may haunt you."
  • "REPRESENTING AFRICA!"
  • "Cue the sniper." (to Spice)
  • "I am the motherfucking queen of drag, I am amazed by you!"

  • "We're calling... Amanda Tori Meating."

    • "The time has come, for you to Lip-Sync... for... Your... Legacy!"
    • "You're a winner, baby!"
    • "As it is written, so it shall be done."

    • "That's funny, tell another one!" (to Michelle Visage)
    • "I say fuck it, we're having a top four!"

  • "You are, and will always be... an All Star."
  • "The time has come, for you to Lip-Sync... for.. Your... LIFE! GOD, I'VE MISSED SAYING THAT!"
  • "And when you pinch yourself, can you feel it?"

  • "Melk."
  • "Wait, did I leave the iron on?"
  • "You have a dick?"
  • "NO MORE WHITE-OUT!" (to the top 5 queens following BenDeLaCreme's self-elimination)

  • "Trust me, she is. I've... seen her apartment."
  • "All Star rules are temporarily suspended, until further notice."
  • "For the first time in Drag Race herstory, you are both winners, baby!"
  • "Winner, winner... two chicken dinners."

  • "Let go, and... let God-"
  • "The most important thing I've learnt is this. Happiness is in your own backyard." (introducing the Backyard Ball)
  • "All Star rules have been suspended... FOREVAH!"
  • "Jujubee the shade!"

  • "Meh!"
  • "Damn, damn, damn!" (after Laganja Estranja and Trinity K. Bonet's lip-sync)
  • "In accordance with All Star rules--- OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY--- you will advance in the Rudemption Smackdown for the Crown."
  • "So, you wanna Lip-Sync for Your Legacy all by yourself? Aren't you afraid of losing?"
  • "Oh, who am I kidding? Hit it!" (before Silky Nutmeg Ganache lip-syncs alone to Barbie Girl)
  • "Silky Nutmeg Ganache... you are out yo' damn mind! OFFICIALLY!"

  • "You may be leaving us tonight, but the Fame Games have just begun."

    • "Her Majesty done already done had herses!"
    • "'Ello, gov'na!"

  • "Lawrence Chaney!" (in Scottish accent)
  • "The question remains, Tia Kofi."
  • "Shishter Shishter"
  • "Oh brother, it's Sister Sister!"
  • "I don't want to see any fucking H&M." (to Joe Black)
  • "Tia Kofi, the question no longer remains. You will always be my cup of tea." (upon Tia Kofi's elimination)

    • "G'day, g'day, g'day!"
    • "Well, Sheila done already done had herses!"
    • "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!"
      • "Oi, oi, oi!" (queens' response)
    • "Kia ora, queens!"

  • "You have cornered the market on dirty street whore."
  • "I have marketed drag to the world, something that no one else did. I AM A FUCKING GENIUS AT MARKETING!"


  • Trivia[]

    • RuPaul was born at 7:58 PM PST.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul was kicked out of high school.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul was a part of an experimental band called The Now Explosion in the 70s, and a punk-rock band called Wee Wee Pole in the early 80s.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul can be seen in the B-52's music video for "Love Shack". RuPaul describes this as his big break, as it was his first prominent exposure to fame.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul was voted "Queen of Manhattan 1990" by club owners, promoters and DJs.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul scored four #1 singles from his debut album on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts, with Supermodel (You Better Work), A Shade Shadey (Now Prance), Back To My Roots and House Of Love. RuPaul becomes the first drag queen to make the Hot 100, reaching as high as #45.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul ended his affiliation with MTV shortly after the success of his debut album. His departure came after a live telecast of the 1993 VMAs, where he uttered negative remarks to co-presenter comedian Milton Berle. His representatives later made a public statement that his offense was provoked by Berle's vulgar comments and sexual assault backstage during the show.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul made a media comeback in 1996 after the tabloids dubbed him "The Wicked Witch of MTV" following the drama with Milton Berle. He appeared in an exuberant gown by fashion designer Bob Mackie, who has appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, at the 1996 VH1 Fashion Awards.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul hosted his own variety show on VH1 called The RuPaul Show in 1996, notable as being one of the first national television programs in the United States to be hosted by an openly gay host.[citation needed]
    • On the week of RuPaul's 40th birthday in 2000, a replica statue of him was unveiled at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in New York City.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul was the surprise guest at the VH1 Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross in an all star lineup that included Donna Summer, Faith Hill, Destiny's Child, and Mariah Carey, performing Ross's hit song "I'm Coming Out".[citation needed]
    • RuPaul is ranked #85 on E TV's "101 Reasons The '90s Ruled".[citation needed]
    • RuPaul has appeared in five films with actress Stockard Channing in Smoke (1995), To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), An Unexpected Life (1998) and The Truth About Jane (2000).[citation needed]
    • RuPaul was featured in Lady Gaga's Christmas special Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular and did a duet of her song "Fashion".[citation needed]
    • In March 2018, RuPaul caused major controversy after his exclusionary comments regarding trans drag queens competing on RuPaul's Drag Race. He later backtracked and publicly apologized. The show has since included transgender and cisgender drag queens in the competition.[citation needed]
    • On March 16, 2018, RuPaul got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located in front of the World of Wonder offices on Hollywood Boulevard. He is the first drag queen to get a star.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul has been impersonated thrice on the Snatch Game, by Jessica Wild on Season 2, Trixie Mattel on All Stars 3 and Diamante Merybrown on España 2.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul, along with Raja, made an appearance in The Simpsons (Season 30 Episode 7), playing the character Miss Shante. He helps Marge to become confident being a drag queen.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul appeared in Taylor Swift's music video for "You Need to Calm Down".[citation needed]
    • RuPaul appeared on SNL in February 2020.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul announced RuPaul's Drag Race Live! in 2019, a residency show in Las Vegas. It features a rotating cast of fourteen performers, which has included RuPaul's Drag Race contestants such as Aquaria, Yvie Oddly, Jaida Essence Hall, Asia O'Hara, Alexis Mateo, Coco Montrese, Trinity K. Bonet and Derrick Barry.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul's favourite colour is orange.[citation needed]
    • RuPaul has done product collabs with a lot of brands including:
      • Build-A-Bear Workshop[5]
      • Cheez-It[6]
      • Chia Pet[7]
      • ChocoLab[8]
      • Colorevolution[citation needed]
      • Fisher-Price[9]
      • Funko[citation needed]
      • Party City[citation needed]
      • Superdrug[citation needed]
    • RuPaul won a competition called "Drag Race" hosted by Chi Chi LaRue in 1986, in which she sang "Star Booty".[10]
    • RuPaul revealed in the Episode 2 of All Stars 5, that her celebrity crush is Ed O'Neill from "Married With Children".
    • RuPaul has her own Monster High Doll.[11]

    Gallery[]

    RuPaul's Drag Race Promo Looks[]

    RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Promo Looks[]

    RuPaul's Drag Race UK Promo Looks[]

    RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under Promo Looks[]

    RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race Promo Looks[]

    RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs The World Promo Looks[]

    RuPaul's Drag Race Spin-Off Series Promo Looks[]

    Others[]

    RuPaulLogoWhite
    Series
    RPDRLogo RPDRASLogo RPDRUKLogo RPSCDRLogo RPDRDULogo

    Videos[]

    Discography[]

    Title Release Date Cover Art
    Supermodel of the World June 8, 1993 RuPaulSuperModeloftheWorld
    Foxy Lady October 29, 1996 220px-RuPaul - Foxy Lady
    Ho, Ho, Ho October 28, 1997 220px-RuPaulHoHoHo
    Red Hot September 21, 2004 Red-hot-rupaul-2004
    Champion February 24, 2009 220px-RuPaulChampion-1
    Glamazon May 3, 2011 220px-RuPaulGlamazon
    Born Naked February 24, 2014 Rupaul-born-naked-400x400
    Realness March 2, 2015 RuPaul - Realness (Official Album Cover)
    Slay Belles October 23, 2015 RuPaul-Slay-Belles-album-cover-compressed
    Butch Queen March 4, 2016 Rupaul-butch-queen-album-cover-2016-billboard-620
    Remember Me: Essential, Vol. 1 February 3, 2017 C3nd4ykXAAA14eG.jpg-large-1486002448
    American March 24, 2017 RuPaul - American
    Essential, Vol. 2 June 9, 2017 EssentialVol2
    Christmas Party November 1, 2018 Dq7cnvjUwAAjxDE
    Queen of Queens April 29, 2019 RuPaul Queen of Queens Cover
    You're a Winner, Baby January 10, 2020 206756-youre-a-winner-baby
    MAMARU January 7, 2022 MAMARU Album Cover
    Black Butta January 6, 2023 Black Butta Album Cover
    Essential, Vol. 3 January 5, 2024 EssentialVol3

    Bibliography[]

    Title Release Date Cover
    Lettin it All Hang Out:
    An Autobiography
    June 6, 1996 Zrzut ekranu 2021-01-5 o 13.49.19
    Workin' It! Rupaul's Guide to Life,

    Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style

    February 15, 2010 Zrzut ekranu 2021-01-5 o 13.50.12
    GuRu October 23, 2018 GuRu
    The House of Hidden Meanings March 5, 2024 TheHouseofHiddenMeanings

    External Links[]

    References[]

    Navigation[]

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