RuPaul, A Show Business Superstar

He is a renowned American drag queen, model, and musician, best known for producing and judging the televised reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race

Important dates

  • November 17, 1960: Birth in San Diego, CA, U.S.
  • 1982: Debuted on The American Music Show, an Atlanta public access variety show
  • 1989: Danced as an extra for the “Love Shack” video by The B-52’s
  • 1993: Recorded his first dance album, Supermodel of the World
  • 2004: Released his fourth album, Red Hot
  • 2008: Began producing the reality television game show, RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • 2013: Launched his debut unisex make-up line “Glamazon”
  • 2014: His seven studio album, Born Naked, was released and hit #1 on iTunes dance album chart
  • 2018: First drag queen to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • 2019: Released the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
  • 2022: Won the Tony Award for Best Musical for serving as a producer on the Broadway musical A Strange Loop

“When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”

RuPaul Andre Charles, simply known as RuPaul, was born November 17, 1960 in San Diego, California, U.S. At 15, he and his sister, Renetta, moved to Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. to study performing arts. RuPaul found work at Atlanta’s famous Pizza Theater while struggling as an aspiring musician and filmmaker. 

In 1982, RuPaul got his debut on the variety show The American Music Show, making frequent appearances over the years while simultaneously participating in underground cinema. His first prominent national exposure came in 1989, when he danced as an extra for the “Love Shack” video by The B-52’s.

RuPaul recorded and released his first dance album, Supermodel of the World, in 1993, with the music video rising as an unexpected success on MTV channels. The song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. He went on to release three more albums over the following ten years, releasing his fourth album, Red Hot, in 2004.

In 2008, RuPaul began production on the reality television game show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, in which drag queen’s compete to be selected as “America’s next drag superstar” by RuPaul and a panel of judges.The first season aired in February 2009. 

A few years later, in 2013, RuPaul launched his debut unisex make-up qnd perfume line “Glamazon,”  named after his sixth studio album that was released in 2011. In the years following, he continued to release new albums. He was the first drag queen to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, being awarded in 2018. RuPaul’s 14th studio album, “Mamaru,” was released in January, 2022, just hours before the 14th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

He remains a superstar in showbusiness, recently winning the Tony Award for Best Musical for serving as a producer on the Broadway musical A Strange Loop in 2022. Additionally, his work on RuPaul’s Drag Race has led him to receive eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, the most any person of color has received in the history of the Primetime Emmys.

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