Drag performers are not found in abundance when compared to other art performing artists all over the world. There are only a handful of drag artists who have managed to claim fame and popularity over the years, and one among them is RuPaul. Considered to be the most successful Drag Queen in the United States he was also mentioned in the 2017 most influential people list by Time 100 magazine. Keep reading to know more information about the life, career and net worth of RuPaul in 2019.
Early Life & Biography
RuPaul was born as Ernestine “Toni” Charles on November 17, 1960, in San Diego, California, the United States. His parents divorced when RuPaul was seven years old after which he and his three years opted to live with their mother. He moved to Atlanta when he was 15 along with his sister to study performing arts.
Initially, he worked as a musician, filmmaker and a technician in some low budget movies. He started to sing and dance at many bars in Atlanta which gave him an opportunity to become a backup singer to Glen Meadmore.
RuPaul began his relationship with Georges LeBar in 1994. LeBar is an Australian painter who also owns a 50-acre ranch. They got married in January 2017. In 2014, RuPaul got into a controversy after using discriminatory words towards the transgender community on the 6th season of his show RuPaul’s Drag Race.
RuPaul was widely criticised for his language by the transgender community. RuPaul publicly expressed his support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Elections and expressed his dismay after the results as Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.
Career, Awards & Nominations
RuPaul caught the attention of the US people through his performance in the Love Shack music video by The B-52’s. He went on to perform many drag acts after that and became a regular performer at the Wigstock drag festival. He portrayed a character in the UK series Manhattan Cable that was aired on Channel 4 during the 1990s which made him popular in the UK.
In 1993, RuPaul released his first single Supermodel (You Better Work) which garnered him wide recognition as a Drag Queen. His debut album Supermodel of the World was published on June 8, 1993, and became an instant hit which made him the spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics in 1994.
He also became a talk show host on VH1 which was titled The RuPaul Show the same year and went on to host more than 100 episodes. He has also appeared in movies such as Crooklyn, But I’m a Cheerleader and The Brady Bunch Movie. In 2008, he produced a reality game show for the channel Logo TV which was transferred to the VH1 channel from its ninth season.
RuPaul has so far released 11 studio albums and has featured in numerous TV shows and series. He has won the 2 GLAAD Media Awards, a NewNowNext Award, an Entertainment Weekly Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. He won the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for the Television category in 2018.
Net Worth & Earnings
His successful career as a Drag Queen has amassed him a very good fortune so far. His annual salary is said to be around $4 million which includes the shows and the other performances he does. In 2010, he sold his West Village Pad which earned him around $2.4 million. Having released 11 studio albums and performed in various films and TV shows for more than two decades, he has a net worth of $18 million.
The life and achievements of RuPaul as a Drag Queen is quite phenomenal, and he will always be the reference point for aspiring drag performers in the future.