RuPaul - Biography
RuPaul is an American actor, drag queen, singer, and talk show host. Born RuPaul Andre Charles in San Diego, he moved to Atlanta with his sister while he was in high school. RuPaul performed in nightclubs around Georgia until he moved to New York City in 1989. New York was initially very difficult for RuPaul, who was homeless for a while and partying heavily as the "Queen of Manhattan." RuPaul released his debut album, Supermodel of the World (Tommy Boy), in 1993. Around the same time, his "glamazon" look was developed by his make-up artist and his costume designer. "Supermodel (You Better Work)" became an international hit for RuPaul, on MTV, in the clubs, and on the charts. He recorded a duet with Elton John, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," which was RuPaul's biggest hit on the UK Singles Chart. To date RuPaul has released nine albums, including Foxy Lady (Rhino, 1996), a Christmas album Ho, Ho, Ho (Rhino, 1997), Red Hot (RuCo, Inc., 2004), and his most recent album, Glamazon (RuCo, Inc., 2011).
RuPaul has appeared in television and film over the years. In 1996, The RuPaul Show premiered on VH1 as part talk show and part variety show. It ran for three seasons. RuPaul's Drag Race began in 2009 on Logo TV, a reality show featuring contestants competing to become the next Drag Superstar. Season 4 is beginning in January 2012. A spin-off show, RuPaul's Drag U, premiered in 2010 on Logo TV, focusing on regular women discovering their inner diva. RuPaul has also appeared in films including The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), Crooklyn (1995), To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995), and But I'm a Cheerleader (1999).
In 1995, RuPaul released his autobiography, Lettin It All Hang Out, and became "The First Face of M.A.C." cosmetics and the first drag queen supermodel. He worked with M.A.C. for six years, helping to raise over $22 million for the M.A.C AIDS fund. In 1999 Rupaul received the Vito Russo Entertainer of The Year at the GLAAD Media Awards and in 2002 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Most Beautiful Transsexuals In The World Association for his outreach to the gay and lesbian community.