Born RuPaul Andre Charles (Yes, that's his real name!) the world's most famous drag queen got his start with a punk-rock band in Atlanta, eventually making his way into the NYC nightlife scene and was voted by club owners, promoters and DJs "Queen of Manhattan 1990."
RuPaul's career -- which now spans 30 years -- skyrocketed around this time after his hit single "Supermodel" went mainstream in 1993. He soon landed a cameo in The B-52's "Love Shack" music video, a spokesperson gig for M.A.C. Cosmetics, his own self-titled talk and variety show, "The RuPaul Show," on VH1 and continued to make albums and published books. Furthermore, RuPaul was arguably the first drag queen to make his way into the homes of middle America and helped bring massive visibility to the LGBT community years before Ellen DeGeneres and others.
Now Ru, age 51, is perhaps even more visible than ever, mentoring America's next drag superstar hopefuls in the hit show, "RuPaul's Drag Race," on Logo, which has had four seasons and an all-star edition beginning tonight. "The thing is, to have this part of my career really be legacy-based and being a mentor -- it's just brilliant," RuPaul said in a January interview with The Huffington Post. The campy reality series, which won GLAAD's Outstanding Reality Program award in 2010, serves as a source of empowerment for the LGBT community. The drag legend reminds us in every episode that our love and compassion toward others starts with ourselves.
On being a role model, Rupaul said in the same interview with HuffPo, "I do this because I'm on this planet trying to have as much fun, and do what interests me. And if I really thought about what other people thought of me I couldn't get out of bed in the morning. People think all kinds of things and they're gonna think all kinds of things. But I don't do it to be a role model. That's between -- that's people's, that's their business. I like to have fun, I love to laugh, I love to dance. And if somebody get's something out of it, I say 'Right on, sister.'"
Hey, if you can't love RuPaul…
We don't know what to say.
Catch the all-star season premiere of "Drag Race" on Logo on Monday, Oct. 22 at 9/8c.
Each day in October, which is LGBT History Month, we'll be featuring a different LGBT icon. Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible individual who changed history and visit our LGBT History Month Big News Page for more stories.