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RuPaul Biography

Home > Music > R > RuPaul > Biography

Birth Name: RuPaul Andre Charles
Born: 1960/11/17
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Years Active: 1985—present
Genres: Dance-pop, Hi-NRG, Disco House, R&B, Eurodance, Electro

RuPaul Andre Charles (born November 17, 1960), best known as simply RuPaul, is an American actor, drag queen, model, author, and singer-songwriter, who first became widely known in the 1990s when he appeared in a wide variety of television programs, films, and musical albums. Previously, he was a fixture on the Atlanta and New York City club scenes during the 1980s and early 90s. RuPaul has on occasion performed as a man in a number of roles, usually billed as RuPaul Charles. RuPaul is noted among famous drag queens for his indifference towards the gender-specific pronouns used to address him—both “he” and “she” have been deemed acceptable He hosted a short-running talk show on VH1, and currently hosts reality television shows called “RuPaul's Drag Race“ and “RuPaul's Drag U.”

In 1993, RuPaul his debut album, “Supermodel of the World” through the rap label Tommy Boy, which spawned the dance track hit “Supermodel (You Better Work),” which was a hit. The song peaked at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. It further charted on the U.K. Singles chart, peaking in the Top 40 at #39. The song found the most success peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. His next two singles, “Back to My Roots” and “A Shade Shady (Now Prance)” both went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

That same year would also mark his biggest hit on the UK Singles Chart, a remake of “Don't Go Breaking My Heart” with Elton John, which went to number seven. It was around this time that RuPaul co-hosted the BRIT Awards in London, also with Elton John.

In 1996 he released his second album, “Foxy Lady” on the Rhino Records label, which failed to impact the Billboard 200 Albums chart. However, the first single “Snapshot” found success in the dance market and went to #4 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. It also enjoyed limited mainstream success, reaching #95 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single “Little Bit of Love” peaked at #28 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The album featured covers of the 1981 Diana Ross song “Work That Body” and “If You Were a Woman and I was a Man” originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler.

In 1997, he released his third album, a Christmas album entitled “Ho, Ho, Ho.” Also in 1997, RuPaul teamed with Martha Wash to remake the classic disco anthem, “It's Raining Men.” In 2001 he recorded with Brigitte Nielsen, credited as Gitta, the Eurodance track “You're No Lady.”

In 2004, RuPaul released his fourth album, “Red Hot,” on his own RuCo Inc. label. It received some dance radio and club play, but very little press coverage, while peaking at #9 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Despite his apparent dissatisfaction with the release, “Red Hot” showed RuPaul returning to the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart with the leadoff single, “Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous” hitting #2. The second single, “Workout,” peaked at #5. The third and final single from the album “People are People,” a duet with Tom Trujillo, peaked at #10. The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart.

In 2006, RuPaul released “ReWorked,” his first remix album and fifth album overall. It featured reworked versions of songs from his back catalog, as well as new recordings. The only single released from the album was a re-recording of “Supermodel (You Better Work),” which reached #21 on the Dance chart.

2007 saw the release of “Starrbooty (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).” The single “Call Me Starrbooty” was digitally released in 2007. The album contained new tracks from the singer as well as interludes with dialogue from the 2007 film.

In 2009, RuPaul released the album “Champion,” which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The featured the dance singles “Cover Girl” and “Jealous Of My Boogie,” both anthems from the reality show “RuPaul's Drag Race

In 2010, RuPaul released his second remix album, “Drag Race.” The album featured remixes of songs from the 2009 album “Champion” and the new song “Hit The Floor.”

RuPaul released, “Glamazon” in 2011 which debuted at #11 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart and featured the lead single, “Superstar.”