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RuPaul

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Biography

San Diego, United States (1993 – present)

RuPaul (born RuPaul Andre Charles on 17 November 1960) is an American drag performer singer-songwriter, actor and television personality who gained world-wide fame in the 1990s; appearing in a wide variety of television programs, films, and musical albums. Though a catty attitude is often associated with drag queens, RuPaul intentionally set himself apart with a “love one another” attitude. Although primarily known for his extravagant drag queen persona, his has performed as a man in a number of roles, usually billed as RuPaul Charles.

Ru was born in born in San Diego, California. His name was given to him by his mother, a Louisiana native. The “Ru” came from roux, which is the term for the base of gumbo and other creole stews and soups. RuPaul struggled as a musician and filmmaker in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1980s. He participated in underground cinema, helping create the low-budget film Star Booty, and an album by the same name. In Atlanta, RuPaul often performed at the Celebrity Club (managed by Larry Tee) as a bar dancer or with his band, Wee Wee Pole. RuPaul also performed as a backup singer to Glen Meadmore along with drag queen Vaginal Davis. RuPaul’s first prominent national exposure came in 1989 with an extra role dancing in the video for “Love Shack” by The B-52’s.

In the early 1990s, RuPaul worked the Georgia club scene and was known by his full birth name.

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