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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 gained fame 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. 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. "You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don't care! Just as long as you call me."[2] 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.



RuPaul was born in San Diego, California.[1] His name was given to him by his mother, a Louisiana native. The Ru came from roux, an ingredient used in gumbo.[3] RuPaul struggled as a musician and filmmaker in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1980s. He participated in underground cinema, helping create the low-budget film Starrbooty, 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, which included the late Todd Butler. This is where he met Darryl Ponech, his first true love[4]

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