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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About RuPaul

VO: Lisa Yang
Top 10 Things You Didn't Know about RuPaul Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/c/MsMojo?sub_confirmation=1 Shop: https://shop.WatchMojo.comcollections/msmojo-merchandise Script written by Owen Maxwell RuPaul is the queen of Queens! He’s been in the public eye for quite some time but there are some things that may surprise you! Did you know that RuPaul is his real name? His favourite film is “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”, that Ru's mom was foul-mouthed single mother? That Ru has a love for cars and that he became the first dragrace supermodel?
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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know about RuPaul


Category IS..... cover girl realness. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About RuPaul.
For this list we're looking back to Ru's roots to find all the factors that give him his charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. We're basing our picks on a mix of the unexpected, the effect they had on his career and just how much each entry shaped Mama Ru into the queen we know and love today.

#10: RuPaul is His Real Name

Even though “RuPaul” seems unique enough to be a stage title, it’s actually been this famous Queen’s name since birth. As evidence of the fact that his parents were aboutas Louisianan as they come, Ru claims to have been named after gumbo. Roux ( spelled R-O-U-X) is a lard and flour mix that serves as the base of gumbo. As for “Paul”, Mama Ru doesn't really know where that part of the name came from. RuPaul's mom told him at a young age that he needed a unique name to be famous. To this day, Ru is one of the few drag queens to use his real name on stage.


#9: His Favorite Film is “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”

While Mama Ru isn't known to be a spooky queen, he's talked repeatedly about his love for Elvira's debut movie. Following Elvira's goofy adventures through a small town in Massachusetts, the film became a cult classic. RuPaul identified with Elvira’s ability to dress up for a living. It would seem that Ru’s success has allowed him to connect personally with the idol of his youth, as Elvira has served as a guest judge in episodes of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' and the All Stars series. The Mistress of the Dark even made a cameo in the "Glamazon" music video, along with appearances on Ru's podcast and YouTube series.

#8: Ru's Mom was Foul-Mouthed Single Mother

RuPaul's endless ability to turn out sayings takes a lot of inspiration from his mother. Toni Charles worked as a clerk at a college registrar's office, while raising Ru and his siblings on her own. Toni's habit of smoking and cussing at people quickly earned her the nickname Mean Miss Charles. While her dark personality bothered the neighbors, it shaped RuPaul's ability to read people. Ru's mom also taught him how to sew, as well as inspiring his keen sense of fashion. Like her son, Toni always gave memorable advice like "If they ain't paying your bills, pay them no mind" but, you know… with more cussing.

#7: Ru Has a Love for Cars

Long before RuPaul had even learned to drive, he was in love with everything automobile. As early as 11, Ru claims he would steal his dad's car just to drive around for a bit. He never grew out of it however, as he now owns four cars of his own. He drives his beloved red Volvo 240 on his YouTube series 'RuPaul Drives.' Twitter followers may have even noticed Rupaul's tweets about his dream cars such as a 1970 Benz 280 SL. This passion for cars certainly adds a nice double meaning to the title of his flagship television series “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.

#6: Ru Was in a Band Before Going Solo

Back in the 80s, before making it big, RuPaul was already pushing the envelope with his music, which was influenced by punk and new wave, among other styles. As the frontman for Wee Wee Pole, he was adding an artsy edge to the local music scene with expressive performances and showstopping costumes. Playing with various acts in the Atlanta scene, including the hilariously named Rupaul and the U-Hauls, RuPaul even achieved some early tv exposure thanks to Atlanta's famous 'American Music Show.' When it came time to bring his rocking past to Drag Race, Mama Ru did it with the help of heroes like Blondie and the B-52's to judge his contestants.

#5: He Became the First Drag Supermodel

In the ‘90s, having already earned themselves a reputation as a progressive makeup company, MAC cosmetics turned their eyes to RuPaul. In 1994, Mama Ru became not only the first spokesperson for MAC's VIVA Glam lipstick line, but the first face of their brand overall. This big opportunity helped solidify Ru's career, making him the first drag supermodel. Helping MAC use the lipstick to raise money for the MAC AIDS Fund, RuPaul was able to support the LGBTQ+ community as well. RuPaul has even tied MAC back into his show, challenging his queens to make their own VIVA Glam campaign.

#4: Rupaul Has His Own Doll

Before 'RuPaul's Drag Race' made him more popular than ever, Ru already had his own toy. Advertised as the first transvestite fashion doll, the limited line was put out by Integrity Toys in 2005. To match Ru's massive height, the doll was 13 inches tall instead of the usual 12 for sixth-scale miniatures. The doll features Ru in his most iconic looks, including his dress from the 'Supermodel' video. Mama Ru was picked by doll designer Jason Wu for the line, who labelled the doll “99% plastic and 1% woman.” Artist Andrew Yang even made 13 one-of-a-kind dolls for RuPaul's DragCon in 2017.

#3: He Once Worked as a Used Car Salesman

After moving to Atlanta with his sister at only 15 years old, RuPaul was already looking for a steady job. After school, Ru ended up working for his brother-in-law's car brokerage, selling used cars. RuPaul would even drive cars around the country for the business, allegedly crossing the country at least 50 times. Paying the bills while he performed in clubs throughout Atlanta, the job also fed his obsession with cars. Thanks to the constant work, Mama Ru was able to sustain his art until he could move to New York for his big break.

#2: He Appeared in 'Love Shack' by the B-52's

Though he’s instantly recognizable these days, Ru was hard to spot in the mayhem of the 'Love Shack' video. Mama Ru shows up repeatedly for mere seconds, already perfecting his drag persona. RuPaul even doubled as choreographer, helping the band set up a 'Soul Train' inspired line-dance. The exposure from the video also convinced him to focus on his own music career and cover-girl look. The B-52's were a huge inspiration to Ru, and singer Fred Schneider even co-wrote RuPaul's song 'Stinky Dinky' a few years later. Coming full-circle, the band eventually appeared as judges on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' for a lip-sync battle to 'Love Shack.'

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few fierce honorable mentions:

Ru has Published Two Books

Ru Married his Partner of 23 years in 2017

RuPaul had a Cameo on 'Walker, Texas Ranger”

#1: RuPaul Released 'Supermodel' on His 32nd Birthday

Following Ru's break from band life, he returned with a much more pop sound. When 'Supermodel (You Better Work)' hit the airwaves back in 1992, it was a huge standout from the alternative rock that had taken over the radio. Surprisingly enough, the track exploded on MTV, holding its own against giants like Nirvana. Kurt Cobain himself even called 'Supermodel' one of his favorite songs. The track also gave birth to classic RuPaul sayings like 'Work' and 'Sashay, Shante.' Coming out on Ru’s 32nd birthday, the track quickly propelled him to the mainstream attention, from which point his career quickly snowballed.
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