How Much Money Does RuPaul Make From Hosting (And Creating) ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’?

She’s the ultimate queen of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, hosting her Emmy award-winning reality series for over 10 years now. How much does RuPaul Charles make the series, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and its spinoffs? What is this drag performer’s net worth? Here’s what we know about this queen of drag.

RuPaul Charles makes a majority of his money from the ‘Drag Race’ franchise

Just like RuPaul always says, we’re all born naked and the rest is drag. This singer and performer made a career out of that motto, debuting the reality competition series, RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2009. Since then, the performer appeared as the host and judge for the competition, playing a role in choosing “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”

“I am a drag queen who understands camp and who understands how to comment on what’s happening within the Matrix,” RuPaul said during an interview with Vogue Magazine. “My job, our job as drag queens, has always been to remind you that this outfit you’re wearing, or this label you put on yourself, is just a label. Drag queens are the shamans or the witch doctors or even the court jesters—to remind you what is really real.”

All this influence comes with a hefty price tag. According to Cosmopolitan, “back in 2013, TV Guide reported that RuPaul was making $50,000 per episode of Drag Race. At that point, there had been five seasons spanning around 9 to 16 episodes each, meaning he was pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars.” 

Host RuPaul during his 'Saturday Night Live' monologue
Host RuPaul during his ‘Saturday Night Live’ monologue | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

What is RuPaul’s net worth?

Thanks to hosting and, in part, creating RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul has a net worth of an estimated $60 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Presumably, his earnings per episode increased as the years went on (and as RuPaul’s Drag Race earned more Primetime Emmy Awards.)

There are, of course, plenty of personal costs that come along with being a professional drag performer. RuPaul said during an interview with Money.com that he is willing to drop $10,000 on a gown. He needs about 14 of them per season. 

The queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race Live!'
The queens of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Live!’ | Denise Truscello/WireImage

RuPaul has a few spinoff series’ available that contribute to his overall net worth

Because Drag Race (and RuPaul herself) are an empire, there are plenty of spinoffs that come along with the original competition series. There’s Untucked, All-Stars, Drag Race UK, and, briefly, Drag U. There’s the What’s the Tee podcast, which RuPaul hosts with Michelle Visage. 

RuPaul also starred in a Netflix original series, AJ and the Queen, which appeared for one season on the streaming platform. It’s unclear how much the performer earned from making that series, as well as the spinoffs like Drag Race Thailand and Canada’s Drag Race. However, new episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars 5 premiere on a weekly basis on VH1.

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