RuPaul: What the Television Icon’s Net Worth in 2020?

RuPaul is one of the most famous performers alive. He’s probably the most famous drag queen who ever lived. Through his television shows, musical career, and modeling career, RuPaul has amassed quite a net worth.

The past several years have been especially good for RuPaul. He’s kept a high profile – perhaps the highest-profile of his career so far. This raises an interesting question: How wealthy is RuPaul?

RuPaul in front of a bookshelf | Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage

The early life and ambitions of RuPaul

RuPaul Andre Charles was born in 1960 in San Diego, California. Rolling Stone reports that, after giving him that name, his mother predicted: “He’s gonna be a star ’cause ain’t another motherf*cker alive with a name like that.” At the age of 21, RuPaul decided he wanted to become famous, recalling “I knew I had a personality, had something that I thought had value. I just didn’t know specifically what language or what venue it would be.”

RuPaul‘s first big break in the music industry was his appearance in the music video for the B-52’s classic hit “Love Shack.” It takes a keen eye for fans to spot him in the clip. Interestingly, RuPaul went from an appearance in a music video to releasing a minor pop hit in just a few years.

“Love Shack” by the B-52’s

The hit was called “Supermodel (You Better Work).” When RuPaul released the song in 1993, it put him in the spotlight as nothing had before. The success of the track opened the door for him to perform a duet with Elton John. The two recorded a campy dance version of John’s 1970s hit “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart.” While this version wasn’t a hit, it certainly tapped into the silly/fun energy of the original that stood all on its own.

RuPaul crosses over into television

RuPaul’s success streak didn’t end there. He hosted a talk show called The RuPaul Show from 1996 to 1998. The show boasted appearances from guests like Cher, Diana Ross, Lil Kim, and Pam Grier. That’s quite the step up from being an extra in a music video!

Cher on The RuPaul Show

Then, around 2000, RuPaul took a step back from the spotlight for two reasons. First of all, he felt like he could use a break. Second of all, he felt the American culture didn’t appreciate his style and performance at the time. According to Rolling Stone, RuPaul went into a period of “semi-retirement” where he focused on self-improvement.

However, this didn’t last forever. The reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered in 2009. The combination of a format reminiscent of America’s Next Top Model and drag queens proved to be a breakout hit. RuPaul’s Drag Race and its spinoffs made RuPaul a bigger star than anything he’d done previously. In 2018, RuPaul appeared in Taylor Swift’s controversial music video for “You Need to Calm Down.” It was as if he’d come full circle from his appearance in the “Love Shack” video.

In 2018, RuPaul sold a home he purchased for $2.5 million for twice its original value. The following year, RuPaul bought a 10,300 square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills, California which cost a staggering  $13.7 million. RuPaul currently has a net worth of $60 million. He remains an inspiring success story to his legions of fans.

Also see: Whitney Houston: Musical Icon Died Tragically and in Debt