Who Are RuPaul’s Celebrity Friends?

Everyone has their chosen family. For RuPaul, a few LGBTQ celebrities are included in his close circle. That, of course, means RuPaul’s best friend Michelle Visage, a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and a friendly face on The RuPaul Show. Learn more about some of RuPaul’s friends and acquaintances here.

 Michelle Visage and RuPaul
Michelle Visage and RuPaul | Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/WireImage

RuPaul’s best friend and fellow judge on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is Michelle Visage

If you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, you know just how close these two are. Side by side on the judge’s panel, Michelle Visage and RuPaul are best friends. According to Entertainment Tonight Canada, the two met in New York City in 1988. Since then, Michelle Visage appeared on The RuPaul Show and as a judge on the reality competition series, RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Before RuPaul’s award-winning show came to fruition, Michelle was singing in the girl group entitled Seduction. During filming for the first season of Drag Race, Michelle Visage was working with CBS Radio. It wasn’t until the third season that she joined the judge’s panel. She’s been there ever since, critiquing drag queens on regular seasons and All-Star seasons, making cameos in skits along the way. Additionally, Michelle Visage will be a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

The B-52s gave RuPaul his first big break

Before RuPaul had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he was an extra in The B-52s music video for “Love Shack.” The group then came back to visit RuPaul, acting as the celebrity guest judges on RuPaul’s Drag Race. They even had their song “Love Shack” featured in a lip-sync performance.

“I knew this before, but I didn’t know he kept it: He still has this sweet heart. He’s got a kindness, and he does things for people. I’m so glad he maintained that. He really is a special person,” said Cindy Wilson in an interview with Billboard.

November 1980: American singer Aretha Franklin, the 'first lady of soul', in performance
November 1980: American singer Aretha Franklin, the ‘first lady of soul’, in performance | Keystone/Getty Images

RuPaul shared a story about Aretha Franklin on Twitter

Although Aretha Franklin died almost a year ago, fans and celebrities are still sharing stories of the icon. That includes RuPaul, who tweeted about the time the two worked together.

“Aretha Franklin once wrote me a personal check made payable to “Ruth Paul” #TrueStory,” RuPaul wrote on Twitter. The tweet earned thousands of likes almost instantly, some fans cracking jokes at the celebrity’s expense.

“Surely you framed it rather than cash it? Sorry, I didn’t mean to call you Shirley… Love you, Ruth,” said one Twitter user.

Another Twitter user asked, “and you didn’t change your name?”

Throughout her life, Aretha Franklin was an icon in the LGBTQ community. Songs like “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” and “Respect” became anthems in the queer community. Some queens lip-synced on RuPaul’s Drag Race to songs like “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Pride: A Deeper Love.”

Diana Ross
Diana Ross | Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

RuPaul loves Diana Ross

You might remember RuPaul’s love for Diana Ross from All-Stars 3 when Bebe Zahara Benet portrayed Diana during the “Divas Live” challenge. However, the drag queen admired Diana Ross since he was a child. According to his Facebook, the first time RuPaul met Diana Ross was “in Paris as we were boarding The Concorde en route to NYC.”

Since then, the two often bumped into each other until finally, in 1996, Diana Ross was the first celebrity interviewed on The RuPaul Show. The drag queen featured songs like “Boss” and “I’m Coming Out” on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Viewers can see more of RuPaul’s friends, from Cory Booker to James Corden, on his talk show, The RuPaul Show, which airs almost daily on FOX.