By the end of 2017, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” had already been on for nearly a decade. However, its switch to VH1 helped garner the show and Ru more widespread attention. As a result, Time honored RuPaul with a well-deserved position on its list of 100 Most Influential People that year. He even got a feature written up for him by long-time friend and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Naomi gushed about how “Drag Race” shows people just how spectacular RuPaul really is. Naomi wrote that now millions more people are getting to know Ru like she does. She went on to say it was incredible what he has done for the drag queens who compete on that show.
“Drag Race” Find a New Home
The cable network Logo was probably thanking its lucky stars that it picked up “RuPaul’s Drag Race” way back in 2009. But, nothing gold can stay. In 2017 it was announced that “Drag Race” would air its ninth season on VH1. It wasn’t too big of a switch since VH1 and Logo are both owned by Paramount. However, it was a big deal for the show.
Switching to VH1 meant the show would reach millions of new viewers. This increased potential fan base helped the show continue its giant success. Season nine became the show’s highest-rated season up to that point, with almost 900,000 viewers tuning in for the season finale.
Finding Ru’s Roots
There’s not a lot of publicly available information about RuPaul’s family. This is probably due to RuPaul controlling his narrative and wanting to give his family privacy. However, he opened up when he took part in the popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” in 2017. In the show, host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows Ru parts of his family’s history he had never known before.
RuPaul learned that his great-grandparents, Annie and Isaac, married in 1870. According to the show, that was only five years after Blacks were legally able to get married. In addition, the show revealed RuPaul’s surprise cousin: U.S. Senator Cory Booker. The two are very, very distantly related. The DNA doesn’t lie.
How RuPaul’s Designer Deals With His Fame
As RuPaul’s career has progressed, drag has transformed from a niche subculture into a mainstream phenomenon. Of course, this is partly due to the worldwide popularity of his “Drag Race” show. Because of drag’s emergence into the mainstream, RuPaul’s designer, Zaldy, has had to up the ante on his designs.
Zaldy told Vogue in 2018 that now everybody loves drag queens, so new queens coming on the scene have to be even more extraordinary. With the advent of social media, drag queens around the world can have thousands, if not millions, of followers. That makes standing out from the crowd even more difficult. Zaldy reflected in the same Vogue interview that he has to scour the market for rare fabrics and one-of-a-kind detailing in order to make RuPaul’s gowns stand a head above the rest. We think he’s doing a pretty good job.
A Permanent Star Is Born
RuPaul has become a household name because of his “Drag Race” empire. As a result of all his hard work, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. During the unveiling ceremony, Ru was introduced by legendary actress Jane Fonda. During his speech, he remarked that this moment is absolutely the most important one in his professional life.
RuPaul’s star sits at 6652 Hollywood Boulevard, which is the World of Wonder Productions office building. As we all know by now, World of Wonder is the company that produces “Drag Race” and is run by two of RuPaul’s lifelong friends, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. We love it when things come full circle.