Don't be fooled by his glamorous persona and prolific entertainment career. It took work, inside and out, for RuPaul to rise from a musician playing at small New York clubs to a drag icon and Hollywood celebrity.
RuPaul Andre Charles, the person, minus makeup, wigs and elaborate wardrobe, has actually taken his time opening up to the public, and it hasn't always been easy.
"You know, I started out in this business in rock and roll bands and stumbled into drag. Drag just happened to be my vehicle for my creativity. So you know, it's afforded me the opportunity to create new shows, to make music," said the 55-year-old entertainer in an interview with CNBC.
"For my tribe, the people I found years ago, we've found sanctuary in the irreverent, in the off-center, in the quirky ... And that's how we stay entertained and that's how we stay engaged in what would otherwise seem to be a really cruel world. A really harsh world," said RuPaul, who goes by both "he" and "she."