RuPaul on 'Drag Race' success: 'I'm just doing my thing'

Jan. 22 (UPI) -- RuPaul says his RuPaul's Drag Race success stems from his enduring love of drag.

The 59-year-old celebrity drag queen and television personality discussed the long-running reality competition during Tuesday's episode of A Little Late with Lilly Singh.


RuPaul started performing drag in the early '90s and also landed a record deal. RuPaul's Drag Race premiered in 2009 and has since been credited with helping to popularize drag in mainstream culture.

"I love drag. I've always loved drag. As a kid I loved drag," RuPaul said. " I'm just doing my thing, and it just so happened that I did it long enough to where the world caught up to what we were doing."

"Nothing happened. Nothing happened for 11 years, and then I got a record deal with Tommy Boy Records -- back when it was a hip-hop record label," he recalled. "I became supermodel of the world."

RuPaul said in a Vanity Fair interview in November that "true" drag will never be mainstream, despite RuPaul's Drag Race's popularity and impact on culture.

"A superficial aspect of drag is mainstream. Like, the 'Ooh, girl' or 'Hey girlfriend!' or 'Yaaas,'" the star said. "But true drag really will never be mainstream. Because true drag has to do with seeing that this world is an illusion, and everything that you say you are, everything it says that you are on your driver's license, it's all an illusion."


"Most people will never in their lives understand what that is. Because they don't have the operating system to understand that duality," he added.

On A Little Late with Lilly Singh, RuPaul also discussed his Netflix series, AJ and the Queen, which premiered this month. The show follows Ruby (RuPaul), a down-on-her-luck drag queen, and her unlikely sidekick AJ (Izzy G.), a 10-year-old orphan.

"This kid who plays AJ -- my goodness! A superstar. So talented," RuPaul said of Izzy G.

RuPaul will host Saturday Night Live for the first time Feb. 8.

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