Michelle Visage whose real name is Michelle Lynn Shupsack, is an American radio DJ, singer, actress, producer, media personality, and television host. She joined the American reality competition series, RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2011 and she has served as a permanent Judge since season 3. She is also a permanent Judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Rupaul’s Drag Race UK, and Rupaul’s Drag Race Down Under. She is also one of the 4 judges in the upcoming drag singing competition series known as Queen of the Universe Season 1.
In this post, I will be writing about Michelle Visage biography, age, career, family, awards, net worth, relationship, and other facts about her. First, let’s look at her profile summary.
Visage was born on September 20, 1968, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, US. She grew up in New Jersey. She was adopted and she was aware of this right from an early age.
Visage attended South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, New Jersey and she graduated in 1986. At the age of 16, she won a Madonna look-alike competition. She later moved to New York and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan for 2 years.
When Visage was growing up, she looked up to Madonna, Belinda Carlisle, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicksz Cyndi Lauper, and Dale Bozzio.
After Visage finished her studies, she stayed in New York City to pursue a career as an actress. In New York, she was active in the club scene. Her mother, Arlene, gave her a fake ID so she could make connections to help further her career. She became prominent in the New York drag ball scene and learned voguing from various people including Willi Ninja. Visage also became involved with Cesar Valentino and the pair appeared voguing together on the television show The Latin Connection in 1988, which they said was the first time voguing had appeared on national TV.
Her surname, Visage, was adopted after she gained the nickname “Cara” (“face” in Spanish) from the people she spent time with within the New York ball scene. However, because people pronounced it incorrectly, she decided to change it to “visage” (“face” in French – a language she studied during middle and high school), a name she has stuck with. Her mother died when she was 30.
Visage suffered from an eating disorder which she says began when she was around 13 years old and continued into her adult life. She published her first book, The Diva Rules on November 10, 2015. Visage is vegan and she revealed in April 2019 that she had Hashimoto’s disease and this led to getting her trademark breast implants removed.
Michelle Visage Career
Visage auditioned and won a place for Seduction, an R&B and dance vocal trio assembled by Robert Clivilles and David Cole that signed with A&M Records in 1990. The group’s most famous hit was “Two to Make It Right”. After the group’s breakup, Visage collaborated with the freestyle dance act TKA as a guest vocalist on the song “Crash (Have Some Fun)”. She provided lead vocals and was the recording artist of another dance act assembled by Clivilles and Cole, The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M.
Visage has also been featured on several of RuPaul’s music albums, and she has appeared in the music videos for “New York City Beat” and “From Your Heart”, which originally premiered on RuPaul’s Green Screen Christmas Special (2015), and were later uploaded to World of Wonder’s YouTube channel. Visage has also made guest appearances in the videos for RuPaul’s songs such as “Glamazon”, “Responsitrannity”, “The Beginning” and “Nothing for Christmas”. It was confirmed in February 2021 that Visage had teamed up with Steps on a reworked version of “Heartbreak In This City”.
As a Radio host, Visage was the co-host of the morning show on WKTU in NYC, Hot 92 Jamz (KHHT) in Los Angeles, WNEW-FM in NYC, The Beat 66, SUNNY 104.3 in West Palm Beach, Florida, and MIA.
In December 2019 and August 2020, Visage presented Michelle Visage’s Fabulous Divas on BBC Radio 2. In October and November 2020, she covered for Rylan Clark-Neal on his BBC Radio 2 show Rylan on Saturday.
As a Television host, Visage has worked with RuPaul on a variety of television shows throughout her career. She became the co-host of RuPaul’s VH1 talk show The RuPaul Show and WKTU’s morning show with RuPaul. And when RuPaul began casting judges for season one of RuPaul’s Drag Race he invited Visage to become a permanent member of the show. On 24th January 24, Visage debuted as a permanent judge, along with Santino Rice and Billy B, on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race, replacing Merle Ginsberg. She has also appeared on all six seasons of the spin-off show, RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. She became a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK, which airs on BBC Three in 2019, and in 2021, Visage served as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
On January 7, 2015, Visage became one of the contestants of the fifteenth series of the British reality series, Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5, and on February 6, 2015, she left the house in fifth place. Visage has made several other TV appearances and this includes hosting VH1’s red carpet coverage of the 1998 Grammys and in 2002, Grease’s 25th-anniversary re-release party. In 2020, Visage joined fellow Ireland’s Got Talent judge Louis Walsh on the judging panel of teen recycled-fashion competition Junk Kouture. She appeared on the televised Grand Final in February 2021, after the plans for the original live Grand Final were scuppered by COVID-19.
On August 5, 2019, it was announced that Visage would be taking part in the seventeenth series of Strictly Come Dancing in the UK on the BBC. On September 7, it was confirmed that she was partnered with Giovanni Pernice. Between October 18, 2018, and January 26, 2019, Visage performed in her West End debut as “Miss Hedge” in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Michelle Visage is also one of the 4 judges of the upcoming drag singing competition series known as Queen of the Universe. Other judges include Trixie Mattel, Vanessa Williams, and Leona Lewis, while Graham Norton is the host. The competition series is set to premiere on Paramount+ on December 2, 2021.
Michelle Visage Awards/Nominations
2015: The Icon Awards
2018 : Webby Awards (Won )
2019 : Critic’s Choice Real TV Awards (Nominated)
2019: Primetime Emmy Awards (Won)
2020: Producers Guild of America Award (Won)
2020: Primetime Emmy Award (Won)
2020: BAFTA Award (Nominated)
2020: British LGBT Awards (Nominated)
2020: Attitude Awards
2021: Primetime Emmy Awards (Won)
Michelle Visage Family
Visage was adopted and she knew this right from an early age. Her mother, Arlene, helped her to make connections in New York by giving her a fake ID. Her mother died when she was 30 but nothing is known about her father.
Michelle Visage Husband
Visage got married to David Case in 1997 and they have two daughters by the name Lillie Case and Lola Case.