What Is Michelle Visage’s Net Worth?
Michelle Visage is an American singer, actress, radio DJ, television personality, producer, and author who has a net worth of $5 million. Michelle Visage was a member of the R&B dance vocal trio Seduction in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and she has served as a judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” since 2011. With Seduction, Michelle released the album “Nothing Matters Without Love” (1989) and the singles “(You’re My One and Only) True Love” and “Two to Make It Right,” which were hits on the “Billboard” Dance charts. Visage also sang lead vocals on The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M.’s “It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day,” which was featured on “The Bodyguard” soundtrack and reached #1 on the “Billboard” Hot Dance Club Play chart. She co-hosted VH1’s “The RuPaul Show” from 1996 to 1998, and she has co-hosted the podcast “RuPaul: What’s the Tee?” and several radio programs.
As an actress, Michelle has appeared in the films “Maybe It’s Me” (2002) and “God Save the Queens” (2022), the TV movie “The Bitch Who Stole Christmas” (2021), and the web series “The Most Popular Girls in School” (2013–2015). In 2015, she competed on “Celebrity Big Brother 15” (finishing in fifth place) and published the book “The Diva Rules.” From 2018 to 2019, Visage played Miss Hedge in a West End production of the musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” and in 2019, she competed on “Strictly Come Dancing,” coming in seventh with dance partner Giovanni Pernice. Michelle has won three Primetime Emmys as a producer of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and she produced “Maybe It’s Me” as well as the documentary “Explant” (2021) and the TV series “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” (2016–2022), “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” (2019–2022), “RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race” (2020), “RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under” (2021–2022), “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World” (2022), and “Whatcha Packin'” (2022).
Michelle Visage was born Michelle Lynn Shupack on September 20, 1968, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She was born to a Jewish father and an Italian Catholic and Irish mother, and she was adopted by Jewish parents. Michelle attended Hebrew school and had a Bat Mitzvah, and she graduated from South Plainfield High School in 1986. Visage won a Madonna lookalike contest at the age of 16. She studied at Manhattan’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy for two years, then she decided to stay in NYC to pursue an acting career. When Visage moved to New York, her mother, Arlene (who passed away when Michelle was 30), gave her a fake ID to help her get into nightclubs and network. Visage got involved in the drag ball scene and learned voguing from Willi Ninja and others. In 1988, she vogued with Cesar Valentino on the TV program “The Latin Connection,” which is said to be the first time voguing was seen on national television. She chose the surname “Visage” because she earned the nickname “cara,” which is Spanish for “face,” and since people kept mispronouncing it, she changed it to the French word for “face.” Michelle met RuPaul in the late ’80s when they both attended events that were hosted by Susanne Bartsch. In 1989, Visage performed at a Design Industries Foundation For AIDS benefit called “The Love Ball.” That event is reportedly where Madonna witnessed voguing for the first time and was inspired to write the hit song “Vogue,” which topped the charts in more than a dozen countries and became 1990’s best-selling single.
Visage was a member of the vocal trio Seduction alongside April Harris and Idalis DeLeón, and the group released the album “Nothing Matters Without Love” in 1989. The album was certified Gold in the U.S. and reached #36 on the “Billboard” 200 chart. “Nothing Matters Without Love” featured the singles “Seduction, “(You’re My One and Only) True Love,” “Two to Make It Right,” “Heartbeat,” “Could This Be Love,” and “Breakdown,” and “Two to Make It Right” reached #1 on the “Billboard” Hot Dance Club Play, Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales, and Top 40/Dance charts and #2 on the “Billboard” Hot 100 chart. Michelle has performed on many of RuPaul’s albums and has appeared in the music videos for “From Your Heart” and “New York City Beat.” In 2021, she collaborated with Steps on the song “Heartbreak in This City.”
Visage and RuPaul co-hosted the WKTU morning show in New York City from 1996 to 2002, then Michelle worked for Hot 92 Jamz in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2005 and WNEW-FM’s “The Morning Mix” in NYC from 2005 to late 2006. From 2003 to 2006, she hosted “The Beat 66” on Sirius Satellite Radio, then she co-hosted the SUNNY 104.3 morning show in West Palm Beach, Florida, and hosted the “MIA Morning Show” on 93.9 MIA in Miami. In 2014, Visage began co-hosting co-hosting the podcast “RuPaul: What’s the Tee?,” and she hosted BBC Radio 2’s “Michelle Visage’s Fabulous Divas” in December 2019 and August 2020. In July 2022, she landed her own weekly show on BBC Radio 2.
From 1996 to 1998, Michelle co-hosted “The RuPaul Show” on VH1, and in 2011, she became a permanent judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Visage has also appeared on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” (2012–present),”RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” (2019–present), “Canada’s Drag Race” (2020), “RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under” (2021), and “RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World” (2022). Visage hosted red carpet coverage of the Grammys for VH1 in 1998 and for the “Grease” 25th anniversary re-release event in 2002. In 2017, Michelle and Ross Mathews were commentators for the Eurovision Song Contest’s Live Grand Final for Logo TV, and Visage was a judge on “Ireland’s Got Talent” from 2018 to 2019. In 2021, she narrated and appeared in the VH1 movie “The Bitch Who Stole Christmas” alongside RuPaul, Krysta Rodriguez, Anna Maria Horsford, and numerous “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alums.
Michelle married David Case in 1997, and they have two daughters, Lillie (born March 2000) and Lola (born February 2002). When Visage was 13, she began struggling with anorexia, and her eating disorder continued until she was an adult. She told the “Huffington Post UK” in 2015, “I was so tough on myself at 13, with what I did to myself, with the eating disorders, the anorexia, and just striving to be skinny and wanting to be loved. And the truth of the matter is, I was loved by everybody around me, more than I could handle… except for myself. I was the one who didn’t love myself.” Michelle has described herself as a “gluten-free, soy-free vegan who also tries to be sugar-free as much as possible.” She has several tattoos, including a Corvette logo on her thigh and a diamond on her hip. She also had a top hat tattooed on her thigh in memory of her friend Eddie, who died in the tragic 2016 mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
On a 2019 episode of “What’s the Tee?,” Visage stated, “I’ve been with women; I’ve had sex with women… But I realized I never wanted to have a relationship [with them].” Michelle was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease when she was in her late twenties, and in 2019, she had her breast implants removed because of the autoimmune disorder. She told “People” magazine, “If you think about it, your immune system fights off invaders, and the biggest invaders in my body are two giant blobs of silicone. My autoimmune disease could be triggered by these invaders. So they needed to come out.” The experience was documented in the film “Explant,” which was an official selection at the 2021 Tribeca Festival.
Awards and Nominations
Visage has been nominated for five Primetime Emmys for “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” winning for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2019 and Outstanding Competition Program in 2020 and 2021. The show was also nominated for Outstanding Competition Program in 2022, and that year Michelle received an Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series nomination for “RuPaul’s Drag Race Whatcha Packin’ With Michelle Visage.” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” earned her PGA Awards for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and she received Critics’ Choice Real TV Award nominations for Female Star of the Year in 2015, 2020, and 2021.
In 2015, Visage won the Straight Ally Award at The Icon Awards, and she was nominated for the Deutsche Bank – Celebrity Ally award at the 2020 British LGBT Awards. “RuPaul: What’s the Tee?” won WOWIE Awards for Best Podcast in 2017 and 2019 and a Webby Award for Best Host (Podcast) in 2018. Michelle has also won WOWIE Awards for Best Twitter (2017) and Best Documentary for “Explant” (2022). In 2020, she received the Ally Award at the Attitude Awards and earned a British Academy Television Award nomination for Best Reality and Constructed Factual for “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK,” a Queerty Award nomination for Drag Royalty, and a National Television Award nomination for the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award for “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.” Visage received National Television Award nominations for Talent Show as a “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” producer in 2021 and 2022.