'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star Chi Chi DeVayne Dead At 34

Written by on August 21, 2020

Chi Chi DeVayne, a beloved drag queen who shot to fame on the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise, died Thursday in her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. She was 34. 

Relations confirmed DeVayne’s loss of life on Instagram, however didn’t disclose the trigger. The information got here days after the performer, recognized offstage as Zavion Davenport, was reportedly hospitalized with pneumonia. She was beforehand handled in July for suspected kidney failure. 

A “heartbroken” RuPaul supplied condolences in a press release posted to Twitter Thursday, saying DeVayne can be “dearly missed, however by no means forgotten.” 

“I’m so grateful that we received to expertise her sort and exquisite soul,” the assertion continued. “Might her beneficiant and loving spirit shine down on us all.”

Different “RuPaul’s Drag Race” veterans, together with Peppermint and Sasha Velour, expressed their sympathy on social media. 

Davenport was born in Shreveport in 1985 and grew up finding out classical dance. As Chi Chi DeVayne, the performer rose to nationwide prominence on Season eight of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2016, returning two years later for “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars.” Earlier this yr, she appeared on the Apple TV+ sequence “Little America.” 

She spoke of her curiosity in branching out into quite a lot of creative mediums in a 2016 interview with HuffPost, saying she in the end needed to be referred to as “a rattling good performer that got here from nowhere and took the world by storm.”

“I believe persons are turning into extra receptive to the choice kinds of drag,” she mentioned. “It’s simply displaying those who it doesn’t matter — drag is drag and your expertise is what’s going to hold you thru.”

DeVayne is the second “Drag Race” contestant to have died for the reason that present’s 2009 inception. Sahara Davenport, who appeared on the present’s second season, died in 2012 at age 27.


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