Popular entertainer and Drag Race star – Chi Chi DeVayne has died at the age of 34, back in July she was diagnosed of high blood pressure and suspected kidney failure.
Chi Chi DeVayne, the fierce entertainer who competed on two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died at age 34, as Entertainment Weekly reported.
DeVayne, also known as Zavion Davenport, was hospitalized in July with high blood pressure and suspected kidney failure. Following those life-threatening health battles, she announced on her Instagram page last Saturday that she was back in the hospital.
“Keep me in your prayers,” she said in a video message which showed her attached to medical equipment while laying in a hospital bed. “I’ll be back soon.”
The drag performer had been diagnosed with scleroderma in 2018, which is “a group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues,” according to Mayo Clinic. It’s unclear if this may have contributed to DeVayne’s death.
DeVayne received an outpouring of condolences from fans and fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race alums via social media Thursday.
“When I first saw Chichi [sic] on TV it made me believe that one day, I could be there too,” wrote The Vixen, who competed on Season 10 of the long-running reality competition program, in a tweet thread. “I first met her as a fan and I burst into tears. She hugged me, then we smoked. We’ve traveled together a lot since then. it’s an honor to call her sister. Zavion will forever be missed.”
“I remember making such a big deal about bringing her onstage,” she continued. “I just wanted her to feel the love that so many have for her. She’s incredibly humble & deserves more than the world gave her. I’m glad she’s free from pain. I hope she feels the love today. Rest In Peace sister.”
Aquaria, who won the Season 11 crown, added that DeVayne was “truly one of the most supportive queens.”
“Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts, and try to work towards being the symbol of kindness that she exemplified for so many,” she wrote on Twitter. “We all love you and will miss you.”
World of Wonder, which produces RuPaul’s Drag Race, said the company is “heartbroken” over the news of DeVayne’s passing. “Her drag spread a message of love and kindness that truly touched each person she met,” the Emmy-winning production house said in a tweet. “Rest in power, Chi Chi.”
DeVayne, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, rose to fame in the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she finished the competition in fourth place. Her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent made her such a fan favorite that DeVayne returned to compete in the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. She was eliminated by the fourth episode, however, after struggling in the competition.
In an interview with San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender News, DeVayne said her time on Drag Race was ultimately healing.
“Drag Race definitely helped me heal from a lot of things from my past,” she said. “Not accepting where I came from, and who I am as a person, the voice, you know the appearance, the everything. Drag Race has opened my eyes to see there’s so much more than where I came from and to, like, not hold that against myself. To push forward with where I wanna go in life. So yeah, it definitely has healed that aspect.”
In addition to her performances and tours as a drag artist, DeVayne played a small role in Apple TV’s Little America. She also appeared in the YouTube series Bootleg Opinions, created by Drag Race alum Yuhua Hamasaki.
DeVayne is the second Drag Race contestant to pass away. Her death was preceded by Season Two’s Sahara Davenport, who died of heart failure in 2012.
I love you ❤️ Chichi 👑 pic.twitter.com/woKZv7z7EB
— Alexis Mateo (@AlexisMateo79) August 20, 2020
Rest In Peace • Chi Chi DeVayne 💔 pic.twitter.com/smji1uL6W4
— Adore Delano (@AdoreDelano) August 20, 2020
When I first saw Chichi on tv it made me believe that one day I could be there too. I first met her as a fan and I burst into tears. She hugged me, then we smoked!😉 We’ve traveled together a lot since then. it’s an honor to call her sister. Zavion will forever be missed.😔 pic.twitter.com/JTK3eRKzVF
— The Vixen (@TheVixensworld) August 20, 2020
No way we’re living without you, Chi Chi Devayne. You are forever our herstory. ❣️ pic.twitter.com/Ck0G9uDZ3h
— Fran Tirado (@fransquishco) August 20, 2020
So deeply sad about the loss of Chi Chi DeVayne. She was an incredible performer, so down to earth and a bright light in the drag community.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 20, 2020
❤️ Chi Chi was truly one of the most supportive queens. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts, and try to work towards being the symbol of kindness that she exemplified for so many. We all love you and will miss you. pic.twitter.com/pOLjEN5pPJ
— Aquaria 🖤 (@aquariaofficial) August 20, 2020
RIP Chi Chi DeVayne (Zavion Davenport) the heart of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8 and All Stars 3.
— Omri (@Omri_Rawrlan) August 20, 2020
Chi Chi DeVayne you’ll be missed 💔🥺 pic.twitter.com/a8SLWqWLlg
— Ira Madison III (@ira) August 20, 2020
Chi Chi DeVayne, May you dance forever and entertain the masses in heaven diva. Your spark will never be forgotten. RIP Mama 💔 pic.twitter.com/XFIevHfqsw
— Big Benji Tha Vegan 🍦 (@BenjaminDiCosta) August 20, 2020