Beloved drag entertainer Chi Chi DeVayne, stage name of Zavion Davenport, made famous for appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died at the age of 34.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 and All-Stars 3 contestant had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia, asking fans via an Instagram Story video post Saturday morning for prayers. In July, DeVayne was hospitalized for possible kidney failure, just two years after being diagnosed with scleroderma, a painful auto-immune disease that causes hardening of the skin and attacks various internal organs.
DeVayne rose to national prominence on Season 8, where her quick wit, sparking personality and lip-sync skills earned her legions of fans – and an impressive fourth place finish.
Davenport (aka DeVayne), credited the TV series with helping him evolve his skills into an art form, to escape an upbringing centered around gang activity and struggles with his sexuality. Shreveport is the birthplace of ratchet drag, a more comic form of drag entertainment centered around campy, homemade-looking costumes, makeup and performances.
DeVayne, who was known as a gentle, loving soul to all who knew her, is the second contestant from Drag Race to have died since the show’s inception. Season 2 contestant Sahara Davenport died of heart failure in 2012.