RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Zavion Davenport, better known by her stage name Chi Chi DeVayne, has died at the age of 34 after being hospitalized with pneumonia and possible kidney failure.
DeVayne’s death was confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. Fellow alum Trinity K. Bonet paid tribute to her in an Instagram post on Thursday.
“Well that just f—– my week up…… my god… keep us covered and safe! Love you lil sister..rest on @chichidevayneofficial,” Bonet wrote.
RuPaul released a statement on the official RuPaul’s Drag Race account as he deactivated his own social media a few weeks ago. He celebrated DeVayne, who competed on two seasons of the show.
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne. I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul. She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all,” he wrote.
The entertainer continued, “On behalf of VH1, World of Wonder and the cast and crew of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I extend my deepest sympathy – from our family to hers.”
DeVayne starred on two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race and became a fan favorite, breaking out in Season 8 of the competition show. She returned for the third All-Stars spin-off in 2018.
Despite being eliminated, she previously told EW how her time on the show helped her personal evolution. The Louisiana native struggled with her sexuality and was scarred by gang violence.
“I was so stressed out and it got to a point where I was like, okay, I’m in the bottom every week. It might be time to go home and work a little bit more on my drag,” DeVayne told EW in 2018 after her elimination from All-Stars 3. “I’m a real person, and I just felt it was my time to go. There was no reason to be sad or bitter.”
DeVayne called on fan support last week after being hospitalized. She informed her followers that she was in need of medical care again after previously being treated for high blood pressure and possible kidney failure in July.
“Keep me in your prayers. I’ll be back soon,” DeVayne said in a video message shared Saturday morning as she was shown in a hospital bed.
DeVayne also had a long-standing health condition. In 2018, she shared her diagnosis of scleroderma, which attacks internal organs.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!