Chi Chi DeVayne, a fan favorite drag queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, has died at age 34, according to multiple reports and Drag Race production company World of Wonder.
Born Zavion Davenport in Shreveport, Louisiana, DeVayne shot to national drag prominence thanks to his ineffable personality and memorable performances on the smash hit series. Despite limited financial resources that affected the costumes he was able to bring to the reality show, DeVayne finished fourth on the season, besting Thorgy Thor in an unforgettable lip sync showdown to Dreamgirls‘ “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as well as winning the Pitch Perfect parody challenge. DeVayne returned for the third season of All Stars, where he placed eighth, being eliminated after a Maya Angelou Snatch Game impersonation failed to impress the judges. Earlier this year, DeVayne was the musical guest on Randy Boo’s “GFY.” In 2018, he was one of numerous features on RuPaul’s single “Sitting on a Secret.”
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne,” RuPaul said in a statement. “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. 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 suffered from the autoimmune disease scleroderma. In July, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering from a suspected kidney failure related to the condition. Readmitted to the hospital in August after coming down with pneumonia, DeVayne asked fans to pray for him via Instagram. DeVayne died a few days later on Aug. 20 at the age of 34.
Luminaries in the drag community responded to the news with an outpouring of grief for the gone-far-too-soon star.
Rest in Power Chi Chi Devayne – thank you for your heart, your joy, and your incredible passion for drag – 💔 pic.twitter.com/rnAhrQQFHN
— Marti (@MartiGCummings) August 20, 2020
Chichi was hands down one of my favorite queens to work with. I first met her right after filming s9. We smoked the fattest blunt & she gave me amazing advice I’ll never forget. All my memories with her from the Xmas tours will be in my heart forever. Rest in power sweet angel 😞
— 👑 Farrah Moan (@farrahrized) August 20, 2020
I’m literally so devastated and sick to my stomach. Wake me up when it’s all over 💔
— Shea Couleé (@SheaCoulee) August 20, 2020
One of the purest, kindest and most loving people I have ever had the chance to cross paths with. Sleep well you beautiful human!#ChiChiDevayne 💙
— Jaremi (@JustJaremi) August 20, 2020
Just informed that zavion aka chi chi devayne has passed away 😔 rest in no more pain, no more worry and no more sorrow #chichidevayne #rip #rupaulsdragrace #canadasdragrace #dragqueen #rupaul #makeup #mua #makeupslaves #makeupvideo #makeupideas #makeupgeek pic.twitter.com/CdV3KBsW1v
— nina bonina brown (@atlsexyslim) August 20, 2020