RuPaul's Drag Race queens lead tributes to Chi Chi DeVayne who has passed away aged 34

20 August 2020, 22:08 | Updated: 20 August 2020, 22:32

Drag Race star Chi Chi Devayne dies aged 34
Drag Race star Chi Chi Devayne dies aged 34. Picture: World of Wonder
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Rest in Power, Chi Chi DeVayne.

RuPaul's Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne has passed away aged 34.

Last month, Chi Chi – who appeared in Season 8 and All Stars Season 3 of Drag Race – was admitted to hospital for suspected kidney failure and she filmed herself undergoing dialysis.

Chi Chi, real name Zavion Davenport, was discharged from hospital a few days later but over the weekend she confirmed that she had returned to hospital on Instagram Stories after she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

A source has now confirmed to EW that she passed away today (20 Aug).

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In 2018, Chi Chi was diagnosed with scleroderma, a group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues.

Announcing her illness on Instagram at the time, Chi Chi wrote: "Lots of people don’t know but I was Recently diagnosed with scleroderma I have been dealing with this over the past eight or nine months but was afraid to expose it to the public in fear of losing out on jobs and facing criticism from friends and fans...but i feel it’s finally time to let the world know what’s really going on with Chi Chi."Bottling this up has had me in a state of depression. It has made me hate my appearance and also made me stray away from the public eye but I'm no longer hiding and living in a state of fear i just ask you all to keep me in your prayers as i battle with this life changing illness."

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne gives update from hospital

According to the NHS, it is thought scleroderma occurs "because part of the immune system has become overactive and out of control. This leads to cells in the connective tissue producing too much collagen, causing scarring and thickening (fibrosis) of the tissue". It's not clear why this happens.

Former contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race have been sharing tributes to Chi Chi on social media.

UPDATE: RuPaul has issued a statement via the RuPaul's Drag Race Twitter account.

RuPaul deleted his personal account earlier this year.

Production company for RuPaul's Drag Race, World of Wonder, have released this statement.

Chi Chi was known for her warmth, kindness and stunning lip syncs, including this performance which is now being re-shared widely over social media, reminding us all of what an incredible talent she was.

Rest in Power, Chi Chi DeVayne.