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
Rest in Power, Chi Chi DeVayne.
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).
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.
"I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne.— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) August 20, 2020
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." –RuPaul (1/2) pic.twitter.com/iN3oT3R2dG
"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." –RuPaul (2/2)— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) August 20, 2020
RuPaul deleted his personal account earlier this year.
❤️ 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
I love you my sister. Rest In Peace and power pic.twitter.com/JMWrKkhk3S— Monique Heart (@IAmMoniqueHeart) August 20, 2020
OMG just heard. Rest easy the sweetest most sensitive kind and wholesome angel. ♥️ Chi Chi.— Give Us Free (@monetxchange) August 20, 2020
Today we mourn the death, and celebrate the sweet soul that is Chi Chi Devayne. Rest in power. Take care of yourselves and each other. pic.twitter.com/Pmgg4MQ0q7— Darienne Lake (@dariennelake) 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
Rest in Power Angel! Seriously one of the nicest people I've ever met. 💔— Ongina (@ongina) August 20, 2020
Zavion Davenport Chi Chi DeVayne we will miss you! pic.twitter.com/Hicbi7rBsA
Life is not fair sometimes. The sweetest angels get ripped away from us. The nicest and most strongest individuals. I will never forget your fun and authentic soul. You deserved so much better.— AJA 👑💛🍯 (@ajaqueen) August 20, 2020
Chi Chi Devayne was such a light during her season and beyond. She always showed how being humble, honest and your true authentic self will get you far! She was a TRUE STAR and her legacy will live on forever #RIPChiChiDevayne 🌹 pic.twitter.com/Q0VGgyCngr— Cheryl Hole (@CherylHoleQueen) August 20, 2020
Heartbroken...— Nicky Doll (Karlize) (@thenickydoll) August 20, 2020
RIP Chi Chi DeVayne 💔 a beacon of light, kindness, and talent, an example for all of us. Taken from us far too soon. Thank you for everything you have done for drag and for the world!— Kyne (@onlinekyne) August 20, 2020
Take a second to celebrate Chi Chi. I remember listening to her on What’s The Tea and being totally enamoured. Very very sad. pic.twitter.com/wm3iDG21Xl— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) August 20, 2020
Production company for RuPaul's Drag Race, World of Wonder, have released this statement.
We're heartbroken to learn that Chi Chi DeVayne has passed away today. Her drag spread a message of love and kindness that truly touched each person she met.— World of Wonder (@WorldOfWonder) August 20, 2020
Rest in power, Chi Chi. pic.twitter.com/AlTwGR71OU
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.
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
She brought such Louisiana warmth & personality to @RuPaulsDragRace & I'm sure inspired countless young people in the LGBTQ community. pic.twitter.com/PmcALwLRFF