Chi Chi DeVayne, a celebrated drag queen who appeared on Season 8 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and Season 3 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars,” has passed away at age 34.
In a statement posted to Instagram on Thursday, DeVayne’s family announced that the beloved performer, born Zavion Davenport, had died.
“It is with tremendous sorrow that my family and I announce the passing of my beloved son, Zavion Michael Davenport, the world renowned ‘Chi Chi DeVayne,’” it read, adding, “His final words to his family and fans [were], ‘Never give up!”
Per Entertainment Weekly, DeVayne was hospitalized in July with high blood pressure and suspected kidney failure, but was discharged later that month.
Sadly, EW reported, DeVayne appeared to be back under medical care this month.
“Keep me in your prayers. I’ll be back soon,” DeVayne said in a video posted Saturday morning, which showed the performer attached to medical equipment while laying down in a hospital bed.
After the devastating news went viral, RuPaul released a statement honoring DeVayne’s “kind and beautiful soul.”
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne,” RuPaul said. “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." –RuPaul (2/2)— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) August 20, 2020
“Drag Race” Season 12 winner Jaida Essence Hall and “All Stars” Season 5 champion Shea Couleé also reacted to DeVayne’s passing on social media.
I’m literally so devastated and sick to my stomach. Wake me up when it’s all over 💔— Shea Couleé (@SheaCoulee) August 20, 2020
DeVayne, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, finished fourth on her season of “Drag Race” and eighth on her season of “All Stars.”
“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 after her “All-Stars” exit. “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 also played a small role in Season 1 of the Apple TV+ anthology dramedy “Little America.”
Our condolences go out to Chi Chi’s family, friends, and fans for their loss.