Drag queen Chi Chi DeVayne, known for her drag-on-a-dime craftiness and Southern belle persona, has died at age 34.
The entertainer, whose real name was Zavion Davenport, became a fan favorite on “RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season 3.
Her mother, Tina Davenport, confirmed the tragic news of her passing to CNN.
“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,'” a statement on behalf of the family said.
The family did not share details on the cause of death, but Davenport openly struggled with a rare condition known as scleroderma, and she was recently hospitalized with pneumonia and suspected kidney failure.
“Drag Race” host and executive producer RuPaul released a statement on social media following the tragedy, writing, “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.”
According to Yahoo Entertainment, Davenport’s lip-sync to “Dreamgirls” classic “And I Am Telling You” during her initial run on “Drag Race” is considered one of the best lip-syncs in the series’ history. After that, she was able to embrace a full-time drag career.
Many members of the “Drag Race” community paid tribute to the late star on social media.
“You were an Angel here on Earth. And you will forever be an Angel in my heart,” drag queen Shangela said. “So young and you fought to the very end, sister. I don’t know what more to say … you spread so much JOY.”
“Chi Chi was a sweet, kind and loving soul … though your physical being has left us, your energy, love and passion will forever live on,” Michelle Visage, one of the show’s judges, wrote.
“An iconic queen literally everyone in our industry will always love,” drag queen Trixie Mattel commented.
If you’re interested in drag culture, you might want to read about how it has given us so much of today’s slang.
More from In The Know: