RuPaul leads tributes to ‘kind, beautiful and loving’ Chi Chi DeVayne after the Drag Race legend’s tragic death
RuPaul has paid tribute to RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Chi Chi DeVayne, who has tragically died at just 34 years old after battling pneumonia.
Chi Chi DeVayne passed away Thursday (August 20), days after being hospitalised with pneumonia. She had lived with the chronic condition scleroderma.
Real name Zavion Davenport, the star competed on the eighth season of the show and on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.
On Twitter, RuPaul wrote that he was “heartbroken” to learn that Chi Chi DeVayne had died.
“I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul,” he said. “She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all.”
The Emmy Award-winning host of Drag Race added: “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.”
"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
Chi Chi’s fellow Drag Race alumni and members of the queer community also paid their respects.
— Heidi N Closet (@HeidiNCloset) August 20, 2020
I once went on tour with #ChiChiDevayne, who told me that many women in her Louisiana church could put Jennifer Hudson's singing to shame. I hope these ladies send her off in style, bc she was one of the nicest @RuPaulsDragRace queens I ever worked with. RIP.
— LADY BUNNY (@LADYBUNNY77) August 21, 2020
Rest in Power Angel! Seriously one of the nicest people I've ever met. ?
Zavion Davenport Chi Chi DeVayne we will miss you! pic.twitter.com/Hicbi7rBsA
— Ongina (@ongina) 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
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) 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
❤️❤️❤️ an iconic queen literally everyone in our industry will always love. pic.twitter.com/UspJ3KzQaC
— Trixie Mattel (@trixiemattel) August 20, 2020
Chi Chi DeVayne died after battling scleroderma and pneumonia.
Chi Chi was recently hospitalised for the second time in as many months after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
Her pneumonia diagnosis came just weeks after she was admitted to hospital with suspected kidney failure.
The star lived with scleroderma, a rare condition caused by the immune system attacking the tissue under the skin, and around internal organs and blood vessels.
This can cause scarring and thickening of the tissue in these areas, and in some cases the condition can be life-threatening.
Chi Chi shared her diagnosis with fans in 2018, and said she’d kept it hidden for the best part of a year because she was afraid of “losing out on jobs and facing criticism from friends and fans”.
“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,” she said at the time.
On August 16 she asked fans to keep her in their prayers in a video taken from her hospital bed, but on Thursday (August 20) she passed away.