Chi Chi DeVayne death: RuPaul’s Drag Race star dies at 34


Chi Chi DeVayne, who appeared on the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died at the age of 34.

DeVayne, whose real name was Zavion Davenport, revealed in early August that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia following a lung infection. After initially being discharged from hospital in July, she was readmitted on 16 August.

In a video posted to her Instagram Story from her hospital bed, Davenport asked fans to pray for her.

Davenport’s death was confirmed by World of Wonder, the production company behind Drag Race. They tweeted: “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. Rest in power, Chi Chi.

A number of Drag Race stars and figures in LGBTQ+ media have expressed their grief.

Shea Couleé, who recently won the fifth season of Drag Race All-Stars, tweeted: “I’m literally so devastated and sik to my stomach. Wake me up when it’s all over.”

Season one alumni Ongina wrote: “Rest in Power Angel! Seriously one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Zavion Davenport Chi Chi DeVayne we will miss you!”

Season seven finalist Kennedy Davenport tweeted: “Im so num right now my heart is broken into peaces.. I couldnt even got see her. I love you always chichi. My dancing angel.”

Farrah Moan tweeted: “Chichi was hands down one of my favorite queens to work with. I first met her right after filming s9. We smoked the fattest blunt & she gave me amazing advice I’ll never forget. All my memories with her from the Xmas tours will be in my heart forever. Rest in power sweet angel.”

‘Drag Race’ star Chi Chi DeVayne at an event in 2016 (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
‘Drag Race’ star Chi Chi DeVayne at an event in 2016 (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

Baga Chipz, who competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2019, wrote: “Chi Chi was so kind to me. At a time I was really low. I’m just sat here in tears. R.I.P you beautiful angel.”

Louisiana native Davenport placed fourth on the eighth season of Drag Race in 2016, and spoke of the experience “changing everything in [her] life”.

She would perform and tour in the years after, before returning to Drag Race for its third All Stars season, where she placed seventh.