RuPaul’s Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne has died aged 34.
DeVayne, whose non-stage name was Zavion Davenport, appeared on season eight of the show in 2016, as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3 in 2018.
She posted on Instagram last week that she was in hospital for a chronic condition – the second time this year, believed to be kidney failure.
RuPaul paid tribute to DeVayne, saying that he was “heartbroken” to learn of her death.
“I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul,” he said in a statement, posted on the show’s Twitter account. “She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all.”
Former contestants and fans of the show also paid tribute to DeVayne.
In 2018 DeVayne was diagnosed with scleroderma, a condition that attacks the internal organs.
She was taken to hospital in July – she told her followers on Instagram it was for kidney failure. She was discharged later that month, but went back to hospital again last week – this time, she said, for pneumonia. “Keep me in your prayers,” she said in a video message to her fans. “I’ll be back soon.”