Drag queen Chi Chi DeVayne, best known for appearing on two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died aged 34.
DeVayne, whose non-stage name was Zavion Davenport, appeared on season eight of the show, as well as season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.
She posted on Instagram last week that she was in hospital for a chronic condition – the second time this year.
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.
DeVayne’s first stint on RuPaul’s Drag Race was aired in 2016, where she impressed the judges with her ingenuity and quick wit.
Her lip sync to Dreamgirls’ And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going is also considered iconic in Drag Race history. Contestants on the show perform lip syncs when they are at risk of elimination.
She finished in fourth place, but was invited to take part in the spin-off show RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, which aired at the beginning of 2018. She finished in eighth place.
Later 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.”