RuPaul’s Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne has died. She was 34.
DeVayne’s death comes after she was recently hospitalized for pneumonia.
According to Chi Chi’s family, the fan-favorite drag queen died Thursday morning at the hospital. The passing of Chi Chi — whose real name was Zavion Davenport — was also confirmed to CNN by mother Tina Davenport.
“On behalf of the Davenport/Wyandon family, 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,'” said a statement made on behalf of the family.
The statement continued, “His final words to his family and fans, ‘Never Give Up!'”
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Although the family did not share any details concerning the cause of death, Chi Chi openly struggled with a rare condition known as scleroderma. The Drag Race star was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in 2018.
Chi Chi was hospitalized in mid-July with high blood pressure and suspected kidney failure. While undergoing dialysis treatment, Chi Chi told fans, “I let it go too long without going to the doctor and these are the consequences.”
She asked her fans on Instagram to “keep me in your prayers,” but she was later discharged.
The drag star was again hospitalized recently, and fans began to flood the comments section on Chi Chi’s Instagram saying the star was “battling pneumonia right now.”
TMZ reported that Chi Chi herself shared a video just a few days ago from a hospital room, saying she was “currently battling pneumonia.”
Chi Chi DeVayne is of course most well-known for being a standout on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She appeared on season 8 in 2016, finishing fourth. She also returned to TV for the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in 2018, placing eighth.
Drag Race host and executive producer RuPaul dropped a heartfelt statement on social media.
“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,” RuPaul said. “May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all.”
The statement from the Davenport family says that additional information regarding final arrangements and memorials will be made at a later time.