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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ star Sahara Davenport dies at age 27

By Ken Williams| San Diego Gay and Lesbian News
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Editor’s note: Since this story was published, SDGLN has learned the cause of death of Sahara Davenport, aka Antoine Ashley. David Charpentier, manager for the drag star, said Davenport died of heart failure at a hospital in Baltimore.

LOS ANGELES – Sahara Davenport, who made a name for herself on the second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and who recently released a single “Go Off,” has died. She was 27.

Davenport’s birth name is Antoine Ashley.

RuPaul confirmed Davenport’s death earlier today with this tweet: “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal.”

Michelle Visage, a judge on the show, tweeted late last night that she was “PRAYING IT’S A RUMOR.” But minutes later, she tweeted “God PLEASE NOOOO” and then “It’s true and I have no words. Have to sign off for now kids, can’t handle this. XOXO.”


Jujubee, another contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” tweeted: “A beautiful angel has been added to Heaven. Rest in peace my sweet friend. We will miss you, Sarah Davenport.”

Morgan McMichaels tweeted, “RIP to my sister Sahara Davenport, a true entertainer, who class, wisdom and laugh changed my life forever !!”

Latrice Royale wrote: “My thoughts and Prayers are going out to the family and Loved ones of Sahara Davenport!! She was my sister in the name of Love!! You will be missed baby!!”

Nina Flowers wrote on Facebook, ” Love and respect to you sister, you will never be forgotten.”

Last season’s “Drag Race” champ Sharon Needles wrote: “A sad day…. I am so blessed to have had dinner (two bottles of wine) with Manila Luzon last week… I love you lady… I cannot sleep….my heart goes out to all my Drag race family… mostly though, to my beautiful sister Manila”

San Diego drag legend Chad Michaels, who competed last year: “@SaharaDavenport too young gone, leaving a beautiful legacy. Rally round @manilaluzon, she carries on.”

Tributes and condolences poured in at the Facebook page for her partner, Manila Luzon, who was the first runner-up in the third season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The last thing posted by Luzon is: “I love him so much.”

Davenport’s Facebook page was also brimming with messages from fans and friends.

Justin Nichols wrote: “Such an inspiration to the gay community. What a wonderful person, who was very talented and humble. She loved her fans. Rest In Peace Sahara Davenport! You will be missed greatly. Love and prayers to family and friends.”

Logo TV also confirmed the death on its Facebook page:

“Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport. He was an amazing artist and entertainer who’ll be deeply missed by his Logo family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need.”

The cause is death is unknown.

People magazine reported that Davenport was a classically trained dancer who started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University in Texas. After graduation, she left Dallas for New York, where she performed in clubs and bars. She landed roles in “15 Films About Madonna,” “Magnificent Obsessions” and “One Life To Live.”

© San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.
An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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30 more reader comments:

  1. OMG :’(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:50pm
  2. what happened

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:50pm
  3. OH NO! D: NOT A QUEEN!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:51pm
  4. RIP SAHARA

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:51pm
  5. :-(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:53pm
  6. R. I. P. :.(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:55pm
  7. :’(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:57pm
  8. so sad :(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:59pm
  9. RIP Sahara

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:02pm
  10. :-(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:02pm
  11. Oh no!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:04pm
  12. R.I.P.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:11pm
  13. R.i.p. Angel! :((

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:12pm
  14. My condolences to Manila Luzon and their families.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:14pm
  15. So sad to hear this. Her grace and humility really struck me on the show. I cannot even imagine the sorrow Manila is experiencing right now. RIP Sahara.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:16pm
  16. R.I.P :’(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:23pm
  17. what?? wow, r.i.p.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:24pm
  18. R.I.P. Sahara

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:39pm
  19. R.I.P you sexy queen i cant believe it….i guess they are right the good ones always die young

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:45pm
  20. VERY SAD….that is way too young to leave this world. my she RIP.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:50pm
  21. R.I.P Sahara u wuz amazin. So sad :(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:58pm
  22. Rip sahara ur going to be greatly missed

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:02pm
  23. This a very sad day when 1 of our own passes before our eyes. My prayers go out to Sahara Davenport’s family and friend’s. I hope that the Lord holds her family in his hands as they thru this tough time in their life. Gold bless. You will be truly missed

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:20pm
  24. RIP

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:24pm
  25. :(

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:34pm
  26. :’( rip sahara

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 10:38pm
  27. Ayurveda and Yoga Tours for Gay and Lesbian Travelers, Come out in India … http://www.outjourneys.com

    Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 11:10pm
  28. Sad

    Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 3:29am
  29. A real beauty. The heavens will be sparkling with Glam. RIP Sahara.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 5:17am
  30. Lost another beauty…Heart is breaking.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 9:31am