It was only days ago that we learned RuPaul’s Drag Race superstar, Chi Chi DeVayne (Zavion Davenport) was hospitalized for pneumonia after having kidney failure earlier this summer. Last year, she publicly stated being diagnosed with Scleroderma, an autoimmune disease which is described as chronic hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. After receiving words of encouragement and strength straight from her mouth days ago, unfortunately, we announce DeVayne has lost her battle and sadly passed this afternoon. DeVayne was 34-years-old.
Previously, the Shreveport, Louisiana Queen proclaimed that she was an entertainer at birth, and, boy, did she deliver during her two stints on Drag Race. DeVayne was a thrift store Queen before getting onto the series, finishing fourth and garnering a wide fan base for her loveable and engaging personality. She was humble and sweet, so much that she would be invited back to RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 3, being the fourth queen eliminated.
DeVayne may be most remembered for lip-syncing to Jennifer Holliday’s iconic song of defiance “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, in the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. While copyright prevents YouTube from allowing the actual lip-sync battle (although a tweet placed below has bypassed that problem), DeVayne continued to give fans various renditions of her performance throughout her career. That includes a performance at The Queens – Live Across America, and a clip of that performance can be seen below. Ironically and sadly, DeVayne also recently paid tribute to Hey Qween! Co-host, Lady Red Couture, who shockingly passed last month.
With Lady Red Couture fresh on thier minds, the news of Chi Chi DeVayne’s passing is hitting the Drag Race fandom and it’s alumni hard. Queens have already taken to their social media to post their grievance and devastation:
SAD DAY 💔
— Bianca Del Rio (@TheBiancaDelRio) August 20, 2020
Please don't tell me the news going around is true….please please PLEASE don't tell me it is true…..💔😞
— Jaremi (@JustJaremi) August 20, 2020
I am so heartbroken. I love you always, sister. I’m so grateful you touched my life when you did, you helped me more than you’ll ever know. 💔💔💔
— Ginger Minj (@TheGingerMinj) August 20, 2020
This is so heart-breaking 😢💔 RIP Chi Chi DeVayne 💔 My heart goes out to all of Chi Chi’s family, friends and fans. https://t.co/g6ZXoF2RAO
— Pandora Boxx (@ThePandoraBoxx) August 20, 2020
Just informed that zavion aka chi chi devayne has passed away 😔 rest in no more pain, no more worry and no more sorrow #chichidevayne #rip #rupaulsdragrace #canadasdragrace #dragqueen #rupaul #makeup #mua #makeupslaves #makeupvideo #makeupideas #makeupgeek pic.twitter.com/CdV3KBsW1v
— nina bonina brown (@atlsexyslim) August 20, 2020
one of the greatest lip syncs of all time, i get goosebumps everytime i watch it. chi chi was so talented. rest in power angel<3pic.twitter.com/eAZd1K3ARr
— caitlin (@sapphicflowerss) August 20, 2020
Chi Chi – there’s no way you’ll ever be let go from our hearts. You’re staying there – forever.
Editor’s Note: Chi Chi was one of my faves from the moment we all met her on RPDR. I was so looking forward to her visiting Fort Lauderdale as part of one of Ru’s Christmas tours. Who else was there? Didn’t really matter. I was so looking forward to seeing Miss DeVayne. When I saw she was not performing, I jumped on the intranets and looked up the reason why. There was something about a Canadian performance and something else back at home in Louisiana. I sent her a message online while I was sitting in the crowd and someone was doing something on stage. The message was hope all was well an that she was the only reason I bought tickets to see the event. Immediately, she responds. She was like, what’s your address. I texted it to her and in less than a minute she had my name and address on an envelope with something in it, on its way to me. I felt so excited, elated, star struck, everything. I was ready to leave the show for nothing could have topped that.
Chi Chi. You are and always will be one of my favorites, my All-Star.
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.