RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Chi Chi DeVayne has died after battling pneumonia and other ongoing health issues. She was 34.
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne,” RuPaul told Us Weekly in a statement on Thursday, August 20. “I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all. On behalf of VH1, World of Wonder and the cast and crew of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I extend my deepest sympathy — from our family to hers.”
DeVayne was “rushed to the hospital” in July with possible kidney failure, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for her. She was “back in the hospital with pneumonia” earlier this month.
The reality star also dealt with scleroderma, which is a chronic hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues.
“Lots of people don’t know but I was Recently diagnosed with scleroderma,” she wrote on Instagram in September 2018. “I have been dealing with this over the past eight or nine months but was afraid to expose it to the public in fear of losing out on jobs and facing criticism from friends and fans…but i feel it’s finally time to let the world know what’s really going on with Chi Chi … bottling this up has had me in a state of depression …it has made me hate my appearance .. and also made me stray away from the public eye but I’m no longer hiding and living in a state of fear .. i just ask you all to keep me in your prayers as i battle with this life changing illness.”
DeVayne gave an update on her progress in January. “Words can’t express how happy i am to be working with such a great group of people,” she captioned an Instagram post at the time. “Although my health situation had me thinking it was over for me god has shown me that there is more work for me to do down here, so never give up on your dreams and he will continue to take you to places that you didn’t know you could reach.”
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The TV personality (real name Zavion Davenport) appeared on season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2016 and season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in 2018.
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