RuPaul’s Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne, who appeared in two seasons of the hit reality series, has died at the age of 34, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed.
The sad news comes after the Drag Race season 8 and All-Stars 3 contestant had been keeping her followers informed on her health after being diagnosed scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, in 2018, which saw her in and out of hospital for various issues.
“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,” she wrote on Instagram when she announced her diagnosed.
“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.”
Her latest post asked fans for “prayers”, with DeVayne sharing in a video message to fans which showed her attached to medical equipment in a hospital bed.
“Keep me in your prayers. I’ll be back soon,” she said.
DeVayne has been remembered by friends and fans across social media, with many reflecting on her flawless lip-synchs and dance skills on the reality series, as well as her ability to craft a dress out of trash bags.
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne,” Drag Race host RuPaul said in a statement provided to EW. “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.”
Speaking after her elimination in her first Drag Race appearance, DeVayne revealed that she wanted her legacy to be a “damn good performer” who “took the world by storm”.
“Nobody expected me to actually be or get as far as I did—not even me,” she told the Huffington Post after her first elimination. “But I look at it as a game.”
“I want the legacy of Chi Chi DeVayne to be a damn good performer that came from nowhere and took the world by storm,” she continued.
Chi Chi DeVayne is the second contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race to pass away since the show’s inception after season 2 contestant Sahara Davenport died of heart failure in 2012.