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’RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Contestant Sahara Davenport Dead at 27

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Oct 3, 2012
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Sahara Davenport, who starred in season two of "RuPaul’s Drag Race," has died at the age of 27, E! reports.

The drag queen elite, who was born Antoine Ashley in Dallas, was a classically trained dancer at Southern Methodist University and eventually moved to New York City. There, she performed in several of the Big Apple’s gay bars and nightclubs. She also made appearances in ABC’s "One Life to Live" and A&E’s "15 Films About Madonna" and was featured in the music video for David Guetta and Chris Willis’ "Getting Over."

In 2010, Davenport appeared on the second season of "Drag Race" and was aptly labeled as "The Dancer." She came in seventh place when she was eliminated in the reality show’s sixth episode.

The news of Davenport’s death, which is currently unknown, sent shockwaves through out the community and prompted a number of "Drag Race" queens to take to social media and offer their condolences.


"Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport," RuPaul tweeted. "Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal."

"A beautiful angel has been added to Heaven. Rest in peace my sweet friend. We will miss you, Sahara Davenport," JuJubee wrote.

Davenport was dating Manila Luzon, aka Karl Westerberg, who came in second place in the third season of "RuPaul’s Drag Race." Luzon, who will also appear on the upcoming All-Star season of "Drag Race," wrote a brief message on Facebook and said, "I love him so much." The status update has received more than 3,500 likes and 1,600 comments.

Officials from Logo, which airs "Drag Race," released a statement on its Facebook page regarding Davenport’s death.

"Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport," the statement reads. "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."

Additionally, GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro made a statement about the passing of the drag queen.

"In addition to being a talented performer, we also remember the great work of Antoine Ashley, known to many fans as Sahara Davenport, in support of LGBT youth organizations and GLAAD. This is a saddening loss and our thoughts are with Sahara’s friends, partner and family."


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