Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne dead at 34

Rachel Badham August 22, 2020

Louisiana-born drag queen and star of RuPaul’s Drag Race Chi Chi DeVayne (Zavion Davenport) has died at the age of 34 after being hospitalised with suspected kidney failure. Chi Chi suffered with chronic illness scleroderma and was hospitalised multiple times throughout 2020. It has now been confirmed that the cause of death was pneumonia.

Tributes have poured in for Chi Chi, who featured in season 8 of Drag Race and All Stars season 3. RuPaul said in a statement that they were ‘heartbroken’, and described Chi Chi as a ‘kind and beautiful soul’. Fellow drag queen and Drag Race star Shea Couleé tweeted that they were ‘devastated’ and many other drag queens have expressed their sorrow at Chi Chi’s passing.

Chi Chi’s lip sync performance of And I Am Telling You is widely considered one of the most memorable moments in Drag Race history with twitter users saying it gives them ‘chills every time’. Chi Chi told HuffPost in 2016 that she wanted her legacy to be a ‘damn good performer that came from nowhere and took the world by storm’, and that she aspired to be a ‘household name’.