Sahara Davenport, RuPaul’s Drag Race Contestant, Dies at 27
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2 contestant Antoine Ashley — perhaps better known by his drag name, Sahara Davenport — has passed away at 27.
Antoine studied dance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and discovered his talent for drag while in college, People reports. After graduating, Antoine moved to New York City and continued performing at bars and nightclubs.
He competed for six episodes of the Logo competition show’s sophomore season in 2010.
Since appearing on the show, Ashley enjoyed success in the music world: his single “Go Off” peaked at #35 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart this year. He and his boyfriend, Season 3 contestant Manila Luzon, whose real name is Karl Westerberg, also released a cover of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last winter.
Antoine also appeared in A&E’s 15 Films About Madonna, the ABC soap One Life to Live, and a David Guetta music video.
This morning, Logo broke the news on its Facebook page: “Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport.” the network said in a Facebook statement today (October 2). “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.”
And RuPaul conveyed his grief over Twitter, saying, “Shocked and heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we'd ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal.”