Very sad news to pass along today … Sahara Davenport (née Antoine Ashley), who we first met during season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race has passed away. News of Sahara’s death was first reported on Facebook last night by her boyfriend and fellow Drag Race contestant Manila Luzon (née Karl Westerberg). At this point, there is no real information as to when Sahara passed or the cause of death but today, LOGO TV has confirmed the death with an official statement of their own. Click below to read the statement in full, learn the known deets that have been reported and join me in saying goodbye to a fierce queen gone too soon.
Antoine Ashley, better known as Sahara Davenport on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died at 27. “Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport. 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,” the network said in a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday. Alongside 11 other contestants, Ashley competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on the hit show’s second season in 2010 – but his talents spanned far beyond the realm of reality television. A classically trained dancer, Ashley started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Upon earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Ashley left Dallas for New York City where he appeared in drag regularly at various bars and nightclubs. In addition to his role on Drag Race, Ashley also appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live. Earlier this year, Ashley released a single, “Go Off,” which later reached no. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. RuPaul expressed his condolences via Twitter on Tuesday morning. “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” he Tweeted. Ashley’s boyfriend, Karl Westerberg, competed on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race as Manila Luzon. The couple released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last December. On Sunday night, he Tweeted simply, “I love him so much.” The cause of death is unknown at this time.
This is very sad, very shocking news. 27 is far too young for anyone to die … my heart goes out to Sahara’s family and friends. I cannot even imagine the pain that they must be going thru. I always loved that Sahara and Manila were real life lovebirds even tho they both appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race (albeit on different seasons of the show so that they weren’t in direct competition). I suspect some folks will speculate the worst concerning Sahara’s untimely death but for me, it doesn’t matter. She is gone, she will be missed … it’s all so very sad. I’m sending all my love and condolences to Sahara’s family and friends in this very difficult time in their lives. May Sahara Davenport rest in eternal peace and fill the heavens with her faboulosity.