Antoine Ashley, known as Sahara Davenport of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame, has passed away.
The 27-year-old classically trained dancer started performing drag in his Dallas hometown while still a college student. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and moved to the Big Apple appearing in drag at a host of nightclubs.
A season two contestant on RuPaul’s reality competition show, Ashley and his boyfriend Karl Westerberg, also a contestant, but on season three as Manila Luzon, released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last year.
Ashley released a single this year titled “Go Off.” It reached No. 35 on Billboard’s 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.”
No cause of death had been provided at press time. –yvette caslin