Sahara Davenport, a favorite of the Logo reality show competition “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” is reportedly dead at age 27, according to the Huffington Post.
Davenport, a female impersonator whose actual name is Antoine Ashley, fiercely competed for the much-coveted title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” on the hit show’s second season in 2010.
Ashley was more than just a “pretty face”; he was a classically trained dancer who earned a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in dance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He dabbled in drag while attending school to help fund his education, performing at various locales throughout Dallas.
The young man left Dallas and took his talents to the Big Apple where he appeared in various stage shows at nightclubs. Besides dancing, Ashley also acted and managed to land stints in “15 Films About Madonna,” “Magnificent Obsessions” and “One Life to Live.”
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Dancing and acting were passions of Ashley’s, but he also enjoyed singing. Earlier this year, he released a single that made it to number 35 on the Billboard’s “Hot Dance Club Songs” chart entitled, ”Go Off.”
Ashley’s boyfriend, who also competed on season three of RuPaul’s show as “Manila Leon“–real name is Karl Westerberg–released a cover version of the song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with him last December.
RuPaul, who acts as a Mother Hen over his stable of gorgeous drag queens on the show, tweeted his condolences on Ashley’s passing Tuesday morning via his Twitter account:
Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we'd ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal—
(@RuPaul) October 02, 2012
Logo also released a statement about Ashley’s death, confirming the sad news:
“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.”
At press time, no details have been released regarding the circumstances of Ashley’s death.