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Sahara Davenport Of RuPaul’s Drag Race Dead At 27

October 04, 2012 04:00 PM by Megan Wilson

One of the well loved contestants on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Antoine Ashley, also known as Sahara Davenport, has died at 27.  The cause of death has been ruled as heart failure.  The Dallas-born Ashley performed in drag at New York nightclubs and also also appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live.  Davenport also played an angry Beyonce impersonator suing the paparazzi on Judge Karen.  She was popular in New York, and well loved in the show circuit for her gymnastics and dancing.  She wowed audiences when she lip synched “Carry On”, while jumping and landing in the splits wearing pointe toe shoes.

AntoineAshley was named one of America’s best Whitney Houston impersonators, her performance of “Melody Set Me Free” landing her in the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2008, Antoine received a Glammy Award for Best Dance Performer (already a 2007 nominee and Miss National F.F.I.) and competed in the top twelve of the 2009 National Miss USofA pageant as Miss Gay New Jersey USofA.

Earlier this year, Ashley ventured into the music world by releasing a single entitled “Go Off,” which reached no. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.  She followed that release with “Pump With Me”.

RuPaul reached out to fans Tuesday morning by tweeting “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport, never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls.”  Family and friends are posting tribute videos and messages in memory of the beloved starlet, calling her a “Dearly loved Sister”, and asking others to reach out and love one another.

“He was an amazing artist and entertainer who’ll be deeply missed by his Logo family,” the Logo network, which airs the reality competition, posted on its Facebook page.  “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need.”

Antoine’s mother, Angela Ashley Reddish, spoke on behalf of the family. “I thank God for giving me an Angel Antoine Ashley to share with the rest of the world. My family and I would like to thank everyone for their condolences and support. We know that our Angel is now dancing in heaven. May God bless each and everyone.”

Antoine’s mother, Angela Ashley Reddish, spoke on behalf of the family. “I thank God for giving me an Angel Antoine Ashley to share with the rest of the world. My family and I would like to thank everyone for their condolences and support. We know that our Angel is now dancing in heaven. May God bless each and everyone.”

Logo TV has planned a tribute on October 5.  Jason Shumaker, the Director of communications and public affairs at logo/VH1 stated “We’ll be running an all-day marathon of Sahara’s season along with Untucked, with her final episode airing at 10:00 p.m. EST on Friday. We’ll be airing Sahara fan tweets all day long in conjunction with the marathon.”

Logo will also dedicate the first episode of RuPaul’s All-Star Drag Race to Sahara’s memory on October 22.

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[Image Credit: LogoTV]

Topics: Reality TV |

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