'RuPaul's Drag Race' Contestant Sahara Davenport Dies at 27

2:29 PM PST 10/03/2012 by Sophie Schillaci

The drag entertainer, born Antoine Ashley, died of heart failure on Oct. 1.

The RuPaul’s Drag Race family has lost a member.

Antoine Ashley, who appeared the Logo series under the moniker Sahara Davenport, has died at the age of 27. The drag entertainer died of heart failure on Oct. 1 at John Hopkins Hospital in Balitmore, Maryland, though few other details surrounding his condition were available at the time of publication.

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In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Ashley’s boyfriend of six years and fellow Drag Race contestant Karl Westerberg (also known as Manila Luzon) said: “Antoine lived to entertain the world as Sahara Davenport, and the world was in awe over his extreme talent. But his heart is what made us all fall in love with him. To me, he will always be my best friend, my hero, my Diva, and I have always considered myself more than lucky to have him be forever a part of my life. Thank you, hon, for bringing so much beauty to all of us. Your legacy lives on in me and all of us you've touched.”

Ashley, a New York City native, competed in the second season of Drag Race. He was eliminated in the sixth week of competition. Boyfriend Westerberg also appeared on the show as a runner-up during the third season.

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After receiving notoriety from appearing on the show in 2010, Ashley later released a dance single titled “Go Off.” The track peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart in May.

The music video for “Go Off” features fellow Drag Race contestants Luzon and Jiggly Caliente. Watch below.

RuPaul offered his statement via Twitter on Tuesday, writing, “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal.”

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