Sahara, a standout from season two of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ passed away at such a young age, according to a new report, and I’m pretty broken up about it.
Sahara Davenport, who competed on season two of Logo’s hit series RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died of undetermined causes, according to People. Sahara, known in her real life as Antoine Ashley, was only 27 years old.
In a statement on their Facebook on Tuesday, October 2, Logo said, “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 [Westerberg,] in their time of need.”
Antoine didn’t last long during his season, but he made a lasting impact with his spot-on Whitney Houston impersonation. He was able to tap into the essence of Whitney, which is the mark of a legendary drag queen. Antoine always seemed above the reality TV fray, never indulging in the petty dramas surrounding him in the workroom. Instead, he was focused on being respectful and delivering a quality performance. He truly made his mark during his season.
As People reports, Antoine’s talents weren’t limited to his appearance on reality TV. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After graduating, he left Dallas for New York City, where he began to regularly appear in drag at various bars and nightclubs. In early 2012, Antoine released a single, “Go Off,” which reached 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
RuPaul took to Twitter to express his condolences on October 2, saying, “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal.”
Antoine’s boyfriend Karl competed on season three of the show as Manila Luzon. The two released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in December of 2011. Karls latest tweet, sent out on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 30, simply said, “I love him so much.”
The cause of death, as well as any other details, are unknown at this time.
Our thoughts remain with Karl and the rest of Antoine’s family and friends at this time.
Take a look at Antoine’s tribute to Whitney below. RIP, Sahara Davenport.
— Billy Nilles
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