“RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Antoine Ashley, better known to fans as Sahara Davenport, has died. He was 27 years old.
The cause of death is unknown at this time, but those closest to the classically trained dancer have expressed their sadness at his passing. Ashley competed on the second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and his boyfriend, Karl Westerberg, competed on the show’s third season.
“I love him so much,” Westerberg tweeted following Ashley’s death.
RuPaul also tweeted his condolences, saying, “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal.”
Logo, the network that airs “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” released a statement on its official Facebook page about the loss of Ashley.
“Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport,” the statement reads. “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.”
GLAAD also released a comment about the 27-year-old’s death.
“In addition to being a talented performer, we also remember the great work of Antoine Ashley, known to many fans as Sahara Davenport, in support of LGBT youth organizations and GLAAD,” GLAAD spokesperson Rich Ferraro says in a statement. “This is a saddening loss and our thoughts are with Sahara’s friends, partner and family.”