RuPaul has broken his silence about the death of RuPaul's Drag Race star Chi Chi DeVayne who passed away from pneumonia at age 34.
"I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne," RuPaul tweeted on the reality show's account on Thursday, August 20.
"I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all. On behalf of VH1, World of Wonder and the cast and crew of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I extend my deepest sympathy — from our family to hers."
Chi Chi, born Zavion Davenport, appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race during season 8 in 2016. He returned for RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars in 2018.
In an Instagram post in September 2018, the Shreveport, La. native announced he was diagnosed with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that causes hardening of the skin and internal organs.
"Lots of people don't know but I was Recently diagnosed with scleroderma," DeVayne wrote.
"I have been dealing with this over the past eight or nine months but was afraid to expose it to the public in fear of losing out on jobs and facing criticism from friends and fans... but i feel it's finally time to let the world know what's really going on with Chi Chi ... bottling this up has had me in a state of depression ... it has made me hate my appearance .. and also made me stray away from the public eye but I’m no longer hiding and living in a state of fear .. i just ask you all to keep me in your prayers as i battle with this life changing illness."
DeVayne was "rushed to the hospital" in July with possible kidney failure, according to a GoFundMe page created to raise money for medical expenses. DeVayne was "back in the hospital with pneumonia" earlier this month.
DeVayne's family released a statement on Instagram.com that reads:
"On behalf of the Davenport/Wyandon family it is with tremendous sorrow that my family and I announce the passing of my beloved son, Zavion Michael Davenport, the world renowned 'Chi Chi Davayne' [...] His final words to his family and friends, 'Never give up!'"