News of Sahara Davenport, born Antoine Ashley’s reported death spread like wildfire on Twitter last night with no verifiable source to support the claim. Today, we are measurably better informed, though we still await an official report.
It was our sincere hope reports were untrue, nevertheless, the overwhelming sadness that has gripped the performer’s fans, friends and family leave us with no other alternative than to report the loss of this shining star.
Though there has been no confirmation from an official source, judge Michelle Visage commented on Twitter: “It’s true and I have no words…”
The last post on Manila Luzon’s FB page is: “I love him so much.”
Davenport, was the partner of Season 3 contestant, Manila Luzon who is scheduled to appear at Q Nightclub this weekend.
Other sources confirming his death:
“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, in their time of need,” the network said in a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday.
RuPaul @RuPaul intimated on his Twitter account: “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal”
A number of “Drag Race” contestants also shared their grief upon learning of Davenport’s death.
Fellow contestant and Ashley’s reported boyfriend Manila Luzon wrote, “I love him so much” on Facebook and Twitter.
Jujubee Tweeted, “A beautiful angel has been added to Heaven. Rest in peace my sweet friend. We will miss you, Sahara Davenport.”
Fellow Season 2 contestant Morgan McMichaels Tweeted, “RIP to my sister Sahara Davenport, a true entertainer, who class, wisdom and laugh changed my life forever !!”
Nina Flowers wrote on Facebook, ” Love and respect to you sister, you will never be forgotten”
Latrice Royale shared her grief over his fellow queen’s passing writing, “My thoughts and Prayers are going out to the family and Loved ones of Sahara Davenport!! She was my sister in the name of Love!! You will be missed baby!!”
Last season’s “Drag Race” champ Sharon Needles wrote, “A sad day…. I am so blessed to have had dinner (two bottles of wine) with Manila Luzon last week… I love you lady… I cannot sleep….my heart goes out to all my Drag race family… mostly though, to my beautiful sister Manila”
Born Antoine Ashley, the singer and dancer appeared on the second season of the Logo reality series. Davenport started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University, where he earned a degree in dance.
Earlier this year, Davenport released a single, “Go Off,” which peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
Series host RuPaul and fellow contestants shared their condolences Tuesday. “Shocked & heartbroken over [Sahara Davenport]. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” RuPaul tweeted.
Season 2 Drag Race contestant JuJubee wrote on Facebook, “A beautiful angel has been added to Heaven. Rest in peace my sweet friend. We will miss you, Sahara Davenport.”
Alongside 11 other contestants, Ashley competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on the hit show’s second season in 2010 – but his talents spanned far beyond the realm of reality television.
A classically trained dancer, Ashley started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Upon earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Ashley left Dallas for New York City where he appeared in drag regularly at various bars.
The cause of death has not been released.
Davenport was touched the lives of people around the globe and will be missed.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need.”