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Sahara Davenport of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' dead at 27

October 02, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla

Antoine Ashley, better known as the drag queen Sahara Davenport who competed on the second season of "RuPaul's Drag Race," has died at age 27.

"Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport," the Logo network posted Tuesday on its Facebook page. "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."

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"Karl" refers to Karl Westerberg, who performs under the name Manila Luzon and can be seen with Sahara in the video above (Sahara's on the right). Manila also competed on "Drag Race," coming in runner-up on Season 3, and is in the cast of "RuPaul's Drag Race: All-Stars," which premieres Oct. 22.

"I love him so much," Westerberg posted Sunday on his Manila Luzon Twitter account and Facebook page, where fans by the hundreds expressed their condolences and support Tuesday. 

"Shocked & heartbroken over ," RuPaul tweeted on Tuesday. "Never occurred to me that we'd ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal."

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A cause of death and further details have not been announced in the case.

Ashley, a Dallas native, relocated to New York City after earning a bachelor of fine arts degree at Southern Methodist University, according to People magazine. The classically trained actor had a handful roles in addition to the "Drag Race" appearance, had released singles and performed regularly on the New York drag scene.

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Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs and on Facebook facebook.com/ministryofgossip.

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