Antoine Ashley, better known as Sahara Davenport on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died.
“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.
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 and nightclubs.
In addition to his role on Drag Race, Ashley also appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live.
Earlier this year, Ashley released a single, “Go Off,” which later reached no. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
RuPaul expressed his condolences via Twitter on Tuesday morning.
“Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” he Tweeted.
Ashley’s boyfriend, Karl Westerberg, competed on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race as Manila Luzon. The couple released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last December.
On Sunday night, he Tweeted simply, “I love him so much.”
The cause of death is unknown at this time.