‘Drag Race’ Star Sahara Davenport Died of Heart Failure

On Monday, news spread quickly of the death of Sahara Davenport (aka Antoine Ashley), a popular star from RuPaul's Drag Race. The Wrap offered some new details today about the cause of Ashley's death:

S_davenport"RuPaul's Drag Race" contestant Antoine Ashley, whose stage name was Sahara Davenport, died from heart failure, his representative said Wednesday.

Ashley, 27, died at Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, Md. His rep did not immediately reply to a request from TheWrap for more information about the cause of death.

A tribute and memorial is scheduled for November 2 at XL Nightclub in NYC and a private funeral is being held in Maryland.


  1. anonimodesf says

    Isn’t heart failure publicist speak for drug overdose like they say exhaustion for going to rehab? Either way, sad to lose someone at such a young age.

  2. Billy Crytical says

    Gay people, take care of your heart. Heart problems are more common in gay people because of the prolonged stress gay people endure because of anti-gay bigotry.

  3. Jersey says

    I remember him talking about a heavy drug problem in his past and getting thru it with help from loved ones. It is very common for someone who had been a heavy user to have heart problems later, some drugs are really hard on the heart. What sucks is this often happens well after people get thier lives back on track. So freaking sad.

  4. Kevin_BGFH says

    Could be a heart infection, too. When we were 27, my fraternal twin brother (always the skinnier of the two of us) suddenly lost 40 pounds through an inexplicable illness. Turns out that he had an infection on a heart valve. He had a heart murmur, was prescribed antibiotics after a dental visit, didn’t finish the dose, and bacteria released from his teeth cleaning accumulated on the heart valve. He has an artificial valve now and continues to have surgery every so often for the last 17 years. He survived but almost died multiple times. So there are plenty of heart issues that can affect seemingly healthy 27 year olds that have nothing to do with drugs, compromised immune systems, or stress.

  5. Jay says

    I’ve been going to Baltimore gay clubs since I turned 21. As sad as this story is, it wouldn’t surprise me if drugs were involved. Drugs are everywhere but Baltimore’s gay clubs seem to be a little worse.

  6. Tessie Tura says

    Heart failure is heart failure, regardless of what caused it. Frankly, I don’t think it’s any of our business what she might have shot up, snorted, or smoked, with the exception of those of us who were close personal friends. Let her rest in peace and give her loved ones some space and some privacy.

  7. Alfred says

    I had been waiting for the real cause of death to be revealed and this generic COD was revealed instead. I don’t think it tarnishes the name of the dead if we are truthful about the COD. If she died from a PHD – pretty heavy drug – problem, I think the real COD would actually send a stronger and more positive message to the drag community and more.

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