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'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.'Hundreds of fans and colleagues took to Twitter to express their grief at Davenport’s passing.
The LGBT magazine Queerty lists his age as 28, while multiple reports say he died at 27.
However, in a New York Times profile from 2009, Davenport was described as a 29-year-old, which means that he was 32 at the time of his passing.
Davenport, originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, was a classically trained dancer who first became interested in drag performance while studying at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in dance.
He decided to move to New York City, telling the New York Times, 'I had to build my name here by doing talent nights, talent competitions and networking and meeting all the working girls and figure out how to work this animal of New York City.
Rich Ferraro, a spokesman for the organization Gay and Lesbian Alliance Agaisnt Defamtion, told E!
Online: ‘In addition to being a talented performer, we also remember the great work of Antoine Ashley, known to many fans as Sahara Davenport, in support of LGBT youth organizations and GLAAD.
It helps that he also makes a quite staggeringly beautiful woman. The rest is all drag.” Inspired by the success of the reality show America's Next Top Model and its spin-off series, Ru Paul created Ru Paul's Drag Race in 2009 aimed at finding America's next drag superstar, and empowering future generations of all sexualities.
The New York scene is so much bigger than in Dallas.‘In Dallas it’s just a strip. What has helped me: There aren’t a lot of girls who dance, who are as refined in dancing. The dance, and the prettiness.'However, his big break came when he had made it onto season two of Drag Race, which aired in 2010.
He came in seventh, but his time on the show helped jump-start a successful though brief career in music.
The drag performer went on to release two singles, Pump with Me and Go Off, which rose to No 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, according to TV Guide.
Davenport and Luzon also released a cover version of Baby It's Cold Outside’ last December.