December 17, 1984
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Died||October 1, 2012
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Resting place||Silver Spring, Maryland|
|Occupation||Drag queen, dancer, make-up artist|
(until 2012; Ashley's death)
Antoine Ashley (December 17, 1984 – October 1, 2012), better known by the name Sahara Davenport, was an American drag queen, singer, reality television personality, and classically trained dancer. Davenport was best known as a contestant on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race.
A native of Dallas, Davenport began her drag career while attending Southern Methodist University. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, she relocated to New York City, where she began performing regularly at many gay bars and nightclubs throughout the city.
Davenport has been seen on television on A&E Network's 15 Films about Madonna, Voom HD's Magnificent Obsessions, and on ABC's daytime soap opera One Life to Live. She was featured in the pilot of Judge Karen as an angry Beyoncé impersonator who sues the paparazzi. Davenport made her art film debut in Kalup Linzy's video-performance piece "Melody Set Me Free," which was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She also appeared in the music videos "Girl Problems" by the group Girl Problems and "Gettin' Over You" by David Guetta and Chris Willis.
RuPaul's Drag Race
Davenport joined the cast of the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race in 2010. She was pegged as "The Dancer" when in the first episode she had to "lip-sync for your life" against her former college classmate, Shangela Laquifa Wadley. In the second episode, Davenport became a team leader when she and Pandora Boxx won the mini challenge. Sahara won the second episode elimination challenge by leading her team to earn the most money by pole dancing and selling Cherry Pie gift certificates on the streets of Los Angeles. In the fourth episode, Davenport gave a humorous impersonation of Whitney Houston in the Snatch Game challenge. In the Wedding Dress episode, she was in the bottom two again, but remained safe because of her lipsynch performance to Martha Wash's "Carry On". Sahara was eliminated in the sixth episode for not conveying enough of a "rock 'n' roll" attitude and being too much of a lady.
In 2011, Davenport released her second single "Go Off." A remix EP was later released on January 31, 2012, and featured a remix by Manny Lehman. "Go Off" debuted at number fifty on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs, before peaking at number thirty five. The music video for "Go Off" features cameos by Drag Race contestants Manila Luzon and Jiggly Caliente.
Personal life and death
Prior to her death, Davenport resided in New York City with her boyfriend Karl Westerberg, a fellow drag queen who goes by the stage name Manila Luzon and who was a contestant and runner-up on the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Davenport died of heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on October 1, 2012 at age 27. On the show, Davenport discussed her use of "designer drugs", such as ketamine, and how her drag mother had to help her out of her addiction.
- Pump With Me (2010)
- "Pump With Me" (2010)
- "Go Off" (2011)
- Molloy, Tim (2 October 2012). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Star Sahara Davenport Dies". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- LOGO On-line. http://www.logoonline.com/shows/dyn/rupauls_drag_race_2/cast.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-12-06
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- Sahara Davenport. http://www.saharadavenport.com//bio.html
- Sahara Davenport. http://www.saharadavenport.com/credits.html
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- "iTunes - Music - Go Off (The Remixes) by Gomi & Sahara Davenport". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- Spargo, Chris (29 March 2012). "Sahara Davenport Scores First Billboard Hit". New Now Next. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "Club Music, Hot Dance Songs, Club Songs, Dance Club Music Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "NEW VIDEO: Sahara Davenport & Manila Luzon". New Now Next. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- Avery, Dan. Next Magazine. http://www.nextmagazine.com/whats-next-now/sahara-davenport
- Spargo, Chris. "Sahara Davenport’s Family Releases Official Statement". NewNowNext. Retrieved 3 October 2012.