Breaking comedian Lashonda Lester passed away last night after being hospitalized for a few days on dialysis. Lester was having a tremendous breakout year in 2016 and had so much ahead of her. She was named funniest person in Austin, and she was selected for her first recorded special- a half hour with Comedy Central that she was set to tape in two weeks and she was named one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch” for 2016.
Lester had been hospitalized on dialysis for chronic kidney disease when she passed and just last night wrote on her Facebook that she was planning to leave the hospital the next day. “Trying to achieve peace and relaxation tonight. Been working on those breathing techniques yall posted. Fingers crossed!” Her mother broke the news to friends that she had not lived through the night.
According to a profile in mystatesman.com, that everyone who wants to learn about Lashonda should read, she found out she had chronic kidney disease in 2015, had surgery and started dialysis.A fellow comic set up a gofundme page to help with her added expenses- a gesture that touched the comic deeply.
Friends and fans are posting tribute and love on social media this morning as they hear the news.
I just learned Lashonda Lester passed away. She opened for me last week in Austin. Very sad. Very funny person. RIP
— marc maron (@marcmaron) April 6, 2017
Just learned Lashonda Lester passed. My heart goes out to her family and her talent won't be forgotten. https://t.co/o0Fcc07KnL
— Jenny Zigrino (@jennyzigrino) April 6, 2017
— Amy Miller (@amymiller) April 6, 2017
It is with extreme sadness that we have to announce that our friend Lashonda Lester passed away. Rest well, Shondee.
— Stand Up! Records (@StandUpRecords) April 6, 2017
Our condolences & love sent to the family of Lashonda Lester. A truly unique & beautiful person who we were honored to have grace our stage
— BlindTigerComedyClub (@BlindTigerLaugh) April 6, 2017
Impossible to skirt the edges of ATX comedy scene & not know Lashonda Lester. My heart goes out to her family & my friends who loved her.
— John Gholson (@gholson) April 6, 2017
So sad to hear about Lashonda Lester. A true talent in the comedy world. Austin will miss its Queen very much. Rest in peace.
— Amber Krosel (@AmberKrosel) April 6, 2017
The great Lashonda Lester has passed away. Austin comedy will never be the same. Just devastating. RIP Queen.
— Totally Legal and Totally Cool (@JMJATX) April 6, 2017
— don (@donswaynos) April 6, 2017
— Sean L. McCarthy (@thecomicscomic) April 6, 2017
Lester was so funny and so talented; we never got to see her perform live, but we were looking forward to seeing her on stage in Austin this year at the Moontower Comedy Festival.
You can watch a video of Lashonda opening for Marc Maron just last week, and you can also see her winning set from Austin’s Funniest below.