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Burlesque Star Killed in Crash: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

One of America’s most renowned burlesque performers, Sarah Klein, better known as Sparkly Devil, was killed in a car wreck early Sunday morning in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco, reports SF Gate.

Here’s what you need to know…


1. The Crash Involved a Party Bus & Injured 10 People


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The tragic accident occurred around 2 a.m. on Highway 101 in Burlingame, California, just south of San Francisco. A party bus, carrying around 18 people, was hit by a red Honda coupe driven by Klein’s husband, Raul Padilla, known as “Bones.”

Padilla is in a coma, while Klein was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s believed that Padilla lost control of the car and it drifted across the highway and began facing oncoming traffic; it was here that it hit the front of the party bus. Klein was not wearing a seat belt when the crash happened.

Eight of the passengers on the party bus were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators believe that Klein and Padilla were driving home from San Francisco to San Mateo.


2. Both Klein and Her Husband Had Been Drinking

Sparkly Devil 1

The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that both of the passengers in the Honda had been drinking, though their “level of impairment isn’t known.” If alcohol played a role in the crash, Padilla will face a DUI charge.

One of Klein’s friends tweeted this after hearing about the crash:

Don't let friends drive drunk. Share it.

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3. She Was a Burlesque Legend

Klein’s website describes her as:

Sparkly Devil is a glittering collision of sass, class, ass, and over-the-top vaudevillian entertainment. She first cut her rhinestone-encrusted teeth in Detroit’s vibrant cultural underground over a decade ago, and quickly became a glittering diamond in the rough, having graced (and disgraced) stages across North America since 2000.

She was co-founder of the Hubba Hubba Review, “San Francisco’s biggest and wildest burlesque show.”

Hubba Hubba co-founder and producer said:

With a range that includes everything from superb comic timing to dramatic performance to combining feather-fans with gangsta rap, Sparkly Devil is one of the most dynamic performers in the burlesque community today.


4. She’ll be Honored by the Burlesque Hall of Fame

Sarah Klein Sparkly Devil, burlesque performer killed

Though the California Highway Patrol hasn’t released Klein’s name, the news of her passing has been confirmed by Jim Sweeney, Klein’s co-founder of the Hubba Hubba Revue. In a Facebook post (above) he made reference to the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s plans to pay tribute.


5. She Was Coming Back From a Performance

Sarah Klein Sparkly Devil, burlesque performer killed

According to Klein’s Facebook page:

This Saturday: start your Memorial Day weekend with a BANG with Hubba Hubba Revue! I’ll be doing the act I’m performing at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, so come see me off before I hit Vegas!

Her friend tweeted that:

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6. She Appeared on Two Episodes of LA Ink

Klein was considered enough of a celebrity in California to be featured in an two episodes of TLC’s LA Ink, one of which you can see above from 2008. The show, which was a spin-off of Miami Ink, detailed celebrities getting art done by the tattoo parlor owner Kat Von D.


7. She Also Worked as a Journalist

According to her website, Klein’s journalism work has been featured in LA Weekly, Venus magazine, Juxtapoz magazine, Style Monte Carlo of Monaco and London’s The Mirror.

Prior to leaving Detroit, Klein worked as Culture Editor for The Metro Times.

She wrote this story that appeared in Penthouse in May 2011 about the Burlesque Hall of Fame, where she is soon to be inducted. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s the middle of an oppressively hot afternoon in Old Vegas, and the wilted, shabbily dressed tourists seem to be melting right down into Fremont Street Experience. This tarnished and worn section of Sin City is either charmingly retro, or strictly for the buffet & respirator crowd, depending on your view.

As heat-weary vacationers slowly trudge along in seemingly slow motion, suddenly a burst of color flashes through the concrete and neon and rivets everyone’s attention. It’s a trio of women in retro swimsuits and wedge heels, clutching brightly colored parasols that match the twinkling flowers nestled into their pin-curls. They giggle and chatter as they merrily bounce along, looking just like a set of bomber girls who stepped right off a B52 wing – except for the multitude of tattoos, piercings and flaming magenta and orange hair dye.

And this is just the beginning. For the next four days, a virtual army of neo pinups and burlesque performers will flock to the holy Mecca of retro striptease culture, the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas.

8. Klein and Padilla Were Engaged Within 24 Hours of Meeting

Sarah Klein Sparkly Devil, burlesque performer killed

According to the website for their wedding:

Sparkly and Bones (aka Sarah Klein and Raul Padilla) met in October of 2008 and immediately fell in love. And we really mean immediately: Bones got down on one knee and proposed within 24 hours of meeting Sparkly for the first time. Fortunately, when he sobered up he didn’t change his mind.

The only problem was 3,000 miles between the two of them, with Sparkly in San Francisco and Bones in Brooklyn. After a 6-month long cross-country romance, Bones made the leap and moved to San Francisco to be with Sparkly.

Although no one thought it would work, Sparkly and Bones happily proved them all wrong, and continue to fall more in love with each other with every passing day.

The couple were married by Klein’s Hubba Hubba co-founder, Jim Sweeney.


9. She Tweeted Her Excitement About Going on Vacation

On Friday Klein tweeted this:


10. There Has Been An Outpouring of Emotion on Twitter

Several of the world’s biggest burlesque stars have tweeted their sadness:

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