*Antoine Ashley, better known as Sahara Davenport on RuPaul’s Drag Race, died Monday of heart failure, according to his mother Angela Ashley Reddish.
“I thank God for giving me an angel Antoine Ashley to share with the rest of the world,” Reddish said in a statement Wednesday. “My family and I would like to thank everyone for their condolences and support. We know that our angel is now dancing in heaven.”
Ashley’s boyfriend of six years, Karl Westerberg – who competed on season three of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” as Manila Luzon – also released a statement.
“Antoine lived to entertain the world as Sahara Davenport and the world was in awe over his extreme talent. But his heart is what made us all fall in love with him,” he said.
“To me he will always be my best friend, my hero, my diva and I have always considered myself more than lucky to have him be forever a part of my life. Thank you, hon, for bringing so much beauty to all of us. Your legacy lives on in me and all of us you’ve touched.”
Ashley competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on the second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2010. He also appeared in “15 Films About Madonna,” “Magnificent Obsessions” and “One Life to Live.”
RuPaul expressed his condolences via Twitter on Tuesday morning.
“Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” he tweeted.