Antoine Ashley died of heart failure, his mother Angela Ashley Reddish said Wednesday. The 27-year-old passed away Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
"I thank God for giving me an angel Antoine Ashley to share with the rest of the world. My family and I would like to thank everyone for their condolences and support. We know that our angel is now dancing in heaven,” Reddish said in a statement.
Ashley studied classical dance at Southern Methodist University before moving to NYC where he performed in drag at nightclubs and gay bars. He competed as Sahara Davenport on the season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live. Ashley released a remix of his single “Go Off” earlier this year.
The drag star is survived by his boyfriend of six years, season 3 Drag Race contestant Karl Westerberg (aka Manila Luzon). "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," Westerberg said in a statement. "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."
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