Antoine Ashley as Sahara Davenport
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
"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.