The death of Antoine Ashley, best known as Sahara Davenport from “RuPaul's Drag Race,” was due to heart failure, according a statement obtained by E! News.
Antoine Ashley "passed away due to heart failure on October 1, 2012, at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland," the site wrote.
His mother, Angela Ashley Reddish, wrote a public statement on Facebook:
"I thank God for giving me an angel Antoine Ashley to share with the rest of the world," Reddish wrote on Facebook 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 was a competitor on season three of “RuPaul's Drag Race” under the name Manila Luzon — also spoke publicly about Ashley’s passing.
According to People, he said:
"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 was one of the top competitors to be named “America's Next Drag Superstar” during the second season of “RuPaul's Drag Race” two years ago.
In addition to his stint on reality television, the Dallas native appeared in “15 Films About Madonna,” “Magnificent Obsessions” and “One Life to Live,” People reported.
Ashley graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, according to the Internet Movie Data Base.
RuPaul took to Twitter to express his condolences over the death of Ashley.
"Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we'd ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal," he tweeted.
Ashley was only 27 years old when he died from heart failure.