It is with the greatest sadness that we must confirm the death of Antoine Ashley, also known as Sahara Davenport, from the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Antoine passed away due to heart failure on October 1, 2012, at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. He was twenty-seven years old.
Antoine’s mother, Angela Ashley Reddish, spoke on behalf of the family. “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. May God bless each and everyone.”
Boyfriend of six years and fellow drag entertainer Karl Westerberg (aka Manila Luzon) had this to say: “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. 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.”
In memory, Sahara asks that you, “Live, love, and believe.”