Baltimore, MD —
Following Tuesday's sad news that Antoine Ashley, known as the drag queen Sahara Davenport, had died Producer Entertainment Group, LLC has provided detail and family comment on his death. Ashley passed away due to heart failure on October 1, 2012, at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was just 27.
"I thank God for giving me an Angel Antoine Ashley to share with the rest of the world", Ashley's mother Angela Ashley Reddish said. "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."
Karl Westerberg, Ashley's long term boyfriend and also a RuPaul performer under the name Manila Luzon 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. 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."
Logo television has planned a tribute on October 5, 2012 said Jason Shumaker, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Logo/VH1. "We'll be running an all-day marathon of Sahara's season along with Untucked, with her final episode airing at 10:00 p.m. EST on Friday. We'll be airing Sahara fan tweets all day long in conjunction with the marathon."
Logo will also dedicate the first episode of RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race to Sahara's memory on October 22, 2012.
Private funeral services for Ashley will take place in Maryland in mid-October.
A public memorial with tribute performances by Sahara's industry friends and entertainers is planned for Friday, November 2, at XL Nightclub in New York City. More information will be provided soon on Sahara Davenport's Fan Page on Facebook.