Former Miss Universe Chelsi Smith, who won the crown representing America as Miss USA, has died, TMZ reports.
Smith was the first woman of African-American descent to win the Miss Texas USA competition. She then went on to earn the title of Miss USA 1995, and eventually headed to Namibia, where she was crowned Miss Universe 1995, making her the first American woman to wear that crown in 15 years.
Her friend and Miss New York USA 1995, Shanna Moakler, took to Instagram to write a touching tribute to her friend.
Alluding to Smith’s reported battle with liver cancer, Moakler wrote, “If it wasn’t for her, her beauty and her energy, her incredible destiny, I wouldn’t even be where I am today. Even when she was sick she was positive and radiant and never stopped laughing.”
Friends, fans, and other beauty queens celebrated Smith’s life with posts on social media.
Fans flocked to Smith’s Instagram page and shared thoughts on her last post, which was in April of this year.
“I know Heaven is a beautiful place because they’ve got you,” one fan wrote.