Chelsi Smith, Miss Universe 1995, dies aged 45 after losing battle to liver cancer
Shanna Moakler, who was the runner up to Chelsi Smith’s Miss Universe title in 1995, shared an emotional post as a tribute to her.
Chelsi Smith, the winner of Miss Universe 1995, and the first African-American to be crowned Miss Texas has died on Saturday, September 8. Smith, who was 45, was reportedly fighting a battle with liver cancer before passing away.
Shanna Moakler, who was the runner-up to Smith’s Miss Universe title in 1995, shared an emotional post as a tribute to her. She also said that she would be playing Cancer Free Gen, which is dedicated to attacking cancer on all fronts by funding innovative research from young physician-scientists, in honor of her late friend.
Tonight I will be playing poker for @CancerFreeGen in honor of my dear friend @Chelsi_Smith who I lost today to cancer. I am heartbroken. Godspeed beautiful. You were my friend and a light. I love and will miss you more then you will never know. The epitome of a Queen. pic.twitter.com/avlhNnnv5U— Shanna Moakler (@ShannaMoakler) September 8, 2018
Smith’s predecessor and Indian actress Sushmita Sen also mourned her death with the tweet, “I loved her smile and that generous spirit. Rest in peace my beautiful friend, Chelsi Smith. Miss Universe 1995." The post was accompanied by a photo capturing the moment that Sushmita passed her crown to Smith.
A native of Houston, Smith competed in her first pageant, which happened to be for the title of Miss Texas, in 1994, and became the first bi-racial woman to win the pageant. Following this, in 1995, she traveled to Namibia to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, where she became the first American to win the title in 15 years.
Many fans have expressed their condolences on social media:
I lost a friend today. Chelsi Smith was a powerhouse. She had issues with agents /lawyers and wanted a friend/confidant she could trust. Over the last 5 yrs I knew her better than I ever did in high school. Sleep well queen and say hello to pearl! #youwillbemissed— texaslegal (@texaslegal) September 9, 2018
May love and light go with you on your next journey @Chelsi_Smith . You took the world by storm as Miss Universe 1995 & you continued to open your heart to so many. R.I.P. my beautiful friend. You will truly be missed!😔 #MissUniverse #MissUSA #misstexasusa pic.twitter.com/QDxOnDZYs4— Sharron Melton (@sharronmelton01) September 8, 2018
Sad day for pageantry 👑— 𝟐𝟒/𝟎𝟖/𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟏 = 𝟐𝟕. 🎉🎊🎂 (@iamrhodyleen) September 9, 2018
Chelsi Smith, Miss USA 1995 & the first Afro-American & the second black woman to become Miss Universe in 1995 passed away yesterday 😭❤️
RIP Queen ❤️👑👸🏽 pic.twitter.com/choObnpa4x
Chelsi Smith will be missed. I was a former contestant with Ms. Chelsi Smith in the Miss Houston USA Pageant. She was a bright and bubbly young lady. Very poised and elegant. I will never forget that beautiful smile, and she loved her some IHOP! God Bless...— Devonae Booth (@devbeau40) September 9, 2018
Gail Clark and the Miss Texas USA pageant family are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Chelsi Smith. We extend our sympathy and prayers for those closest to her. She will always be remembered and loved as a great Texas beauty. pic.twitter.com/QoRgVffAs9— The Crystal Group (@crystalgrouptx) September 8, 2018