In very unfortunate news, Miss Universe 1995 Chelsi Smith has reportedly passed away after a battle with cancer. She was 45. Deets inside...
Pageant queen Chelsi Smith, Miss Universe '95, unfortunately passed away on Saturday after a year-long battle with liver cancer. She was 45. Chelsi was a trailblazer in the pageant world as she was the first biracial woman- the daughter of an African-American father and white mother - to snag the Miss Texas title. She was also the first and only Texan to win the Miss Universe crown when she won in 1995.
According to spokesman Jarrod Klawinksy, Chelsi was diagnosed with cancer in spring 2017.
“It just got worse throughout 2017, and this year she became extremely weak,” Klawinsky told the Houston Chronicle.
Last month, she went to her mother's home in Pennsylvania, where she lived her last days.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Chelsi Smith has passed away following a protracted illness,” the Smith Family said in a statement. “Chelsi was our loving daughter, niece, and friend. We will miss her infectious laughter, joie de vivre, and free spirit. She left an indelible mark on all those who knew her.”
In 1994, Chelsi entered and won the Miss Galveston and Miss Texas pageants. She celebrated her biracial heritage and vowed to fight racism head on.
Following the Miss Texas win, she ended up snagging Miss USA in 1995. From there, she traveled to Namibia, Africa to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant. She was 22-years-old nd attending San Jacinto College when she beat the 81 contestants in the running for the global crown.
Former reality star Shanna Moakler, who was runner up to Smith in the 1995 Miss USA Pageant, paid tribute to Chelsi on Instagram, writing:
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Having a hard time writing this. Found out the news of my good friend passing. I really don't know how to express to the world what a funny, loving, smart! She was so fucking smart... to smart for her own good and talented young woman she was. Because her light was so big and so bright, she changed my life. 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. I was crying and she was cheering me up! Thats who she was. Chelsi, I will never forget our long nights talking, singing, fighitng, dreaming... pageantry will never be the same, the world and my heart will not be the same. I will cherish my last conversations with you, I wish I was a better friend or could have done more. I know you are meant for bigger things then this world offered you. Visit me in my dreams queen I will be missing you and all your witty banter. Love love love you. Godspeed.
Indeed a history making, accomplished and amazing woman. Our condolences to her family, friends and fans.