Pageant queen Chelsi Smith, who won Miss USA and Miss Universe in 1995, has died after a battle with liver cancer aged 45.

She died on Saturday, having been diagnosed with liver cancer in spring 2017, a family spokesman said.

She started her beauty queen career in 1994 with the Miss Galveston County crown and went on to earn the Miss Texas USA and Miss USA crown the following year.

In a statement, her family said Chelsi is the only biracial woman to ever win all three crowns.

She was also the only Texan to become Miss Universe, The Houston Chronicle reported.

Her family said a public memorial service is planned for October in Houston.

Actress and reality star Shanna Moakler, 43, who was her runner up in the Miss USA Pageant, remembered her friend in a touching tribute she shared on Instagram along with a collage of snaps.

'Her light was so big and so bright, she changed my life,' Shanna 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.