Tattooed Model & Muse to Lady Gaga, Rick Genest AKA ‘Zombie Boy’ Dead at Age 32

source: Twitter

Heavily-tatooed Canadian model and artist Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy, died on Wednesday from an apparent suicide. He was 32 years old.

According to iHeartRadio, Rick Genest was found in his apartment in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood, a source said. Radio-Canada also cited police sources confirming his death.

“The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating,” Lady Gaga tweeted. “We have to work harder to change the culture, bring Mental Health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it. If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other,” the megastar stated in highlighting the global issue of mental health.

Genest had been working on an album with his own songs, alongside Rob Zombie guitarist Mike Riggs.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Genest had his first tattoo at 16 and within three years, almost all of his entire body had been inked. The “corpse” body art led him to his moniker, Zombie Boy or sometimes Rico Zombie. Before he appeared in music videos, films and runaways, Genest lived on the streets of Montreal and appeared in side shows and “freak” shows.

In 2010, he was discovered by Lady Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti, who was also the creative director for fashion designer Thierry Mugler. Genest was featured in a Mugler campaign and given a role in Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ music video, which led the artist to work as a model for magazines like GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue Hommes and runaways all over the world.

Formichetti also tweeted: “Absolutely heartbroken. Rest in Power, Zombie Boy.”

Aside from his modelling career, Genest also landed small roles in films such as 47 Ronin, where he co-stared alongside fellow Canadian-born Keanu Reeves. The Guinness World Records recognised Genest and he was immortalised in wax at his hometown’s Musée Grévin. A museum in London, England is scheduled to unveil a bronze statue of Zombie Boy next year.

source: Pinterest

His friends said, when he was young, Genest underwent surgery to treat a brain tumour and struggled with mental health issues throughout his life. In an interview with TVA, Genest said he’s working with the Orange Door initiative of the Home Depot Canada Foundation to help organisations supporting homeless youth.

“There is not a book on life. It’s not everyone who takes the same path. There are so many obstacles and not everyone is able to find a way to overcome them. Everyone needs help and there are people who get a lot less help than others,” he said.

“It’s cool if we help everyone.”

Mental Health is important, if you feel that you need help, reach out. Call Befrienders at 03-7956 8145 to talk.

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