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Heavily Tattooed 'Zombie Boy' From Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Music Video Commits Suicide at 32

RIP, Rick Genest

Rakhi Bose | News18.com@theotherbose

Updated:August 3, 2018, 4:42 PM IST
Heavily Tattooed 'Zombie Boy' From Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Music Video Commits Suicide at 32
RIP, Rick Genest

Model Rick Genest, better known as ‘Zombie Boy’ because of his distinctive tattooed-look, passed away at the age of 32. The model had risen to fame after appearing on the music video for a Lady Gaga song, ‘Born This Way’.

His distinctive look instantly earned him international attention. Genest was also part of the 2013 film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves.

The model, artiste and actor passed away in his home in Canada’s Montreal on Wednesday, leaving fans including Lady Gaga herself ‘devastated’.

Taking to social media, the songstress wrote that the death was ‘devastating’ and that the world needed to work harder to dispel the stigma that continued to persist around mental health.

‘Zombie Boy’, the moniker Genest had earned due to the corpse-like, skeletal tattoos that covered every inch of his body (except his privates), inspired Lady Gaga to don the same tattooed look as him in the music video.

“Kindness and mental health aren’t one time practices. They aren’t just to do list items,” the singer wrote.

Many expressed their condolences on Twitter agreed with Gaga, who is a known advocate of mental health awareness.

A look at Genest’s Instagram page revealed that the model had, before his death, posted a haunting image of a circle of light in the darkness, accompanied by a poem titled ‘The Well’.


The poem is evident of the pain that the artist must have been enduring in his last days before finally succumbing.

The Canadian model told Mirror in an 2016 interview that he had been diagnosed with brain tumour at an early age. Though the operation to remove the tumour went without a hitch, the incident made Genest aware of the fleeting quality of life. He got his first tattoo shortly after the operation and had been dedicated to the dark and macabre, since.

At the time of his death, the 32-year-old held two Guiness World Records – one for having the highest number of insect tattoos (a whopping 176) and the other for having the maximum bone tattoos on his body.

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