Rick Genest, a fashion model also known as Zombie Boy for his full-body corpse-like tattoos, took his life at the age of 32, Radio Canada reports.
The Canadian-born artist was found dead in his apartment in Montreal; police classified his death as an "apparent suicide."
The 32-year-old garnered worldwide attention after he featured in Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" video in 2011. The singer has paid an emotional tribute to Genest online, calling the loss "beyond devastating."
The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating. 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. pic.twitter.com/THz6x5JlpB— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) 3 августа 2018 г.
The sad news was followed by an outpouring of grief and tributes from shattered users.
I used to have an odd-huge crush on Rick Genest when I was 13. I had photos of him everywhere. Sadden by the news. Rest in peace, zombie boy pic.twitter.com/oQAOtj5P6x— TK (@tyrakmrzmn_) 3 августа 2018 г.
just heard about rick genest. my heart hurts. pls be gentle & kind to one another. check up on your friends often. tell them you love them and please, PLEASE reach out to someone if you’re hurting or struggling. i know it isn’t easy to seek help, but we need to save each other 🖤 pic.twitter.com/7wMf94rBiP— matt (@lindsaydemeola) 3 августа 2018 г.
i’ve been admiring you since 2010 because you weren’t afraid to go against societal norms and be looked at differently for being who you are, thank you. rest in peace, rick genest aka zombie boy 💔 pic.twitter.com/nXDQhCxK62— lina (@origamicreases) 3 августа 2018 г.
RIP to friend of the photo world, Rick Genest @ricothezombie, aka "Zombie Boy." When we did our shoot inspired by Philippe Halsman, he was quiet, soft-spoken, yet very collaborative and ready to do anything to make a photo work. pic.twitter.com/gw7aZaUs9W— Joey L. (@joeyldotcom) 3 августа 2018 г.
He’ll live forever thru his art and love he shared with everyone— juniorr 🦂 (@jayjuniorrr) 3 августа 2018 г.
We will miss him. Prayers are with his family, friends and fans— Lady Gaga (@LadyGagaUpdated) 3 августа 2018 г.
rest in peace rick genest, zombie boy. thank you for inspiring me to be my true self and not worry about standing out. everyone please check in on your friends and family mental illness is not a joke. too many beautiful souls being taken from us too soon. pic.twitter.com/g1vwA7vywp— Aaron Wiseman (@awfficial) 3 августа 2018 г.
Genest is mentioned twice in the Guinness World Record Book as the man with the greatest number of bones tattooed on his body (139) and most tattoos of insects (176). He has collaborated with magazines like GQ and Vanity Fair and modelled at high-profile fashion shows in Paris and Berlin.