Montreal model known as Zombie Boy dead at 32

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As she mourned the death of ' Zombie Boy' Rick Genest, Lady Gaga pressed on the need to erase the stigma surrounding mental health.

The 32-year-old singer paid tribute to Zombie Boy, born Rick Genest, in tweets Thursday following the model's apparent suicide at age 32.

Lady Gaga was extremely upset upon hearing of his passing and pleaded to her social media followers to seek help if they are suffering from the effects of mental illness.

"Immediately you knew this was a kind and gentle soul who had some deep concerns about anybody who is on the fringes or being dismissed for how they looked". But his family reportedly believes the death, which was ruled a suicide by law enforcement, to be an accident.

Part of their statement read: "Zombie boy, Rico, was loved by all those who had the chance to meet him and know him".

Zombies Battle appeared in several modelling campaigns for high-end fashion brands and magazines like GQ and Vogue.

Rick Genest would have celebrated his 33rd birthday on August 7, 2018, only six days after he took his own life.

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Personal stylist Daniel Lismore commented: "The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating".

In an interview with The Mirror in 2016, he revealed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 15, and had been told he could die or be left disfigured.

He then went on to enjoy a successful career on the runway, including helping relaunch Jay-Z's label Roc-A-Wear in Europe in 2012.

I have spoken many times about my thoughts on how mental health is viewed by society.

Rick Genest will be recognisable to most people for starring in Lady Gaga's music video for her song Born This Way in 2011.

Genest, who holds a Guinness World Record for most insect tattoos (176) and another for most human bone tattoos (139), got his first tattoo when he was 16.

In 2011, his appearance in the Lady Gaga video launched his worldwide fame.

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