Lady Gaga and Rick Genest, also known as 'Zombie Boy,' collaborated for her music video “Born This Way.” Rick Genest was reported by AP to have died from suicide aged just 32 this week. Dulcedo Management said on Facebook on Thursday (3rd August) that the death of 'Zombie Man, an “icon of the art scene and of the fashion world,” was "shocking." Lady Gaga took to her Twitter account to mourn the passing of the colourful character saying the death was "devastating."

Lady Gaga speaks against the culture of suicide

Lady Gaga called for people to "bring Mental Health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it." She believes that society needs to "work harder to change the culture." The star also called on people to "save each other." Once again a celebrity urged people to call family or friends rather than take that final step and end their lives.

Zombie Boy got his break with Lady Gaga through French fashion house Mugler

French fashion house, Mugler, helped to get Rick Genest linked with Lady Gaga via Nicola Formichetti. Nicola noticed him in a fashion magazine, told Lady Gaga about him, and he ended up working with the singer. His unusual tattoos of bones and insects were a record-setting form of art in themselves.

Yet, despite looking like a fierce character you wouldn't want to mess with, he was reported by AP to be a mild and gentle person. He was perhaps the epitome of why people shouldn't judge others by their appearance.

AP spoke to the Welcome Hall Mission's CEO who said that Zombie Man had been to their homeless shelter when he was a teen and even as a fashion icon and adult, he still supported them.

Zombie Man was born in 1982

Born in August 1982, his moniker of 'Zombie Man' came his way before his unusual tattoos. He would become a Canadian actor and artist and a fashion model. His website describes him as "a chiaroscuro of both light and dark—part gentle warrior, part anti-establishment artful dodger, and he has serendipitously become the ‘it’ muse for anyone who believes in a brave new world without judgment."

His early years were not full of big breaks and he worked his way up from freak shows to a small travelling group named “Lucifer’s Blasphemous Mad Macabre Torture Carnage Carnival.” Zombie Man was 23-years-old at the time.

Nine years on, when he was just building a real fan following, he is dead. He gave little indication that fame was what he was really after, and in fact, seemed disdainful of it. Perhaps that's why he was able to work with Lady Gaga so well. He said of her, "Gaga was very approachable and has a great sense of humour with an unwavering work ethic. It was easy working with her and she knows how to put everyone at ease. She is a highly-skilled, intelligent and dedicated performer.”

Tragic suicides and tragic trends

2018 has been a year of tragic suicides by those people who are so admired by the general public. This year the world lost an 18-year-old Team GB athlete. Kate Spade and others also died by suicide.

Time noted that there tends to a "suicide contagion" following the death of celebrities and that when actor Robin Williams died in 2014, suicides in the USA rose by 10 percent. Lady Gaga is right, mental health is not something to sweep under the carpet, or make a note for later. As she said on her Twitter account, "Kindness and mental health aren’t one time practices. They aren’t just to do list items." RIP Rick Genest, 'Zombie Boy.'