Lady Red Couture, a pillar of the drag and trans community and co-star of the popular YouTube series Hey Qween! with co-host Jonny McGovern, has died, according to a flood of tributes from colleagues and friends. Stars throughout the industry are sending out their loving memories of the late icon.
Lady Red, whose real name was Kareemia Baines, passed away early Saturday morning (July 25) just days after being hospitalized for complications involving cyclic vomiting syndrome, according to co-host McGovern. She was 43. McGovern confirmed the news in an emotional post on Facebook. “My best friend and sister Lady Red Couture has passed,” the comedian wrote. “I am shocked and devastated. I never believed we would lose her like this. Please know this is real and it hurts so bad RIP @mothercouture I love you baby.”
— Jonny McGovern (@GayPimp) July 25, 2020
Last week, McGovern took to social media to raise funds for Lady Red after she was admitted to the hospital for her ongoing illness.
“Last night I had to rush our beautiful Lady Red to the hospital due to complications with her chronic condition-cyclic vomiting syndrome,” McGovern tweeted on July 20. “[Thank] god she is Covid negative but She is in bad shape & in the ICU.”
Following her death on Saturday, McGovern updated fans once again with the devastating news.
“I can’t believe I am writing this message but the unthinkable has happened,” he wrote. “This morning at 5am I received a call from the hospital letting me know that Lady Red had just passed away. I was told she was improving yesterday and ready to move out of intensive care. But very early this morning she had an episode and coded and she was gone. I was just with her Mom and her sister. We are in shock. We are devastated.”
McGovern requested that fans give him and Lady Red’s family time to grieve for their loss.
“I know she meant so much to so many people and everyone will want to know the details and want to understand right away but I BEG YOU ALL for your understanding in allowing her family and I and those who were close to her to grieve in private until we can come to grip with this tragic loss,” he wrote.
McGovern added that donations made earlier for Lady Red’s health issues will now go toward paying for her funeral arrangements and noted that he will be helping Lady Red’s family set up a GoFundMe for additional costs.
“But for today all I can do is cry and mourn the giant loss of my sister, creative partner and best friend,” he wrote.
Along with serving as a co-host on Hey Qween!, Lady Red was also well known as a fixture in the Los Angeles drag community, from her performances to her support for many of her fellow queens. Following the news of her death, drag stars from all throughout the industry sent out messages of love for the late icon. Here are just a few of the stars who reacted to the passing of Lady Red Couture:
Absolutely heartbreaking to hear about the loss of my sister & friend @Mothercouture I mean, if u knew her u loved her. That was the joy that she carried within her beautiful soul. I’ll always remember your laugh sister. And your hugs. Rest now Lady Red. Xo pic.twitter.com/SNXdqWOmUf
— Shangela (@itsSHANGELA) July 25, 2020
So sad to hear of the loss of Lady Red Couture. I’ll never forget the day I met her at DragCon and how amazingly warm and captivating she was. Venmo LadyRedCouture to help her family with final arrangements. This beautiful photo of Lady Red by @trashqueen pic.twitter.com/7UYhoWCszv
— Sasha Velour (@sasha_velour) July 26, 2020
If you’d like to help Jonny and the family of our Lady Red, please donate on Venmo at LadyRedCouture. https://t.co/igBNx4QZgY
— Trixie Mattel (@trixiemattel) July 25, 2020
Oh my god I can’t believe Lady Red has died. She brought me so much joy the past few years when my manic ass was working the WeHo beat. Rest easy, beautiful soul ❤️❤️
— Катя (@katya_zamo) July 25, 2020
Sending love The Hey Qween family. Rest in Power to this gorgeous soul. pic.twitter.com/73YIsULBJB
— Black Lives Still Matter (@thatonequeen) July 25, 2020
I am so heartbroken by the news of our Lady Red Couture passing away. She was a true sister and friend to everyone she met. One of the kindest souls I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Can 2020 just fuck off already? pic.twitter.com/jFOiOX9lTD
— Ginger Minj (@TheGingerMinj) July 25, 2020
Lady Red Couture.. Such a bright ass light for many of us. Walking down the street every night will not be the same without your hugs & chats. The world won’t be the same without your laugh. Rest In Peace, beautiful. pic.twitter.com/EFlfiSSNSR
— Adore Delano (@AdoreDelano) July 25, 2020
Last week I filmed a new @heyqweentv interview and Lady Red was out sick so we talked to her as if she was there…she was going to film her parts later on, now she’s gone. R.i.p Lady Red. This pic is from my first time meeting her in 2017. She will be truly missed by many pic.twitter.com/xlzW4hu6Ax
— Isis King (@MsIsisKing) July 25, 2020
Sending lots of healing and love to the HeyQueen family, viewers, and anyone who was ever touched by the infectiously effervescent kindness and charisma that is Lady Red ❣️ https://t.co/lW8mb5zjIG
— Aquaria (@aquariaofficial) July 25, 2020
Lady Red got her wings this morning. Say a prayer for her family and loved ones❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/wgdGWOQn8u
— RaJahOhara (@RaJahOHara) July 25, 2020
— Jan (@jansportnyc) July 26, 2020
Oh Jonny I am so sorry, this is absolutely devastating. Seeing lady red around weho and smoking with her was always my favorite thing. She was such a light. We really lost an angel 🙁 sending my love to you and her family I can’t believe this
— Farrah Moan (@farrahrized) July 25, 2020
❤️❤️❤️Vale Lady Red ❤️❤️❤️
Oh Jonny! I am so sorry! Sending you and family much love!
— Courtney Act (@courtneyact) July 25, 2020
RIP Lady Red
— Alexis Michelle (@AlexisLives) July 26, 2020
for those of you who asked, jonny is setting up a gofundme for Lady Red’s family, until then they are currently using venmo: LadyRedCouture. I know she meant a lot to you guys too, this is fucking heartbreaking. i love y’all. thank you for wanting to help her family. #RIPLadyRed https://t.co/gCFhwR50QP
— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) July 26, 2020