A Philadelphia drag performer loved by the local LGBTQ community died Monday night during a performance at a popular gay bar.
Valencia Prime, 25, was performing at the Tabu Lounge and Sports bar in the heart of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood when she collapsed on stage, bar owner Jeffrey Sotland said.
“Today we mourn the loss of a very bright and rising star in the show business community and someone who has always been full of love and positivity,” Hall said in a statement shared on the news. social networks. “We say goodbye to Valencia Prime but we won’t forget the light you brought to the stage.”
Tributes from other artists poured in after news of Prime’s death broke. Prime, a transgender woman, had dubbed herself “the plus-size dancing diva of Philadelphia.”
“This community has suffered so many losses in recent years. Valencia Prime was a talent and a delightful person. Rest in Power, Baby,” Timarree Leigh, Sex Educator and Burlesque Performer, tweeted.
“I had a great time working with Valencia and I will really miss her,” Leigh told NBC News via Facebook Messenger. “She was talented, fun, kind and brought so much energy. Her loss is devastating to a whole scene of people she influenced and inspired.
Drag queen Brittany Lynn, real name Ian Morrison, also shared a message in honor of Prime: “Valencia Prime, we will miss you very much. You were always up for a gig or texting me via continued saying ‘good job sir’. Out & About will always be dedicated to you and all you’ve done for everyone. Keep spinning ma’am,” she wrote on Facebook.
Drag artist Aloe Vera, real name Anthony Veltre, has performed alongside Prime often. In a Facebook post, Veltre said, “You are and forever will be my light. I would like to know how to continue without you. I would like to know how to inspire other people who are suffering at the moment too… but a piece of my soul has been taken from me and I find it difficult to recover without you. I love you with all my heart Valencia. Rest in power.
A GoFundMe fundraiser set up in the name of Prime’s loved ones for funeral expenses has already surpassed its original goal of $8,000.
“We would like the community to help her mother and the rest of her family give her the proper memorial we know she deserves,” reads the GoFundMe page. “We want you all to know that your kindness and support is much appreciated and has not gone unnoticed.”
Nikita Sinnn Monroe, who organized the GoFundMe fundraiser, told NBC News that Prime was originally from Delran, New Jersey, but was living in Philadelphia at the time of his death. According to Prime’s Facebook page, she graduated from Delran High School in 2015, then attended Rowan College in Burlington County in New Jersey and Temple University in Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, Prime’s mother, Christiana Marcus-McRae, wrote on Facebook: “25 years ago on April 2 at 7:58 p.m. I gave birth to my 2nd child and today I am arranging the funeral. ..”
Marcus-McRae did not immediately return NBC News’ request for comment.
Prime’s cause of death has not been shared by family or authorities.
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