Valencia Prime: Prominent Philly drag queen died of heart disease and diabetes
The local medical examiner listed Valencia Prime's cause of death as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: A prominent drag queen, Valencia Prime, died at the age of 25 on September 12 after collapsing onstage during a performance at a gay bar in Philadelphia. According to TMZ, the performer's cause of death was a mix of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Prime was performing at Tabu Lounge and Sports bar in the city’s Gayborhood when she collapsed. Fellow performer Asia Monroe told WPVI-TV that paramedics reached the scene, but Prime was unresponsive.
The 25-year-old had proudly dubbed themself as “Philadelphia’s Plus Size Dancing Diva.” Speaking to NBC News, bar owner Jeffrey Sotland said that Prime was in the middle of a drag performance when all of a sudden they collapsed.
Tabu Lounge paid tribute in a social media post on Wednesday, September 14. The statement read, “Today we mourn the loss of a very bright and rising star in the performance community and a person who was always full of love and positivity,” adding, “We say goodbye to Valencia Prime but we will not forget the light you brought to the stage.”
In a different post, the venue said that they will be hosting the Prime's mother on Monday, September 19 for a memorial show. The donations for the same will be given to the performer's family.
Tributes poured in from Philadelphia’s LGBTQIA+ community for the well-loved star. Fellow performer Aloe Vera posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook. The post read, “I’m trying. I’m trying to be strong and I’m trying to brave because you were the one the taught me how to be strong and brave. The pain I feel right now is something I wish on no one. You are and will forever be my light. I wish I knew how to keep going without you."
The post added, “I wish I knew how to be inspiring too others that are hurting right now… but a piece of my soul has been taken from me and I’m struggling to pick myself up off the ground without you. I love you with everything in my heart Valencia. Rest in power.”
Prime's mother Christiana Marcus-McRae also shared the news of the performer's death in a Facebook post. She wrote, “25 yrs ago, April 2nd at 7:58pm, I gave birth to my 2nd child and today, I’m making funeral arrangements...”
According to Prime's Facebook page, the 25-year-old was originally from Delran, New Jersey, and attended Delran High School in 2015 before attending Rowan College at Burlington County in New Jersey and studying children’s psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia.