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Trailblazing Queer Artist, Ari Gold, Dies at Age 47

Ari Gold

RuPaul was a close friend and mentor — the pair were in the midst of promoting a recently-released interview with the star.

According to reports, New York City-based dance artist Ari Gold has died at age 47. Having just celebrated his birthday earlier this month, the death comes after a long battle with cancer. Many have posted their condolences online.

Gold released seven albums as a part of his career. He released music as an out gay artist and started his career in the early 2000s. He is best known for "Where the Music Takes You," which featured Sasha Allen. His music video "Wave of You," released in 2004 was the first video by an out LGBTQ+ artist to world-premiere on Logo according to Boy Culture. He went by names like Sir Ari and GoldNation in addition to Ari Gold.

Gold had a battle with cancer and in late 2019 was declared cancer-free. The same day he received that news, he did an interview with RuPaul for his podcast called A Kiki From the Cancer Ward. In the series, Gold was interviewing close friends and others who visited him while hospitalized -- Ru's interview was the first conducted outside of the hospital, in the musician's Lower East Side apartment. According to him, Gold met Ru in 2002. Gold went on to later appear in Ru's film Starrbooty in 2007 as Tyrone Cohen.

"Ru became the closest thing I've known to a mentor," Gold said on the episode. "I couldn't tell you how many hours on the phone we'd spend where I would vomit out my perceived problems of the moment and Ru would give me a more evolved, spiritual perspective on him." But the relationship was two ways as Gold went on to show Ru how to independently market and release an album. This was right as Ru was preparing to release Red Hot.

"Until we meet again, dear friend," RuPaul wrote to Twitter today of the news of Gold's passing. "Love always, Ru."

According to a tweet from Ru, the two spoke only days ago. Others have also posted of the passing with drag performer and politician Marti Gould Cummings describing Gold as a trailblazer.

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