Jonny McGovern was in a very emotional state when he kicked off the new season of Hey Qween. It began with him paying tribute to his longtime friend & costar Lady Red Couture (Kareemia Baines) who tragically passed away in July at the age of 43.
“Well here we are. Starting a new season of Hey Qween without Lady Red,” he began. “To be honest it’s somewhere I never thought I would be.”
“Hey Qween started with me and Lady Red and a glittery futon and was built on our chemistry and friendship and to be honest its been extremely hard to imagine continuing this show without her,” Jonny continued. “And it will never be the same. There’s absolutely no way that it could be.”
“The energy and the love that we had was something irreplaceable and has been personally devastating for me,” he said while getting choked up. “And for all of you. Because she was such a special person. But I know that when I’m at my lowest that Lady Red would want me to take a deep breath and be strong and carry on and honey that’s what we’re going to do.”
“Lady Red I love you and I miss you and I know you’ll always be with us here,” Jonny concluded his dedication while asking Hey Qween fans to accept the new season with “kindness and love in the spirit in which Lady Red would want you to.”
Hey Qween‘s first episode featured mainstays Adam Joseph and Erickatoure Aviance as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 alumni Gigi Goode.
Lady Red’s death was not COVID related but something due to an ongoing chronic illness according to Jonny. Her effervescent spirit, humorous nature and larger than life personality were some of the many reasons why Hey Qween became a smashing success over the years outside of the bevy of fabulous guests they had each week.
After her death Jonny & Adam Joseph created Flowers: Songs to Lady Red, an EP dedicated to their beloved friend.
They also created a Lady Red Memorial Special that debuted in November. It featured some of her most vibrant moments while other legendary drag queens from Honey Davenport to Coco Peru paid beautiful tributes to her.