‘Baldwin Hills’ Star Gerren Taylor Dead at 30

gerren taylor baldwin hills

Getty The cast of "Baldwin Hills" arrive at the 2008 BET Awards.

Gerren Taylor, known for being on BET’s reality show Baldwin Hills, has died. Taylor was 30-years-old. Her family hasn’t revealed her official cause of death. According to Essence, Taylor had been diagnosed with Lupus and was on dialysis at the time of her death but whether these issues were related to her death hasn’t been confirmed. Taylor died in her sleep. Taylor leaves behind a seven-year-old daughter, Miyoko.

Taylor, born Ashley Gerren Taylor, was a model and entrepreneur. At 12-years-old she became the youngest person ever to be represented by the runway division of L.A. Models, the Los Angeles Times reported. Taylor also was first African American in a Marc Jacobs ad campaign, the L.A Times also noted. She rose to fame when she starred on Baldwin Hills, which showcased the life of Black teenagers from wealthy families who lived in Baldwin Hills, which was deemed the “Black Beverly Hills.” IMDb described the show as:

Baldwin Hills is where BET and the lifestyles of rich and famous kids collide. It is sexy, cool and unlike any other show on television. Follow neighbors and sometimes friends as they face the fact that it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.

In 2008, she also starred in America the Beautiful, a documentary by Darryl Roberts about Taylor and her mother, Michele Gerren, that showed the young model trying to navigate an over-sexualized, vain modeling industry that she felt rejected by. After gaining some major firsts at a young age, Gerren traveled to Europe to find modeling work and was told she was “too big.”

“It was going so well, then when it stopped I didn’t know what I had done wrong,” she told the Times in 2008. “I was always so nice to people, I never turned my back on people.”

America the BeautifulIn a society where "celebutantes" like Paris Hilton dominate newsstands and models who weigh less than 90 pounds die from malnutrition, female body image is one of the more dire problems facing today's society. "America the Beautiful" illuminates the issue by covering every base. Child models, plastic surgery, celebrity worship, airbrushed advertising, dangerous cosmetics -…2012-08-14T23:17:07Z


Many Have Been Paying Tribute via Social Media

After Taylor’s death was announced, her friends began posting on social media to share their grief and pay tribute to the late star. Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood star, Mister Ray, who also starred on BET’s other reality show College Hill, shared his shock and sadness over Taylor’s death via Instagram.

“Just got the worst news ever and I’m still not processing it fully,” he wrote. “I’ve known @mstaylorxo since 2006, the #BaldwinHills cast was like the little sisters and brothers to #CollegeHill ❤️ I was sneaking her into parties with me 😂 She was one of the first people to reach out to me when I shared my alopecia diagnosis and she shared her’s with me. I ❤️ u. You will be missed. BET fam 🙏🏾❤️ Rest well love.”

Her former co-star, Moriah Johnson simply tweeted “Safe Travels Gerren” with a broken heart emoji.

Someone else who was inspired by Taylor tweeted: “Wow RIP to Gerren Taylor. Before she was on Baldwin Hills, she was a model and I was so shocked to see a black teen model in teen vogue that I cut her picture out and put it on my door. It’s still on my door at my dad‘s house. Praying for her daughter especially.”

READ NEXT: Nicki Minaj Sends Message to This ‘Love & Hip Hop’ Star