Kailia Posey, who starred in Toddlers and Tiaras, has died at the age of 16.
The news was announced on Facebook by Marcy Posey Gatterman, who wrote that she didn’t have the ‘words or any thoughts’ to describe her loss.
‘I don’t have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone,’ she wrote, sharing a picture of her daughter in a dazzling gown.
‘Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.’ Her cause of death was not mentioned.
A week ago, Kailia celebrated her 16th birthday, sharing a post on Instagram with her loved ones to mark the occasion.
The late teenager was best known for starring on Toddlers and Tiaras, which followed young children and their parents as they competed in beauty pageants.
Many people will recognise Kailia from a viral gif from the TV programme, when she was filmed grinning mischievously at the camera.
In 2019, she shared a video on YouTube recreating the moment, giggling as others laughed in the background.
Tributes have come flooding in to commemorate Kailia’s memory, with one from a pageant speaking coach who worked with her reading: ‘I have experienced alot of loss in my life, but this one stings differently. Kailia was one the funnest and funniest young ladies that I have ever worked with in my coaching career.
‘We just exchanged some fun messages recently and she seemed up in spirits. She had such an open care free spirit that had to caught fire everywhere that she went.’
America’s Got Talent magician Kadan Bart Rockett left a comment on Kailia’s last Instagram post, which she shared in late April, writing: ‘Can’t even believe this has happened. I’m praying for you guys to get through this. She always was so kind to all of us. Rest In Peace.’
Another Instagram user wrote: ‘Thank you for being someone to look up to Kailia. Rest in peace.’
‘You’ll be missed, rest easy pretty girl,’ someone else said, as another commented: ‘My heart is absolutely shattered. i love and miss you forever, rest easy and fly high Kailia.’
In an old clip from Toddlers and Tiaras, Marcy described her then 10-year-old daughter as a ‘cuddly puppy’ and a ‘spicy little monkey’.
She explained how Kailia started doing pageants when she was three years old, adding that while her daughter said she was nervous, she was a ‘pro’ the second she arrived on stage.