Cherry Valentine has unfortunately passed away.
The drag star, known legally as George Ward, died Sunday, although specifics regarding cause of death are not known at this time. The 28-year-old’s family explained to BBC in a statement:
“It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George — Cherry Valentine — has tragically passed away. This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced. As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same. We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.”
Related: Drag Star Valencia Prime Collapses & Dies During Performance
What a loss! And at such a young age.
Valentine was prominently known for appearing on season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK back in 2020 — after which they quickly skyrocketed to stardom with their OWN television career, eventually landing the BBC documentary, Gypsy Queen and Proud.
World of Wonder, the production company behind Drag Race, also shared their condolences early Friday. They posted this tribute:
— World of Wonder (@WorldOfWonder) September 23, 2022
The performer had previously worked as a certified mental health nurse in 2015 before discovering their affinity for the drag scene. They defined Cherry as “dark,” “gothic,” and all encompassing of “glamor.” The drag star even appeared in a music video alongside singer Charli XCX.
What a robust career. George AND Cherry will be greatly missed. Rest in peace.
[Images via Cherry Valentine/Instagram & BBC Three/YouTube]