The stars and artists of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise are paying tribute to performer Cherry Valentine, a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” who died Sunday at age 28.
Valentine, whose actual title is George Ward, gained recognition competing on the sophomore season of the spinoff sequence, the place she was eradicated on the second episode. Ward’s publicist confirmed to The Times that he died on Sept. 18. A reason for dying was not confirmed.
“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 & we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced,” his household stated in a press release offered to The Times. “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.”
In January 2021, Cherry Valentine entered the workroom of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and instantly made a fellow queen giggle. While making her grand entrance, Valentine bumped her elaborate headpiece against a door frame and practically knocked it down.
“Roses are red and violets are blue, here’s your winner of Season 2,” she stated after disregarding the mishap.
Before debuting on “Drag Race UK,” the Darlington artist described Cherry Valentine as “glamour, she’s club kid, she’s dark, she’s gothic.” In addition to being a drag performer, Ward prided himself on his work as a psychological well being nurse.
“I think it’s put me in that right position to be able to understand people a bit more, and if you’re a drag queen, you’re working with people, and to understand people I think you go the extra mile,” he stated as Valentine.
The official “Drag Race UK” Twitter account remembered Valentine as a “kind soul who brought joy and a distinctive laugh to everyone she met.”
“She brought flair, verve and charm to #DragRaceUK, we will miss her so deeply,” the show tweeted.
Drag icon RuPaul remembered Valentine as a “bright star and a lovely person,” whereas inaugural “Drag Race UK” winner the Vivienne said she was speechless.
“Drag Race UK” Season 2’s Miss Congeniality winner, Bimini, stated Valentine was “one of those souls so pure, so raw, so real.”
“I’m incredibly lucky to have known George and witnessed their infectious spirit,” she tweeted. “Their patience and kindness was their superpower. They saw you for you and not many people have that empathetic trait. My heart.”
See extra tributes from the “Drag Race” group under.
“As an artist, nurse and an activist Cherry will always remain a beloved member of our Drag Race family,” wrote “Drag Race” producer World of Wonder. “Cherry’s love and irresistibly infectious laugh touched the lives of so many.”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2″ winner Alaska tweeted, “My heart is breaking for the loss of one of our sisters … We will miss you Cherry Valentine … I’m sending so much love to her family and loved ones today …”