The celebrities 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 identify is George Ward, gained reputation competing on the sophomore season of the spinoff collection, the place she was eradicated on the second episode. Ward’s publicist confirmed to The Occasions that he died on Sept. 18. A reason for dying was not confirmed.
“It’s with probably the most coronary heart wrenching and deepest unhappiness to tell you that our George — Cherry Valentine — has tragically handed away. It will come as a profound shock to most individuals & we perceive there is no such thing as a simple method for this to be introduced,” his household mentioned in a press release offered to The Occasions. “As his household, we’re nonetheless processing his dying and our lives won’t ever be the identical. We perceive how a lot he’s beloved and what number of lives he has impressed and touched.”
In January 2021, Cherry Valentine entered the workroom of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and instantly made a fellow queen chortle. Whereas making her grand entrance, Valentine bumped her elaborate headpiece against a door frame and practically knocked it down.
“Roses are pink and violets are blue, right here’s your winner of Season 2,” she mentioned after dismissing the mishap.
Earlier than debuting on “Drag Race UK,” the Darlington artist described Cherry Valentine as “glamour, she’s membership child, she’s darkish, she’s gothic.” Along with being a drag performer, Ward prided himself on his work as a psychological well being nurse.
“I feel it’s put me in that proper place to have the ability to perceive folks a bit extra, and in case you’re a drag queen, you’re working with folks, and to grasp folks I feel you go the additional mile,” he mentioned as Valentine.
The official “Drag Race UK” Twitter account remembered Valentine as a “form soul who introduced pleasure and a particular chortle to everybody she met.”
“She introduced aptitude, verve and allure to #DragRaceUK, we are going to miss her so deeply,” the show tweeted.
“Drag Race UK” Season 2’s Miss Congeniality winner, Bimini, mentioned Valentine was “a kind of souls so pure, so uncooked, so actual.”
“I’m extremely fortunate to have recognized George and witnessed their infectious spirit,” she tweeted. “Their endurance and kindness was their superpower. They noticed you for you and never many individuals have that empathetic trait. My coronary heart.”
See extra tributes from the “Drag Race” group beneath.
“As an artist, nurse and an activist Cherry will all the time stay a beloved member of our Drag Race household,” wrote “Drag Race” producer World of Wonder. “Cherry’s love and irresistibly infectious chortle touched the lives of so many.”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2″ winner Alaska tweeted, “My coronary heart is breaking for the lack of one among our sisters … We’ll miss you Cherry Valentine … I’m sending a lot like to her household and family members immediately …”