RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28

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By stefan armitage

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George Ward - perhaps better known to fans under their drag stage name Cherry Valentine - has passed away at the age of 28.

Ward's family confirmed that the performer - who shot to fame following their appearance on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race UK - passed away on Sunday.

A statement from the family reads: "It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away."

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Credit: PA Images / Alamy

The statement continues: "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."

During their appearance on the hit reality show, Ward - who is originally from Darlington - was praised for speaking proudly about their family's Traveller heritage.

Discussing the decision to embark into the world of drag, Valentine said: "I‘m really proud of my heritage, and I love my family more than anything... but there comes a point where you realize it’s your life, and you shouldn’t live your life for other people."

And in a subsequent interview with the BBC, Ward revealed that much of their inspiration for drag came from their women in the family.

"All the women in my family are absolutely fabulous." Ward said. "I remember growing up they would always wear heels to go to the corner shop and wear fabulous makeup, of course. That really pushed me to be more polished and to be more glamorous."

Ward - who would go by Georgie out of drag - also revealed that they hoped their story is a reminder that LGBTQI+ individuals can be found in every sort of community.

"There's LGBTQ+ people everywhere, no matter what community you're in. No matter who you are," they told the BBC. "I hope the message that comes across is to accept yourself first and then don't really care about what other people think."

Outside of drag, Ward worked as a mental health nurse, and once explained: "If you are a drag queen you are working with people. And to understand people I think you go the extra mile."

Following their appearance on the show, Ward - who the BBC reports identifies as gender fluid - appeared in a 2022 documentary called Gypsy Queen And Proud to discuss growing up in a Traveller community and then transitioning to art of drag.

Our thoughts go out to Ward's family, friends, and fans at this time.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow...

Featured image credit: PA Images / Alamy

RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

George Ward - perhaps better known to fans under their drag stage name Cherry Valentine - has passed away at the age of 28.

Ward's family confirmed that the performer - who shot to fame following their appearance on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race UK - passed away on Sunday.

A statement from the family reads: "It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away."

size-large wp-image-1263170139
Credit: PA Images / Alamy

The statement continues: "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."

During their appearance on the hit reality show, Ward - who is originally from Darlington - was praised for speaking proudly about their family's Traveller heritage.

Discussing the decision to embark into the world of drag, Valentine said: "I‘m really proud of my heritage, and I love my family more than anything... but there comes a point where you realize it’s your life, and you shouldn’t live your life for other people."

And in a subsequent interview with the BBC, Ward revealed that much of their inspiration for drag came from their women in the family.

"All the women in my family are absolutely fabulous." Ward said. "I remember growing up they would always wear heels to go to the corner shop and wear fabulous makeup, of course. That really pushed me to be more polished and to be more glamorous."

Ward - who would go by Georgie out of drag - also revealed that they hoped their story is a reminder that LGBTQI+ individuals can be found in every sort of community.

"There's LGBTQ+ people everywhere, no matter what community you're in. No matter who you are," they told the BBC. "I hope the message that comes across is to accept yourself first and then don't really care about what other people think."

Outside of drag, Ward worked as a mental health nurse, and once explained: "If you are a drag queen you are working with people. And to understand people I think you go the extra mile."

Following their appearance on the show, Ward - who the BBC reports identifies as gender fluid - appeared in a 2022 documentary called Gypsy Queen And Proud to discuss growing up in a Traveller community and then transitioning to art of drag.

Our thoughts go out to Ward's family, friends, and fans at this time.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow...

Featured image credit: PA Images / Alamy