'Drag Race' stars tell of their 'shock' after Cherry Valentine dies at 28

·Contributor
·3 min read
Drag Artist Cherry Valentine on Ladies Day during the Cazoo Derby Festival 2022 at Epsom Racecourse, Surrey. Picture date: Friday June 3, 2022. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
Drag performer Cherry Valentine has died. (Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

Drag Race stars have told of their shock following the death of series two's Cherry Valentine.

The star - real name George Ward - passed away on Sunday at the age of 28.

Joe Black, who was on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK alongside Ward last year, posted snaps of them on Twitter.

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"I’m in shock and not quite sure how to process the news," Black said.

"RIP Cherry. I will cherish the times we had together. An exceptional artist and person. My love goes out to their friends and family and everyone who knew them."

Ellie Diamond, who was in the same series, tweeted: "I’m in shock at the news and the passing of my dear sister Cherry!

"Love you sister! Xx."

The show tweeted several snaps and wrote: "We are heartbroken that Cherry has passed away.

"She was 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 BBC said they were "devastated" to hear the news.

And BBC Three controller Fiona Campbell added: “We are all shocked and heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of George, known to many as Cherry Valentine.

"A fan favourite and an inspiration to so many, we were privileged to have worked with him at BBC Three."

Lorraine Kelly tweeted: "Such sad news.

"A beautiful person inside and out."

Drag Artist Cherry Valentine on Ladies Day during the Cazoo Derby Festival 2022 at Epsom Racecourse, Surrey. Picture date: Friday June 3, 2022.
The performer was 28. (PA)

Ward was raised in County Durham as part of the Traveller community and they qualified as a mental health nurse in 2015.

After Drag Race they went on to make a documentary about their heritage, entitled Gypsy Queen And Proud.

Ward's family announced the sad news in a statement, saying: "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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“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.”

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