rag performer George Ward, identified by his stage identify Cherry Valentine, has died on the age of 28, his household have introduced.
Ward, who died on Sunday, appeared on the second collection of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, earlier than launching a TV profession and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
A press release from his household mentioned: “It’s with essentially the most heart-wrenching and deepest disappointment to tell you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically handed away.
“This may come as a profound shock to most individuals and we perceive there isn’t a simple approach for this to be introduced.
“As his household, we’re nonetheless processing his loss of life and our lives won’t ever be the identical.
“We perceive how a lot he’s cherished and what number of lives he has impressed and touched. All we ask is to your endurance and your prayers on this time. We love you Georgie.”
Ward was raised in Darlington, County Durham as a part of the Traveller group and certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015, earlier than beginning his profession in drag.
In December 2020, Ward was introduced as one in every of 12 contestants competing within the second collection of the UK model of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In his introductory video for the present, he described his Cherry Valentine alter-ego as “glamour”, “darkish” and “gothic”.
He mentioned his work as a nurse had “put me in that proper place to have the ability to perceive individuals a bit extra.
“In case you are a drag queen you might be working with individuals. And to grasp individuals I feel you go the additional mile.”
After showing on the present, Ward joined with the BBC to supply a documentary exploring his Traveller heritage.
Within the 2022 particular, referred to as Gypsy Queen And Proud, he revisited the group he left aged 18.
He additionally carried out publicly and appeared in music movies by artists corresponding to Charli XCX.