How did Cherry Valentine die? RuPaul's Drag Race star George Ward dead at 28

Cherry Valentine, whose legal name was George Ward, had gained fame on the second season of the popular TV show

How did Cherry Valentine die? RuPaul's Drag Race star George Ward dead at 28
Cherry Valentine has died at 28 (Photo via @thecherryvalentine/Instagram)
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LONDON, UK: RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine died on Sunday, September 18, aged 28. Valentine, whose legal name was George Ward, had gained fame on the second season of the popular and hit TV show. Ward's family confirmed the news of his death via a tribute issued on Friday. 

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"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 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. 30 November 1993 - 18 September 2022," the tribute by Ward's family read. 

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News of Cherry's death has garnered shocked reactions from fans and colleagues who had worked with him closely. "RIP Cherry Valentine. A brilliant drag performer who did so much for this world both as a nurse, and as representation for the gypsy community. A profound loss," Jack Remmington tweeted. A fan tweeted, "RIP Cherry Valentine. Not only were you an incredible drag queen on #DragRaceUK , you were a frontline nurse in the NHS who helped save so many lives! I know the documentary you did, about growing up gay within the traveller community, will have helped so many people!!"

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Fellow co-star from Drag Race UK Cheryl Hole wrote, "I never thought I’d have to write something like this about such a talented and beautiful person that was Cherry. We have lost an incredible queen and I’m honestly devastated! RIP @TheCValentine I LOVE YOU".


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A fan account for RuPaul's Drag Race UK posted a tribute that read, "We are utterly heartbroken to hear the shocking news that Cherry Valentine has died. As we try and process this news, our first thoughts are with their loved ones. Sending our love and condolences to their family and friends. RIP Cherry #CherryValentine #DragRaceUK "


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George was certified as a mental health nurse in 2015 before beginning his career in drag. The successful BBC documentary 'Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud' was another reason for his fame. It narrates his life after coming out as a homosexual in the gypsy community at the age of 18. According to the program's summary, George left the Gypsy community at the age of 18. When he revealed that he was gay, he felt rejected.

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"Leaving his Gypsy identity behind, he invented Cherry Valentine, a drag alter ego. Now, he wants to find out if he can be accepted as a queer Gypsy and feel proud," the documentary narrated. George's career peaked on Drag Race, but he also had appearances in music videos for well-known musicians like Charli XCX.

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