British drag queen Cherry Valentine, real name George Ward, died on Sunday, her family announced on Friday. Aged 28, he “died tragically”, according to the terms of the family press release, without further details being given on the circumstances of his death.
A nurse in a psychiatric hospital, George Ward had become famous in the United Kingdom by participating in the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, the British version of Drag Race France, in the guise of his alter ego Cherry Valentine. A member of the Traveler community, he then participated in a BBC reality docu-drama titled “Gypsy Queen And Proud” (Proud Gypsy Queen), in which he returned to the community in his drag-drag guise. queen.
A shower of tributes
Many participants in the show around the world paid tribute to him. “It always hurts to lose one of us”, lamented on Instagram Nicky Doll, presenter of Drag Race France and ex-candidate of the American version of the program. Word of Wonder, the group that produces the show, also reacted on Instagram: “As an artist, nurse and activist, Cherry will forever be a cherished member of the Drag Race family. »
The production also points out that “Cherry’s irresistibly infectious love and laughter touched so many people”. Cherry Valentine is the third program participant to have died, following Sahara Davenport in 2012 and Chi Chi DeVayne in 2020.