Drag Race stars and viewers have been paying their respects to George Ward, also known as Cherry Valentine, after it was announced that they had died.
He passed away on Sunday (18 September), with his death described as a “profound shock” by his loved ones.
“It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away,” said a statement from Ward’s family.
“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.”
Ward was raised in Darlington, County Durham and was a member of the Traveller community.
He rose to fame after appearing on the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK before fronting the BBC documentary, Gypsy Queen and Proud.
“As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same,” his family continued.
“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.”
Season two co-star Tia Kofi was among those paying tribute to the late star.
Completely devastated and shook by the news about our friend Cherry. She was extremely kind, generous and talented. 🍒❤️
— Tia Kofi (@TiaKofi) September 23, 2022
“Completely devastated and shook by the news about our friend Cherry. She was extremely kind, generous and talented,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Please share your memories in the Book of Condelence and contribute to the fundraiser for her vigil here – https://throneeventsuk.com.”
Divina De Campo also paid their respects to Ward, adding: “This is terribly sad. Such a sweetheart who had achieved so much for her communities. Condolences to everyone who knew her. So shocked.”
— TheVivienne (@THEVIVIENNEUK) September 23, 2022
Season one winner The Vivienne said she has “no words, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of your family”.
Sum Ting Wong shared that she was in tears over Ward’s passing.
“My cab just stopped for a second at a sign pointing to ‘gypsy hill’ and I started crying again ffs,” they continued. “Everyone check in on your friends and loved ones, you never when’s your last chance x.”
My cab just stopped for a second at a sign pointing to “gypsy hill” and I started crying again ffs. Everyone check in on your friends and loved ones, you never when’s your last chance x
— JustSum @ Twitch.TV/JustSum (@IsSumTingWong) September 23, 2022
You can learn more about remembering Cherry Valentine here and see how others paid tribute to her below:
I’m in shock at the news and the passing of my dear sister cherry! Love you sister! Xx
— Ellie Diamond (@elliediamond101) September 23, 2022
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 ❤️🌹 pic.twitter.com/AI3mWYy7HB
— Cheryl Hole (@CherylHoleQueen) September 23, 2022
Cherry was the best of us.
She wasn’t just a fierce entertainer, she taught us. She was constantly teaching us and showing us how it was done.
Our principled, strong, clever, kind, gracious, brave, respectful and respected Sister.
— Elektra Fence ⚡️ (@ElektraFence) September 23, 2022
So Handsome and so Talented.😣💔
— Alyssa “The Trade” Hunter (@TheAlyssaHunter) September 23, 2022
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. 💔
— RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Fans (@rpdrukfans) September 23, 2022
— Asttina Mandella (@AsttinaMandella) September 23, 2022
RIP Cherry Valentine 🥺 thank you for bringing so much fun & laughter during quarantine ❤️ pic.twitter.com/r4WRBqMJo5
— laura♈️ (@lust4lifelaura) September 23, 2022
This is terribly sad. Such a sweetheart who had achieved so much for her communities. Condolences to everyone who knew her. So shocked. https://t.co/Ne3isO1q34
— Divina De Campo stream DECODED (@Divinadecampo) September 23, 2022
A very sad day, Cherry was a true talent and incredibly sweet. Wishing my heartfelt condolences to all of her family, friends and all of her Season 2 sisters ♥️ https://t.co/TM8PSMJx43
— Pixie Polite 🧚🏻 (@PolitePixie) September 23, 2022
We're so saddened to hear about Cherry Valentine.
We were lucky to work with Cherry, who was fiercely dedicated to supporting LGBT+ young people and raising awareness of those in both the LGBT+ and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Our thoughts are with her loved ones ❤️ pic.twitter.com/D54B9dCUCI
— Just Like Us (@JustLikeUsUK) September 23, 2022
— 𝕲𝖔𝖙𝖍𝖞 (@gothykendoll) September 23, 2022
I’m crying so much and I’m also laughing at all the happy memories. So many happy happy memories, the “tour time portal”, the broken nail, and all those “silly silly girls” and I’ll never forget the 9am goodnight hug.
Cherry my darling, I love you so much, my heart is broken. pic.twitter.com/DmnNv8r3vQ
— Ginny Lemon (@GinnyLemon69) September 23, 2022
At a loss for words. One of those souls so pure, so raw, so real. I’m incredibly lucky to have known George and witnessed their infectious spirit. Their patience and kindness was their superpower. They saw you for you and not many people have that empathetic trait. My heart 💔🍒
— BÎмÎηÎ (@biminibabes) September 23, 2022
— VINEGAR STROKES (@TheOnlyVinegar) September 23, 2022
If there is a heaven, Chi Chi DeVayne and Cherry Valentine will be planning to put on the gig of the century. What a show it would be. pic.twitter.com/d8rXt015lv
— Matt (@gamesetandmatt) September 23, 2022
— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) September 23, 2022
🍒 #CherryValentine Rest In Power
🏳️🌈 What a beautiful & fantastic person, full of fun, happy to say & take a photo, not a fan of big wheel at the fair. pic.twitter.com/JPoFu2GazF
— Dave Byrne 🇺🇦 (@Davebyrne07) September 23, 2022
I’m in shock and not quite sure how to process the news. 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. pic.twitter.com/ZiJ7mY5DJ6
— Joe Black (@misterjoeblack) September 23, 2022
Rest in Peace to one of the most talented and beautiful queens in the world! Cherry Valentine you will be so so so missed! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ubgIzsoqcA
— Seddera Side⚡️ (@sedderaside) September 23, 2022