‘RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.’ contestant, Cherry Valentine, dies at 28

By George Johnson September 23, 2022
'RuPaul’s Drag Race' contestant known as Cherry Valentine, dies at 28

RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. contestant George Ward, known as Cherry Valentine, has died at 28, his family announced.

George Ward was born and raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community. 

In 2015, he worked as a mental health nurse before he started his drag journey on RuPaul's Drag Race U.K.

In December 2020, Ward took part in the second series of the UK version of RuPaul's Drag Race, broadcast on BBC Three.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ward's family revealed that he died on September 18 of unspecified causes.

 In a statement his family said, "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."

Ward appeared in Charli XCX's music video Good Ones, and also performed the single publicly.

He also starred in a 2022 BBC Three documentary Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, helmed by Peter Grant, which was about his love for travelling as a gypsy.

In the documentary, Ward revisited his gypsy community, which he left at the age of 18 after facing rejection for coming out as gay.