RuPaul's Drag Race queens pay tribute to Cherry Valentine following tragic death

Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images
Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images

RuPaul's Drag Race stars have paid tribute to Cherry Valentine after she passed away.

It was announced today that the drag queen, also known as George Ward, has died at the age of 28. Cherry, who also worked as a mental health nurse for the NHS, appeared on the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

Following the tragic news, her season 2 sisters have paid tribute to her and set up a fund for a vigil.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

A'Whora wrote on her Instagram page: "I cannot even begin to process today's news. I have honestly never been so heartbroken and in a state of shock so much!

"I've lost not only a sister but someone who for the last seven months had become my best friend who I would call and text about everything and anything!

"We had so much planned and you had so much greatness ahead, and I know your legacy and talents will forever live on.

"I love you beyond words will ever understand! I will never stop being inspired by you and will continue to gift for your voice to be heard. I love you."

"I'm crying so much and I’m also laughing at all the happy memories," Ginny Lemon wrote.

"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."

Ellie Diamond shared a picture with Cherry, writing: "I am so sad to even begin thinking about posting this! Cherry brought so much life and laughs to whatever situation!

"Always someone who was caring and loving, her laugh lightened up a room like fireworks and will forever have a cherry red place in all our hearts! I love you my sister you will be missed!"

Joe Black also shared pictures of them together, writing: "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."

Sister Sister shared one of Joe's photos to her Instagram Stories, writing: "We are all going to miss you."

Lawrence Chaney and Tia Kofi also shared favourite photos of Cherry on Instagram Stories, with Tia also sharing a link to an online book of condolence where fans can share memories, stories and photos.

Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images
Photo credit: Shirlaine Forrest - Getty Images

Tayce also paid tribute to Cherry, writing: "Absolutely devastated & crying as I write this… I wanted to post a montage of pictures & videos but it's all too hard right now.

"I've never lost a friend before and it's a numbing feeling, but my thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to her family and absolute nearest & dearest.

"Cherry was a force, a touchstone, one of the sweetest, kindest and caring people I’ve ever met. She was a point of contact to anyone who needed help and inspired so many. Please look after each other, check in, and don't be afraid to ask for help ever. you never know what struggles people are going through. I love you George."

Asttina Mandella shared an Instagram reel of Cherry laughing during their time together on the show, with a cherry emoji, and a loop from Cherry's 'Meet the Queens' video.

Bimini also shared a tribute on Instagram Stories, writing: "I can't find the right words. I'm not sure they exist.

"You saw what others didn't and showed nothing but kindness, patience and grace. A pure soul. I'll cherish our memories and the things you taught me. You will continue to inspire me, forever."

Cherry's family confirmed the tragic news today (September 23) with a statement reading: "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 & 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."

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