George Ward, aka British drag queen Cherry Valentine, has died at 28.
The star’s rep confirmed the sad news about the “RuPual’s Drag Race U.K.” Season 2 competitor on Instagram.
“Our hearts are broken to share the devastating news that our client George Ward (@thecherryvalentine) has sadly passed away,” read a post on the page of celebrity management and PR firm On the Box Talent.
“Our love and thoughts are with his parents who have issued the following statement: ‘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,’” the statement concluded.
Cherry Valentine was born in Darlington, England, in the Northeast of the country, and grew up in a travelers community.
He qualified as a mental health nurse in 2015, and worked for the U.K.’s National Health Service, helping with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Cherry Valentine was the first queen eliminated during Season 2 of “Drag Race.” A documentary about his life — “Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud” — was released earlier this year in the U.K. Ward also appeared in a show called “God Shave the Queens” Season 2.