George Ward, who performed under the drag name Cherry Valentine, has died. He was 28.

His family announced his passing early Friday morning (Sept. 22).

"It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George — Cherry Valentine — has tragically passed away," his family shared in a statement.

The statement continued:

This will come as a profound shock to most people and 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. We love you Georgie.

See the message below:

In 2021, Ward appeared on the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K., on which he placed 12th.

In 2022, he appeared in the British documentary film Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud.

A RuPaul's Drag Race U.K. fan group paid tribute to Ward on social media following the announcement of his death.

"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," the group wrote.

Additionally, Vanessa Van Cartier, winner of Drag Race Holland Season 2, paid tribute to Ward by commenting "RIP ANGEL" on the drag star's final Instagram post, shared Sept. 14.

A fundraiser has raised more than $5,400 for a vigil in memory of Ward as of publishing.

Outside of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K., Ward appeared in several music videos, including Charli XCX's "Good Ones."

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