RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine (left) died suddenly at age 28, according to a statement issued by his family.
Valentine’s death comes nearly a week after another drag queen, Valencia Prime (right), dropped dead onstage during a drag performance. Prime was 25.
BBC Three, which airs RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK, released a statement that read, “we are devastated at the passing of George, who we also knew as Cherry Valentine.”
Valentine, who was born George Ward, died suddenly on September 18. No cause of death was disclosed by the family.
Valentine, who was trained as a RN, returned to work when RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stopped production during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I can’t just sit at home. I need to be doing something,” Valentine told Metro in 2021.
Another drag queen, Valencia Prime, died suddenly on September 12 while performing onstage at Tabu in Philadelphia, bar owner Jeffrey Sotland told NBC News.
Prime’s cause of death was not made public.
Tributes poured in on Facebook for both drag performers.
A drag queen named Brittany Lynn wrote on Facebook:
“Valencia Prime you will be sorely missed. You were always up for a gig or messaging me afterwards saying ‘good job sir.’ Out & About will always be dedicated to you and all that you did for everyone. Keep twirling ma’am.”
Others expressed concern that a mystery illness other than monkeypox is sweeping through the LGBT+ community.
A GoFundMe page raised more than $15,000 for Valencia Prime’s funeral expenses.