Cherry Valentine is one of the 12 queens of Drag Race UK season two. (BBC)
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stars, including Bimini, The Vivienne, Tia Kofi and many more, have paid tribute to season two contestant Cherry Valentine, who has tragically passed away.
Their family announced their death in a statement, saying: “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.”
Cherry also appeared in the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen and Prouddiscussing their roots in the traveler community.
After news of Cherry’s death was made public on Friday (23 September), former contestants on the British spin-off of the franchise have shared their memories and condolences online.
We are heartbroken that Cherry has passed away. She was a kind soul who brought joy and a distinctive laugh to everyone she met. She brought flair, verve and charm to #DragRaceUKwe will miss her so deeply. pic.twitter.com/4LG7oHaVZj
— RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (@dragraceukbbc) September 23, 2022
Season two runner up Bimini described Cherry as “so pure, so raw, so real”.
At a loss for words. One of those souls so pure, so raw, so real. I’m incredibly lucky to have known George and witnessed their infectious spirit. Their patience and kindness was their superpower. They saw you for you and not many people have that empathetic trait. My heart
— BÎмÎηÎ (@biminibabes) September 23, 2022
More queens from Cherry Valentine’s season have shared their gorgeous memories of Cherry, including Tia Kofi, Ellie Diamond, Joe Black, Ginny Lemon and A’Whora.
Completely devastated and shook by the news about our friend Cherry. She was extremely kind, generous and talented.
Please share your memories in the Book of Condelence and contribute to the fundraiser for her vigil here – pic.twitter.com/kCRrchBY5i
— Tia Kofi (@TiaKofi) September 23, 2022
I’m in shock at the news and the passing of my dear sister cherry! Love you sister! xx
— Ellie Diamond (@elliediamond101) September 23, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/ZiJ7mY5DJ6
— Joe Black (@misterjoeblack) September 23, 2022
Ginny Lemon wrote that she was “devastated” and couldn’t “stop crying”, before posting an iconic photo of herself next to Cherry during season two’s final episode.
I’m crying so much and I’m also laughing at all the happy memories. 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.
Cherry my darling, I love you so much, my heart is broken. pic.twitter.com/DmnNv8r3vQ
— Ginny Lemon (@GinnyLemon69) September 23, 2022
A’Whora posted on her Instagram story: “I cannot even begin to process todays news, I honestly have 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 talent will live on forever.
“I love you beyond words will ever understand! I will never stop being inspired by you and will continue to fight for your voice to be heard!
“I love you. RIP.”
Other tributes have been paid by more contemporaries and fans of Cherry Valentine, including The Vivienne and various other Drag Race alumni.
— TheVivienne (@THEVIVIENNEUK) September 23, 2022
— VANITY MILAN (@ItsVanityMilan) September 23, 2022
Cherry was the best of us.
She wasn’t just a fierce entertainer, she taught us. She was constantly teaching us and showing us how it was done.
Our principled, strong, clever, kind, graceful, brave, respectful and respected Sister.
— Elektra Fence ️ (@ElektraFence) September 23, 2022
— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) September 23, 2022
— VINEGAR STROKES (@TheOnlyVinegar) September 23, 2022
I never thought I’d have to write something like this about such a talented and beautiful person that was Cherry. We have lost an incredible queen and I’m honestly devastated!
RIP @TheCValentine I LOVE YOU ️🌹 pic.twitter.com/AI3mWYy7HB
— Cheryl Hole (@CherylHoleQueen) September 23, 2022