Cherry Valentine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cherry Valentine
Cherry Valentine 2020.jpg
Cherry Valentine in 2020
Born
George Ward

(1993-11-30)30 November 1993[1]
Darlington, England
Died18 September 2022(2022-09-18) (aged 28)
Alma materUniversity of Cumbria
Occupation
Years active2018–2022
Television

George Ward (30 November 1993 – 18 September 2022), better known by the stage name Cherry Valentine, was an English drag queen and mental health nurse. He was best known for competing in the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK and for the BBC documentary Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud.

Career[edit]

Ward was expected to follow in his father's career footsteps and become a mechanic.[2] Ward was introduced to Manchester's drag scene while studying mental health nursing[2] at the University of Cumbria.[3] Ward chose "Cherry Valentine" as the name for his drag alter-ego after considering other names.[4] Ward qualified as a mental health nurse in 2015[5] and began performing as Cherry Valentine in 2016 while still working as a nurse, focusing on children's psychiatric intensive care and adults with Huntington's disease.[2]

In December 2020, Cherry Valentine was announced as one of twelve contestants competing in the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK.[6] In an interview for the show she said working as a nurse "has put me in that right position where I'm able to understand people a bit more, and if you're a drag queen, you're working with people. By understanding people, you're going the extra mile".[5] When filming for the show was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ward returned to work in National Health Service (NHS) to assist in COVID-19 relief efforts and the UK's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.[7]

Cherry Valentine was eliminated in the second episode in a lip sync against contestant Tayce to the song "Memory" by Elaine Paige from the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats.[2] In the series' Queens on Lockdown special exploring the contestants' lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cherry Valentine discussed returning to work in the NHS.[8] Alongside fellow eliminated contestants Joe Black and Asttina Mandella, she was brought back in the fifth episode (and first filmed post-lockdown) "The RuRuvision Song Contest" for a chance to return to the competition, replacing Veronica Green who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID. However the remaining contestants voted for Joe Black to return and thus Cherry Valentine remained eliminated.[9] She made her final appearance on the series in the grand finale alongside the other eliminated contestants.[10]

In February 2022, Cherry Valentine embarked on RuPaul's Drag Race UK: The Official Tour alongside the entire cast of Series 2, in association with World of Wonder and promoter Voss Events.[11][12]

Personal life and death[edit]

Ward grew up in an English Traveller community in Darlington, County Durham, in the north-east of England,[13] and is the only drag queen of Romani heritage to appear on the Drag Race franchise.[14][15] Discussing his background on Drag Race UK, Ward said he grew up in a strict environment where drag was not accepted and hid his Traveller heritage in the LGBTQIA+ community out of fear that he might receive "hate or backlash". Speaking to fellow Drag Race contestant Sister Sister, he said, "Growing up [being gay] did affect me. I don't think I was completely sane at all."[16]

Ward came out by writing a letter to his parents before running away from home for a week, after which his parents individually took him for a drive and talked but did not discuss his sexual orientation after that incident.[2] Ward left home when he was 18, although he returned to the Traveller community for a 2022 documentary, Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud.[13] Ward was genderfluid, and used he/they pronouns when not in drag.[17]

Ward died on 18 September 2022, at age 28.[18] No cause of death was given.[19] Following the announcement of his death, numerous Drag Race alumni paid tribute to him, including fellow second series contestants Asttina Mandela, A'Whora, Bimini Bon-Boulash, Ellie Diamond, Ginny Lemon, Joe Black, Lawrence Chaney, Sister Sister, Tayce, and Tia Kofi, as well as Priyanka and Sum Ting Wong. RuPaul described him as a "bright star and a lovely person" who would "always be in [their] hearts", and Michelle Visage said Ward was "one of a kind with a laugh as big as [his] heart".[20][21]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref
2021 RuPaul's Drag Race UK Contestant Series 2 (12th place) [6]
2022 Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud Herself BBC Documentary [22]
God Shave the Queens Series 2 [23][24]

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Ref
2021 "My House" Jodie Harsh [25]
"Aesthetic" Cherry Valentine [26]
"Good Ones" (Drag Performance Video) Charli XCX [27]

Discography[edit]

Year Title Artist Album Notes
2021 "Aesthetic" Cherry Valentine Non-album Single [26]

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"A Little Bit of Love"[28]
(among The Cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Series 2)
2021 Non-album single

Stage[edit]

Year Title Promoter Locations Ref
2021 Squirrel Friends Klub Kids London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle [29]
Tales of the Condemned Throne Events Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Watford and Brighton [30]
2022 RuPaul's Drag Race UK: The Official Tour Voss Events / World of Wonder Ipswich, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bournemouth, Southend, Manchester, Sheffield, Blackpool, Llandudno, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Basingstoke, Portsmouth, Plymouth, London, Derby, Bristol, Bradford, Aberdeen, Southampton, Stockton, Brighton and Newport [11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2022 The WOWIE Awards Best Instagram (The Curated Feed Award) Self Nominated [31][32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vlessing, Etan (23 September 2022). "'RuPaul's Drag Race U.K.' Contestant George Ward, Known as Cherry Valentine, Dies at 28". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "George Ward, mental health nurse who as Cherry Valentine lit up RuPaul's Drag Race UK – obituary". The Telegraph. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  3. ^ Ovens, Eleanor (24 September 2022). "University of Cumbria graduate and Drag Race star dies aged 28". The Mail. Archived from the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  4. ^ "21 questions with Drag Race UK's Cherry Valentine". Attitude. 23 July 2021. Archived from the original on 26 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  5. ^ a b Meet Cherry Valentine | RuPaul's Drag Race UK Series 2, archived from the original on 23 September 2022, retrieved 7 May 2021
  6. ^ a b "Meet The Queens of RPDR UK S2!". BBC. Archived from the original on 16 December 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Drag Race UK: Cherry Valentine tells of 'rollercoaster' year". BBC News. 14 January 2021. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  8. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race UK: Queens on Lockdown". BBC iPlayer. Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  9. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race U.K. Recap, Season 2 Episode 5". Vulture. 11 February 2021. Archived from the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  10. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race UK Season 2 Grand Finale Recap Episode 10". Vulture. 18 March 2021. Archived from the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  11. ^ a b "RuPaul's Drag Race UK Tour". Voss Events. Archived from the original on 1 May 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  12. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race UK: The Official Tour". Data Thistle. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  13. ^ a b Ravindran, Manori (23 September 2022). "'RuPaul's Drag Race U.K.' Contestant George Ward, Known as Cherry Valentine, Dies at 28". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  14. ^ Hansford, Amelia (25 September 2022). "Cherry Valentine shut down arguments over child-friendly drag in most perfect way". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 25 September 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  15. ^ "Cherry Valentine, 'Drag Race UK' Star, Nurse, and Advocate, Dies at 28". Them. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 28 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  16. ^ Day, Harvey (22 January 2021). "Drag Race UK's Cherry Valentine on the 'fabulous' Traveller women in their family who inspire their drag". BBC Three. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  17. ^ Mustafa, Tanyel (13 June 2022). "LGBTQ+ people share what makeup means to them". Metro. Archived from the original on 20 June 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  18. ^ "Cherry Valentine: Drag Race UK star George Ward dies". BBC News. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Cherry Valentine, star of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, dies aged 28". The Guardian. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  20. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race queens pay tribute to Cherry Valentine following tragic death". Digital Spy. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  21. ^ "RuPaul and Michelle Visage pay tribute to Drag Race UK's Cherry Valentine, dead at 28". PinkNews. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  22. ^ Brocklehurst, Harrison (25 January 2022). "We spoke to Drag Race UK's Cherry Valentine about her 'emotional' new documentary". The Tab. Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  23. ^ "Cherry Valentine – Season 2". WOW Presents Plus. Archived from the original on 28 September 2022. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Cherry Valentine, Star of Drag Race UK Season 2, Dies at 28". 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  25. ^ Jodie Harsh (5 March 2021), Jodie Harsh – My House (Official Video), archived from the original on 12 March 2021, retrieved 21 March 2021
  26. ^ a b AESTHETIC – OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO | CHERRY VALENTINE, archived from the original on 7 May 2021, retrieved 7 May 2021
  27. ^ Will Lavin (1 November 2021). "'RuPaul's Drag Race UK' stars share Halloween performance of Charli XCX's 'Good Ones'". NME. Archived from the original on 26 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  28. ^ A Little Bit of Love (Cast Version) [feat. The Cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Season 2] by RuPaul, archived from the original on 5 May 2021, retrieved 20 March 2021
  29. ^ "Klub Kids London presents SQUIRREL FRIENDS (ages 14+)". Eventbrite. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  30. ^ "Cherry Valentine on Instagram: "The Tales of The Condemned – Tour coming October 2021! 🦇 You think you've seen spooky!? You've seen nothing yet!! 😈 So excited for you all to see this show, it makes me physically SCREAM! The acts, the energy, the way that a queer stage show like this has never been done in the UK… the HORROR! The things we have planned… Grab your tickets from @throneeventsuk & there's a link in my bio! 🖤 Featuring: @theonlymadd @misterjoeblack @charitykase @thecherryvalentine @iamblackpeppa @whiplash_4_u @theothergisele @saki_yew @baileyjmills99 @pecsdragkings @sapphire_burns @itsbexhill PLUS professional dancers, fire dancing, paranormal activities, & more still to be announced!!"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  31. ^ Nguyen, Nikki (2 May 2022). "World of Wonder's 2022 WOWIE Awards at DragCon: Cast Your Votes Now!". World of Wonder. Archived from the original on 2 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Here Are World of Wonder's 2022 WOWIE Awards Winners". World of Wonder. 16 May 2022. Archived from the original on 16 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.