RuPaul’s Drag Race star George Ward, best known by his stage name Cherry Valentine, has died at the age of 28, his family has announced.
The artist died on Sunday, but at the moment there is no cause of death.
Ward rose to fame after landing a spot on the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK — the British version of the popular American show.
After putting his name on the map, he embarked on a TV career and even had his own BBC documentary titled Gypsy queen and proud.
“It is with the most heartbreaking and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has passed away tragically,” Ward’s family said in a statement, according to the BBC.
“This will come as a big shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way to publicize this. As his family, we are still coping with his death and our lives will never be the same.”
“We understand how much he loves him and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is your patience and your prayers at this time. We love you Georgie,” the family added.
Ward worked as a licensed mental health nurse in 2015 before discovering his love of drag.
Ward announced his drag persona Cherry Valentine to the world, saying she defined “glamour” and could be described as “dark” and “gothic.”
His drag persona also saw him perform with Charli XCX, with whom he appeared in a music video.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission