Drag Race UK star Tayce paid tribute to Cherry Valentine after her sudden death with a heartfelt lip sync to Elaine Paige song Memory.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine – real name George Ward – unexpectedly passed away on September 18, rocking the drag community. Tributes poured in for the 28-year-old as she was one of the season’s most memorable competitors, despite exiting in episode 2.
Cherry Valentine, who hailed from Darlington, was kicked off Drag Race after she lost her lip sync battle to Tayce. Pouring her heart out to Elaine Paige classic Memory, from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, Cherry was ultimately no match for Tayce’s expressive rendition.
However, in a tribute to her fellow drag queen, the Drag Race runner-up revisited her iconic performance – and it certainly got Elaine’s approval.
Watch Tayce’s touching lip sync tribute to Cherry Valentine
The lip sync performance of Memory by Tayce, 28, in honour of Cherry Valentine wrapped the final show of her Assassination Tour.
Dressed in black and yellow – the same colours Cherry sported on her final Drag Race stage – the Queerpiphany star was even more haunting than the time she was fighting to remain on the show. Tayce was visibly emotional at the climax of the song.
Watch the performance below:
Cherry Valentine’s death was confirmed on September 23 in a statement issued by his parents.
“It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness we inform you our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away,” the message read. “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.”
Tayce’s moving lip sync leaves Elaine Paige with a tear in her eye
Elaine Paige got wind of Tayce’s emotional performance and admitted it brought a “tear to my eye”.
The Cats star tweeted: “I was sent this tribute performed by Tayce in honour of Drag Race UK’s Cherry Valentine (George Ward), who recently died at the age of 28. I was told Tayce and Cherry lip synced Memory at the end of each show on the Series 2 Tour. It’s rare [that] my own song brings a tear to my eye.”
The drag queen replied: “Awww, thank you.”
Fans were keen to pay their tributes, too.
“Tayce performing Memories in honour of Cherry Valentine passing away is so heartwarming,” one fan wrote.
“[Drag Race] UK 2 cast really proved they’re SISTERS the way they’re being supportive to each other,” someone else commented. “Cherry’s family and the fandom is super heartwarming. As long as they’re with us, Cherry’s legacy will carry on for sure. Rest in peace icon.”
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