After a lengthy battle with breast cancer, Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding has died at the age of 39.
Breaking the news on the singer’s Instagram, Harding’s mum Marie described her daughter as a “bright shining star” who “fought strongly” against cancer. “I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year,” Marie wrote, adding that the well wishes of fans and friends “meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.”
Stars such as Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen, Alesha Dixon, Ducan James, and Natalie Appleton shared their condolences in the comments, with many noting Harding’s shining personality. “She was always kind and so much fun to be around,” Cotton wrote. “Sarah was AMAZING to me and I will really miss seeing her lovely face,” James added.
Harding was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2020, but by August the cancer had spread to other parts of her body. “I’m fighting as hard as I possibly can,” the singer wrote on Instagram at the time as she was undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions.
Harding’s fellow Girls Aloud band members Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle led tributes to the singer, and Cheryl followed soon after.
Roberts shared photos of the two together, and wrote “I’m absolutely devastated and I can’t accept this day has come. My heart is aching and all day everything we went through together has raced round my mind.” She added that the new memories they’ve made together since her diagnosis were “strong in [her] heart”.
“A part of me or us isn’t here anymore and it’s unthinkable and painful and utterly cruel,” Roberts continued. “Electric girl, you made us. You gave it everything and still with a smile.”
Coyle echoed Roberts’ sentiments, adding that she “can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl & what she means to me.”
Cheryl said that she was at a “loss for words” at the news that their “stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft hearted girl” had passed.
On Twitter, Harding’s ex-partner Calum Best recalled their “crazy fun times” together when they were an item in 2005.
Celebs and friends of Harding like Martin Kemp, Ant & Dec, and Vernon Kay shared their love for the musician. “You’ll be remembered for the light and joy you brought to the world,” Halliwell wrote of Harding.
Harding and the rest of Girls Aloud initially found fame by winning Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, and the show’s host Davina McCall and judges Geri Horner, Louis Walsh, and Pete Waterman also gave their condolences. McCall described the singer as a “hugely fun and outgoing” person who was “yet also somehow fragile”.
Walsh expressed his memories in an interview with Independent.ie, saying he remembers “only laughs with her and she loved life and music. It’s just unfair she is gone so young.” Waterman described Harding as “really fantastically bubbly”, and that she “was a lovely lovely person.”
Fellow musician Kym Marsh shared her memories of Harding, who noted that while she wasn’t extremely close to the Girls Aloud member, she too knew “how fun and kind she really was.”
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