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Tributes paid to Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding as 'shining star' dies aged 39

The singer had breast cancer.

Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud pictured at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016
Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud pictured at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Sep 5th 2021, 5:40 PM

GIRLS ALOUD SINGER Sarah Harding, 39, who had cancer, has died.

She was diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer in August 2020 and went public with her diagnosis to raise awareness of the disease.

On Instagram, her mother Marie wrote: “It is with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.

“Many of you will know of Sarah’s battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day. She slipped away peacefully this morning.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year. It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.

“I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead.”

Harding rose to fame after appearing on ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, forming Girls Aloud alongside Cheryl Tweedy (now Cole), Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh.

Tributes have been paid to Harding from pop stars and TV personalities.

Geri Horner of the Spice Girls wrote on Twitter: “Rest in peace, Sarah Harding. You’ll be remembered for the light and joy you brought to the world.”

Former Spandau Ballet member, Martin Kemp, tweeted: “Sarah Harding so sad, my heart goes out to all your friends and family and all your fans.”

Former Big Brother host, Davina McCall, wrote: “So so sad to hear about Sarah … a star from the get go, hugely fun and outgoing yet also somehow fragile … love to her family and friends.”

JLS star Oritse Williams, whose band emerged four years after Girls Aloud, shared a lengthy tribute online.

He tweeted: “Heartbreaking to hear that Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud has just passed away after a long battle with cancer.

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“The times we met she was always so bubbly, such a big beautiful personality. My sincerest sympathies and heart goes out to Sarah’s friends, family & band members.”

Hear Me Out

In March, Harding released her autobiography, Hear Me Out, saying she decided to go public about her illness to help others who might be worried about going to see a doctor, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an extract of her memoir, which was published in The Times, Harding wrote: “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last.

“I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that. Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now.”

Harding said she was “trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be”.

Contains reporting by Press Association

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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