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Girls Aloud lead tributes to ‘electric girl’ Sarah Harding after her ‘utterly cruel’ death

Patrick Kelleher September 6, 2021
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Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Cheryl Cole and Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud perform on stage on the first night of their "Girls Aloud - The Hits Tour 2013" tour.

Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Cheryl Cole and Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud perform on stage on the first night of their "Girls Aloud - The Hits Tour 2013" tour. (Dave J Hogan/Getty)

Girls Aloud members Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh have paid tribute to their “electric girl” Sarah Harding following her tragic death.

Sarah Harding first announced that she had been diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer in August 2020. She “slipped away peacefully” on Sunday morning (5 September) aged 39, her mother announced in an Instagram post.

The singer’s former Girls Aloud bandmates were among those who shared heart-wrenching tributes in the hours after her death.

Writing on Instagram on Sunday evening, Nicola Roberts said she was “absolutely devastated”, adding that she was struggling to accept the news.

“My heart is aching and all day everything we went through together has raced around my mind,” Roberts wrote.

“Especially this last year since her diagnosis, as hard as the year has been, our new memories are strong in my heart.

“There are so many things to say and at first it felt personal to put them here and then I remembered that there are so many other people grieving her too.”

She added: “A part of me or us isn’t here anymore and it’s unthinkable and painful and utterly cruel. She would have loved your messages today.”

 

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A post shared by Nicola Maria Roberts (@lilcola)

Addressing Harding directly, Roberts wrote: “Electric girl, you made us. You gave it everything and still with a smile.

“A white butterfly flew past my window this morning before I knew, it must have been you.”

Nadine Coyle shared her heartbreak on social media shortly after Sarah Harding’s mother confirmed her passing.

“I am absolutely devastated!!” Coyle wrote, alongside a picture of Sarah Harding. “I can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl & what she means to me!!

“I know so many of you will be feeling this way. For now I’m sending so much love to you!!!”

 

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A post shared by Nadine Coyle (@nadinecoyle)

Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding ‘lived and laughed so hard’

Kimberley Walsh heaped praise on Harding in an Instagram post on Monday morning (6 September), saying her “fire burned so bright”.

“To wake up and know that you are really gone is too much to bear,” Walsh wrote.

“Hearing your infectious chuckle was one of my favourite things in the world. Your fire burned so bright and you loved, lived and laughed so hard.

“Sending love and strength to everyone who is grieving today. My heart is broken.”

Writing on Instagram on Monday, Cheryl said she was “at a loss for words” following Harding’s death.

“Although we knew this day would arrive I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft hearted girl has departed,” Cheryl wrote.

“As I try to navigate my way through these painfully strange and horribly unfamiliar waves of disbelief & finality I am experiencing, I wanted to extend my condolences to all of our GA fans.”

Cheryl said fans’ “love and continued support” meant a great deal to Harding in her final months, adding: “She was so grateful and you really lifted her spirits when she needed you most.”

 

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A post shared by Cheryl (@cherylofficial)

There was an outpouring of grief across the entertainment industry on Sunday as news of Harding’s death broke.

Louis Walsh, who managed Girls Aloud, said in a statement that Harding was “always fun and the life and soul of the party”.

“Anytime she came to Dublin in the early days we went out to the Pod nightclub and would be the last to leave,” he wrote.

“It’s just so unfair, I was hoping she was getting better. She was fun and loved music, dancing and life. I will remember her with great fondness.”

Countless others shared tributes to the star, including Spice Girls legend Geri Horner and presenter Davina McCall.

Meanwhile, television presenter Kirstie Allsopp urged people to go and get checked for breast cancer in the wake of Harding’s death.

There was widespread shock and sadness when Harding’s mother Marie confirmed the singer’s death on Sunday (5 September).

“It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away,” Marie wrote.

“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.”

Girls Aloud star raised awareness about breast cancer in her final months

Sarah Harding skyrocketed to fame in 2002 when she competed on Popstars: The Rivals, which saw her winning a public vote to become a member of the newly-formed Girls Aloud.

The group went on to achieve enormous success, with 21 UK Top 10 singles over the course of their extraordinary career.

After the group split in 2013, Harding made a name for herself as an actor, taking on roles in Run for Your Wife and St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold.

She later appeared in a stage musical version of Ghost and went on to win Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.

Prior to her death, Sarah Harding opened up about her heartbreaking cancer diagnosis in her memoir Hear Me Out. In the book, the singer encouraged others to get checked for breast cancer.

She also released the solo track “Wear It Like A Crown” to raise much-needed funds for the foundation treating her cancer.

Related topics: Girls Aloud, Sarah Harding

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