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Girls Aloud stars pay tribute to 'stunning, unique, and kind' Sarah Harding

As a band Girls Aloud accrued four number ones including 'Sound of the Underground' and 'The Promise'.

2021-09-06

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram @sarahnicoleharding

Following the tragic passing of Sarah Harding over the weekend, her former Girls Aloud band members have been leading tributes to her on social media. The singer died on Sunday morning (5 September) aged 39 after a battle with cancer.

Girls Aloud - made up of Harding, Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, and Nicola Roberts - scored twenty consecutive UK Top Ten singles - including four number ones such as ‘Sound of the Underground’ and ‘The Promise’.

The group reunited in 2012 after a three-year hiatus for a greatest hits album and tour, before announcing their split in 2013.

“Stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft-hearted”

Cheryl led tributes on Instagram describing Harding as, “stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft hearted,” before reaching out to the band’s fans who she says helped Sarah through difficult times.

 
 
 
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A post shared by Cheryl (@cherylofficial)

Posting a similar image of Harding, Nadine Coyle said she’s “absolutely devastated”.

“I can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl & what she means to me!!", Coyle wrote. "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)

Kimberly Walsh shared an image of herself with Sarah saying Sarah’s “infectious chuckle” was one of her favourite things in the world.

She added: “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”.

In her tribute, Nicola Roberts said: “My heart is aching,” adding, “There are so many things to say and at first it felt too personal to put them here and then I remembered that there are so many other people grieving her too.”

To Sarah, she said: “You gave it everything and still with a smile.”

 
 
 
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A post shared by Nicola Maria Roberts (@lilcola)

Harding's mother Marie confirmed news of her daughter's passing on Sunday, writing on Instagram: "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."

Harding, who shot to fame on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 when the public voted her into Girls Aloud, publicly confirmed her diagnosis with breast cancer in August 2020.

The singer explained she had been diagnosed with the illness earlier that year, but decided to share her ill-health with fans after receiving the "devastating news" that the cancer had spread to other parts of her body.

In March this year, Harding revealed that doctors had told her she was unlikely to see another Christmas.

In an extract from her memoir, Hear Me Out, she wrote: "In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last."

The star added she was "trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be".

As part of Girls Aloud, Harding scored twenty consecutive UK Top Ten singles - including four number ones - alongside bandmates Cheryl, Kimberly Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle.

After taking a three-year hiatus in 2009, the group reunited in 2012 for a greatest hits album and tour, before announcing their split in 2013.

Harding later turned her attention to TV and acting projects, appeating in ITV soap Coronation Street in 2015 and going on to win Celebrity Big Brother two years later.

 
 
 
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A post shared by Nicola Maria Roberts (@lilcola)

 
 
 
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A post shared by Nadine Coyle (@nadinecoyle)

 
 
 
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A post shared by Cheryl (@cherylofficial)