Sarah Harding from British group Girls Aloud dies aged 39

Sarah Harding

British singer and reality TV star Sarah Harding has died aged 39. Harding who was part of the pop group Girls Aloud announced that she been diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2020, and shared that her diagnosis was terminal earlier this year.

News of her passing was shared on social media by her mother, Marie.

“It’s 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.” her mother posted to Instagram.

Harding first came to prominence of the TV show Popstars – The Rivals in 2002. The TV show saw the creation of two groups, a girl band and a boy band who would complete to get the UK Christmas Number 1. The show was judged by producer Pete Waterman, music manager Louis Walsh and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell (now Geri Horner).

The final girl group was Girls Aloud, which comprised Harding alongside Nadine Coyle, Cheryl Tweedy (later Cole, later just Cheryl), Nicola Roberts and Kimberly Walsh. The band achieved the goal of the Christmas hit with their debut song Sound of the Underground. 

Between 2003 and 2008 the band released five albums. They notably had a hit with a cover of The Pointer Sister’s Jump which was featured in the film Love Actually. While their success was largely in the United Kingdom, they made a dent in the Australian charts in 2005 with their single Biology. 

Outside the band Harding won UK reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother in 2017 and also took on some acting roles in the films Bad Day, Freefall, Run for Your Wife and St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold.  

Harding had planned on making a solo album, but her 2015 EP Theads failed to get music fans excited, and plans for a full album never materialised. Her autobiography Hear Me Out was released earlier this year.   

Tributes to the entertainer have come from others in the music industry, Gerri Horner said Harding would be remembered for the light and joy she brought to the world.

Kym Marsh, who rose to fame in the band Hear’Say, said recalled Harding as someone who was fun and kind.

What a beautiful girl and person she really was. I don’t claim to have known her very well but what I did know was how fun and kind she really was. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. Sleep tight x” the singer posted.

Television presenter Davina McCall, who hosted the series Popstars- The Rivals also marked Harding’s passing.

“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.” McCall said, alongside a heart emoji.

OIP Staff

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