Sarah Harding: Girls Aloud stars Cheryl, Kimberly Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle lead heartbreaking tributes to late star

Sarah Harding with Girls Aloud
(Image credit: Getty)

Girls Aloud stars Kimberly Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Nadine Coyle have paid tribute to bandmate Sarah Harding who has lost her battle to breast cancer aged 39.

The singer had been diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer but after a short battle with the illness, her mother confirmed she had died on Sunday morning (5th September).

Sharing the devastating news on Instagram, Sarah's 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.'

She added, '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.'

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Sarah first revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer to fans in August last year.

And after a difficult year, undergoing treatment, Sarah announced that she had finished her autobiography, called Hear Me Out, in which she spoke about her Girls Aloud days and spoke candidly about her cancer and her funeral.

Things looked up for the star, who back in March, revealed that her breast cancer tumours had shrunk. But the brave star lost her battle to the disease.

Girls Aloud

Nadine Coyle uploaded a beautiful photo of Sarah on Instagram, breaking her silence following the tragic news.

'I am absolutely devastated!! 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!!! ❤️❤️,' she wrote. 

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Meanwhile fellow bandmate Nicola Roberts shared a series of photos of her and Sarah, taken in their Girls Aloud days, expressing her grief in a touching caption.

'I’m absolutely devastated and I can’t accept that this day has come. My heart is aching and all-day everything we went through together has raced round my mind. Especially this last year since her diagnosis, as hard as the year has been, our new memories are strong in my heart.

She continued, '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. 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 ♥️ 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 🦋''

Kimberly Walsh also broke her silence on the news of Sarah's passing today, telling her followers of her pain.

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'Beautiful Sarah this hurts so bad. To wake up and know that you are really gone is too much to bear. 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 💔,' she penned.

Cheryl Cole's tribute to Sarah Harding

Cheryl took to Instagram to pay tribute to Sarah, writing a lengthy, touching caption. Sharing her disbelief and reaching out to the loyal Girls Aloud fans who supported Sarah through her cancer battle, Cheryl shared, '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.

'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. We were like an extended family for so long and we know so many of you by name,' she continued. 

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'I wanted to make sure you knew just how much your love and continued support meant to Sarah through her most vulnerable times. She was so grateful and you really lifted her spirits when she needed you most 🙏🏼 I also realize so many will be deeply affected by the circumstances of Sarah’s passing… I am sending you all so much love 💔 I love you Sarah… farewell 🕊.

'Sarah Nicole Harding forever in our hearts 💖💞🙏🏼,' Cheryl finally added.

Was Sarah Harding married?

Sarah Harding was not married at the time of her death. She was previously engaged to DJ Tom Crane in 2010 but the wedding was called off six months before the big day.

Speaking about their five-year relationship in her book she wrote, 'I've never stopped blaming myself. Losing him was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.'

Sarah Harding and Tom Crane

(Image credit: Getty)

She was in a two-year relationship with DJ Mark Foster from late 2012 to late 2014.

And was linked to Callum Best in 2006 and 2008. Callum has paid tribute to Sarah, he wrote, 'Jesus this one hits home, this is so sad , so young , so much life , so much talent . Sarah I’m so sorry ur gone , I will always remember the good times , i remember when we met around 22/23 at a event for glamour , spent all night flirting, we then spent a few years together and I remember u where a shoulder for me when my dad passed and I valued u so much for that !

'So blessed we where able to continue on a 16 year friendship

'Rest in peace gorgeous and sending so much love to ur mom (sic)'

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Did Sarah Harding have kids?

Sarah Harding did not have any children at the time of her death. She previously opened up on her heartbreaking realisation that she wouldn't have children during a phone call with Cheryl Cole.

Sarah wrote, 'I was saying how we never thought Nadine [Coyle] would be the first one of us to have a child, and that now three of them have kids.

'It might seem odd to worry about not having children when I don’t even know how much of a life I have left, but it’s there.

'The truth is, even if my prognosis was better, it still wouldn’t be on the cards because of all the chemotherapy I’ve had.

'That treatment, harsh as it is, will have killed any chance I might have had. It’s making me cry just thinking about it.'

When was Sarah Harding diagnosed?

Sarah Harding was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2020. She went public with her diagnosis in August that year, explaining to fans on Instagram why she had been silent on social media.

Part of her lengthy post read, 'I feel now is the right time to share what’s been going on. There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body. I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can.'

At the time she revealed that she wanted to set to record straight after being spotted attending the hospital and she thanked the NHS heroes.

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The support from fans spurred Sarah on and she celebrated reaching number one in the iTunes chart for her single Wear It Like A Crown.

She explained to fans that it was a song she recorded 10 years ago and wanted to release it to raise money for the Christie NHS Foundation, where she had her treatment.

She explained, 'I've always really loved it, and it made me feel a bit sad that no one ever got to hear it. I mentioned this to my team and they said we could release it, and I thought 'why the hell not?'  It's called Wear It Like A Crown and it's out on iTunes and streaming... FROM TODAY 🎉🎉🎉.  I've literally no idea how this all works anymore, but on the off chance it generates any profit, I'll give it all to the Christie NHS Foundation @christiecharity where I'm receiving my treatment. If you've read my book you'll know just how amazing the Doctors, Nurses and all the staff at The Christie are. They are actual angels.'

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)