Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding dies at 39 after breast cancer battle
British pop singer Sarah Harding died of cancer at the age of 39.
According to foreign media reports, the singer of British pop group Girls Aloud was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
The singer’s mother informed fans via an Instagram post that she was coaching her daughter’s death.
Sarah’s mother wrote that she was saddened to hear that her beautiful daughter, Sarah, had passed away after a 12-month battle with the disease.
“It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away,” she 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.”
Girls Aloud was formed on reality show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 before achieving UK chart success and breaking up in 2013.
The girl group consisted of Harding, Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Cole, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh.
Harding had spoken about her late-stage diagnosis in a memoir released just four months before her death.
In the book, called Hear Me Out, the star spoke of how she dismissed one of her cancer’s major symptoms – pain.
In March this year, in an extract from her memoir published in the Times, Harding wrote: “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last.”
She said she didn’t want an exact prognosis, just “comfort” and to be “pain-free”.
Harding also wrote in her autobiography, Hear Me Out, about how she initially put off getting medical advice when she first found lumps under her arm in December 2019.
She eventually saw a doctor who advised her to schedule an MRI scan – but then “coronavirus hit and everything either went into slow motion or stopped altogether”, she wrote.
“I was aware that I needed to get this health issue sorted, but with everything that was going on, it was tough.”
She said the pain continued getting worse. “One day I woke up realising that I’d been in denial about the whole thing. Yes, there was a lockdown, yes, there was a pandemic, but it was almost as if I’d been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong.”
Harding shot to fame in 2002 as a contestant on Popstars: The Rivals – an ITV talent show which aimed to find both a new girl band and boy band.
She made it to the final and gained the final spot in the group which became Girls Aloud – despite being the underdog according to bookmakers – alongside Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Cheryl Cole (then Tweedy).
Tributes for Sarah Harding
Harding has been remembered as having a “beautiful spirit”, in tributes posted online following her death.
“I hope you rest in peace Sarah,” TV host Piers Morgan told The Sun.
“We had some crazy fun times and adventures.
“You will be so very missed.”
Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls added: “You’ll be remembered for the light and joy you brought to the world”.