Sarah Harding has died aged 39 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, her family have confirmed.
The news was confirmed today (September 5) by Harding’s mother Marie in a post on Instagram.
“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.”
The post added: “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.”
See the post below:
Following the sad news of Harding’s death, tributes have begun to pour in from across the music and entertainment world.
Her Girls Aloud bandmates Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts took to social media to share their own tributes. Coyle said she was “absolutely devastated”. “I can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl & what she means to me!!” she added. “I know so many of you will be feeling this way. For now I’m sending so much love to you!!!”
Roberts added that her “heart is aching” and that she couldn’t “accept that this day has come”. “There are so many things to say and at first it felt to personal to put them here and then I remembered that there are so many other people grieving her too,” she wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Producer and former Popstars: The Rivals judge Pete Waterman was among those to speak out for Harding, telling Sky News: “Sarah was always, I have to say – and this is not because of today’s news – Sarah was one of my favourites. Sarah was a lovely, lovely person. I remember, as I say, her mum at her house – they were overjoyed – and during the series, we spent a lot of time just talking everything through. It wasn’t easy, the whole competition thing sort of made it us and them, but not with Sarah.
“Sarah was just a delightful young kid. She was great – enthusiasm, full of life. This is a tragedy.”
Jedward meanwhile, wrote: “R.I.P. Pop Music Icon Sarah Harding! Strength and Love to her friends and family.”
R.I.P. Pop Music Icon Sarah Harding! Strength and Love to her friends and family ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pZtj8g5ETY
— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) September 5, 2021
Singer Michelle Gayle shared a photo of herself with Harding, writing: “Life turns so quickly. So sorry we didn’t get to have one last night out, dancing on top of tables, like you wanted.
“I love you. I will miss you. And I will keep all your legendary voice notes! There will never be another you. You will never be forgotten.”
Life turns so quickly. So sorry we didn’t get to have one last night out, dancing on top of tables, like you wanted. I love you. I will miss you. And I will keep all your legendary voice notes! There will never be another you. You will never be forgotten. 💔 pic.twitter.com/XXoLQ0J3MJ
— michelle gayle (@michellegayle1) September 5, 2021
Actress and singer Kym Marsh added: “I’m so very sorry to hear of the passing of Sarah Harding. 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.”
I’m so very sorry to hear of the passing of Sarah Harding. 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
— Kym Marsh (@msm4rsh) September 5, 2021
“A sad day!” Alesha Dixon wrote on Twitter. “Such a shining star! Rest in peace beautiful Sarah.”
A sad day! Such a shining star! Rest in peace beautiful Sarah ❤️❤️❤️
— Alesha Dixon (@AleshaOfficial) September 5, 2021
Music critic and former NME contributor Peter Robinson – aka Popjustice – added: “What terribly sad news about Sarah Harding. None of all that amazing music would have been the same without her spark.”
What terribly sad news about Sarah Harding. None of all that amazing music would have been the same without her spark.
— Peter Robinson (@Popjustice) September 5, 2021
Oritsé Williams, singer-songwriter and former singer of JLS, also paid tribute to Harding, writing: “Heartbreaking to hear that Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud has just passed away after a long battle with cancer.
“The times we met she was always so bubbly, such a big beautiful personality. My sincerest sympathies and heart goes out to Sarah’s friends, family & band members.”
💔Heartbreaking to hear that Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud has just passed away after a long battle with cancer. The times we met she was always so bubbly, such a big beautiful personality. My sincerest sympathies and heart goes out to Sarah’s friends, family & band members. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/3Muq6w1BqL
— Oritsé Williams (@Oritse) September 5, 2021
See more tributes below:
Rest in peace, Sarah Harding. You’ll be remembered for the light and joy you brought to the world. X
— Geri Horner (@GeriHalliwell) September 5, 2021
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 ❤️ #SarahHarding
— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) September 5, 2021
Very sad news.
From the moment Pop Idol finished GA were regularly on T4 and Radio1. Sarah was always the driving energy in the room….RIP. pic.twitter.com/glfTqXGFnH
— Vernon Kay (@vernonkay) September 5, 2021
Such sad news. RIP Sarah xx https://t.co/VeBxHe7pws
— antanddec (@antanddec) September 5, 2021
Can’t quite believe it 💔 rest in peace to Sarah Harding, a devastating loss, gone way way too soon. Girls Aloud was such a huge part of my childhood, it’s just so surreal she’s gone. Thoughts are with her family ❤️
— Mae Muller 🌹 (@maemuller_) September 5, 2021
Ah no…. So sad to hear about Sarah Harding’s passing. Fuck cancer man….
— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) September 5, 2021
RIP Sarah Harding. my thoughts go out to her friends and family❤️39 is way too young… hope they know what a huge impact her + Girls Aloud have had on a generation of artists including myself
— RINA SAWAYAMA (@rinasawayama) September 5, 2021
RIP Sarah Harding
Absolutely devastating – so young and a warrior to the very end. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones ❤️
— Linda Nolan (@LindaNolan_) September 5, 2021
Jesus this one hits home , so damn sad, so young. I hope u rest In peace Sarah we had some crazy fun times and adventures . U will be so very missed . Sending so much love to ur mom ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Wt3knGOtT9
— Calum Best Official (@CalumBest) September 5, 2021
Very sorry to hear about Sarah Harding. We hung out a couple of times and she sang on our cover of Sound and Vision. She was always charming, smart and a good laugh. Of course, she was also a total pop star. She will be missed, but remembered fondly.
— Αλεξ Καπράνος (@alkapranos) September 5, 2021
RIP Sarah Harding ❤️
Our thoughts are with Sarah's family, friends and fans on this incredibly sad day. pic.twitter.com/k8udiJMv7W
— BRIT Awards (@BRITs) September 5, 2021
Harding previously shared an update on her cancer diagnosis in early December. “I can’t deny that things are tough right now but I’m fighting as hard as I possibly can and being as brave as I know how,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.
Back in March, she revealed that she was told by doctors that Christmas 2020 “would probably be my last” as she continued to receive treatment for cancer.
The star joined Girls Aloud during their initial creation on the reality show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and continued to perform with them until they broke up in 2013.