Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud dies aged 39
The mother of the pop star confirmed the news on Harding's Instagram page by thanking fans for their “strength and support”.
Harding had been diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2020. She shared a picture on Instagram from her hospital bed, below.
Her mother Marie wrote: “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.”
Harding found fame with Girls Aloud which were formed on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals in 2002. The band went on to have huge success.
Harding passed away on Sunday morning after several months of chemotherapy. As well as breast cancer, she also suffered with tumours in her brain and lung but she detailed in a memoir how both had shrunk with treatment.
Earlier this year, the singer said she had been told by a doctor that she would probably not be alive next Christmas.
© Instagram This was the picture Sarah Harding's mother chose to announce the news of her daughter's death - Instagram
In an extract of the memoir, titled Hear Me Out, Harding wrote: "In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last. I don't want an exact prognosis. I don't know why anyone would want that.
"Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what's important to me now."
She said she was "trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be".
"I am having a glass of wine or two during all this, because it helps me relax," she added. "I'm sure some people might think that's not a great idea, but I want to try to enjoy myself.
"I'm at a stage now where I don't know how many months I have left. Who knows, maybe I'll surprise everyone, but that's how I'm looking at things."
Harding said publicly revealing her diagnosis was "scary" but was also "the right thing to do".
She said the support she had received had been "incredible", adding: "I've been inundated with lovely messages from my fans. I'm grateful beyond words for that."
Tributes pour in
Fans and celebrities posted on social media about their sadness at the news.
Fearne Cotton, who was friends with the star, commented on Instagram: “Oh my gosh I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m sending your family so much love and strength. She was always kind and so much fun to be around. I’m very sorry for your loss. Prayers and love to you.”
The Lost Prophets frontman Ian Watkins wrote: “Fly high beautiful Sarah, I will miss you.”
Singer Alesha Dixon commented: “A bright shining star. Rest in peace beautiful Sarah. Thank you for your love and kindness angel.”
Atomic kitten singer Natasha Hamilton wrote: “I am so sorry for your loss, this is heartbreaking. Thinking of you all.”
Soap actress Michelle Hardwick tweeted: “Such sad news, gone far too soon. RIP Sarah Harding.”
Laurence Fox posted: “Such tragic news. Rest in peace.”
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