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'Great girl' Louis Walsh pays tribute to singer Sarah Harding 'who loved life and music'

"She was the fun in Girls Aloud. She was a great girl. I remember only laughs with her and she loved life and music. It's just unfair she is gone so young"

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Former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding has died of breast cancer (Ian West/PA)

Former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding has died of breast cancer (Ian West/PA)

Former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding has died of breast cancer (Ian West/PA)

Popstar Sarah Harding’s celebrity friends have paid tribute to a “kind, beautiful” and fun-loving young woman, following her death from cancer aged just 39.

Louis Walsh, who managed the chart-topping Girls Aloud of which Harding was a member, said the singer’s death was “so tragic."

Walsh managed the girl group for four years after they were formed on the TV show in 2002.

"She was the fun in Girls Aloud. She was a great girl. I remember only laughs with her and she loved life and music. It's just unfair she is gone so young," he told Independent.ie.

"Any time she came to Dublin in the early days, she was life and soul at clubs like The Pod and Lillies."

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Girls Aloud (left-right) Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding and Cheryl Cole. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Girls Aloud (left-right) Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding and Cheryl Cole. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Girls Aloud (left-right) Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding and Cheryl Cole. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Una Healy, who had been in the Saturdays girl group, took to Harding’s Instagram to post: “RIP Sarah. Heartbreaking news. Thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.”

Harding revealed last year that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.

Her mother Marie announced her daughter’s death on Instagram today and described her as “beautiful” and “a bright shining star”.

“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,” she wrote.

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Sarah Harding (centre) with her bandmates from Girls Aloud. Photo: Ian West/PA

Sarah Harding (centre) with her bandmates from Girls Aloud. Photo: Ian West/PA

Sarah Harding (centre) with her bandmates from Girls Aloud. Photo: Ian West/PA

TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton wrote: “I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m sending your family so much love and strength.

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“She was always kind and so much fun to be around. I’m very sorry for your loss. Prayers and love to you.”

Actress Sadie Frost wrote: “Sending love", while TV presenter and comedian Alan Carr said: “Such awful news, heartbreaking.”

Singer Alesha Dixon remembered the former Girls Aloud singer as a “bright shining star”. She added: “Rest in peace beautiful Sarah. Thank you for your love and kindness angel.”

Former Sugababes singer Amelle Berrabah, wrote: “Such sad news. She will be missed. Such a character and beautiful person.”

While former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, wrote: “Sarah lit up any room and was a good friend of mine early in our careers. I’m heartbroken.”

TV presenter and actress Denis Van Outen wrote: “This is so heartbreaking. Rest in peace beautiful Sarah. Thinking of you all. Family and friends.”

Spice Girls singer Geri Horner wrote: "Rest in peace, Sarah Harding. You'll be remembered for the light and joy you brought to the world. X."

Jedward paid tribute to the singer on Twitter, writing: "RIP pop music icon Sarah Harding. Strength and love to her friends and family."

Former Spandau Ballet singer and actor, Martin Kemp wrote: "Sarah Harding. So sad. My heart goes out to all your friends and family and all your fans. Rest in peace."

TV presenter Davina McCall also posted a tribute, writing online: "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."

Singer and actress Kym Marsh, who also rose to fame on Popstars in 2001 with manufactured band Hear'Say wrote: "I'm so 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."

Thousands of tributes have also been posted by the singer’s fans. Sarah had achieved fame with Girls Aloud, a group formed on Pop Stars: The Rivals in 2002.

She had enjoyed numerous hits, including the band’s first song Sound of the Underground, with fellow bandmates, Nadine Coyle, from Derry, Cheryl Cole, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh.

Sarah had also had a successful acting career, appearing in BBC film Bad Day, St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold and she briefly appeared in Coronation Street.

The star also won Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.

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