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Tragic loss Nadine Coyle 'devastated' after death of Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding

  • Her mother announced her death earlier today, describing her as “a bright shining star”
  • Harding revealed last year that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread
  • Former Girls Aloud manager Louis Walsh said the singer’s death was “so tragic”

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Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding

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

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

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Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding's Girl's Aloud bandmate and friend, Nadine Coyle, has written of her devastation at losing her friend to cancer.

Coyle had stayed up late through the night with Harding after the singer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.

The pair had remained close over the years, even after the band split up in 2013.

Coyle posted a photo of Harding on her Instagram - the image used on the cover of the singer's book, Hear Me Out.

"I am absolutely devastated," Coyle wrote. "I can't think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl and what she means to me.

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Sarah Harding. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Sarah Harding. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Sarah Harding. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

"I know so many of you will be feeling this way. For now, I'm sending so much love to you."

Coyle, from Derry, had travelled to Manchester to see Harding in December 2020, to comfort her friend after her diagnosis.

Harding told in her memoir how Coyle had been there for her while she was crying. The pair sat together and drank wine, as they dealt with the news.

Harding revealed how Coyle told her how much she loved her. Coyle cooked and the pair bought a Christmas tree and exchanged presents.

Harding wrote in her book: "At one point, Nadine told me in no uncertain terms how much she cared about me.

'You don't understand, Sarah. I love you’.”

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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

Harding explained how having her friend with her at that tough time had been "very special".

Tributes have flooded in for the 39-year-old singer since her mother, Marie, announced her death earlier today, describing her as “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 on Instagram.

Louis Walsh, who managed the chart-topping Girls Aloud, 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."

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.

TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton wrote: “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.”

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."

Harding’s ex partner, George Best's son, Calum Best, also wrote of his sorrow online.

He shared a photo of when they were a couple online and wrote: "Jesus this one hits home, this is so sad, so young, so much life, so much talent."

He remembered how she was a “shoulder for me when my dad passed away” and said he valued her so much for that.

"So blessed we were able to continue on a 16-year friendship."

The couple dated in 2005.

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."

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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

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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