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brokenhearted Nadine Coyle 'truly devastated' by Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding’s death

The Derry native said: “Sarah was the life and soul of the band. We laughed together, performed together, and grew together.

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Sarah (left) and Nadine at the O2 In The Park festival at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, in September 2004. Photo Showbiz Ireland/Getty Images

Sarah (left) and Nadine at the O2 In The Park festival at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, in September 2004. Photo Showbiz Ireland/Getty Images

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

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Sarah (left) and Nadine at the O2 In The Park festival at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, in September 2004. Photo Showbiz Ireland/Getty Images

Singer Nadine Coyle has paid tribute to Sarah Harding following her death saying her friend went through the last year with “grace, courage and immense bravery.”

Sarah Harding died last Sunday, September 5, at the age of 39. She had revealed she was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer in August 2020.

Nadine yesterday told of her devastation at her former bandmate’s passing.

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

Last year Nadine had stayed up late through the night with Sarah after the singer was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Derry native said: “Sarah was the life and soul of the band. We laughed together, performed together, and grew together.

"Sarah was so much fun and a great friend, always. I’m truly devastated that Sarah has passed.

“She went through the last year with grace, courage, and immense bravery and I already miss her so much.

“I have treasured memories of so many great times together that I will cherish always. May she rest in peace, my forever beautiful friend.”

Last Sunday, Nadine posted a photo of her friend on her Instagram. "I am absolutely devastated," she wrote. "I can't think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl and what she means to me.

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

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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

In her memoir, Sarah told how Nadine was there for her, after she received the devastating news that she had stage four breast cancer.

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In her memoir, the pop star revealed that doctors told her that the Christmas just gone was likely to have been her last.

In December 2020 Nadine travelled to Manchester, and in her memoir Sarah wrote about how

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

Sarah 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’.”

Sarah 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 last Sunday, 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.

Sarah’s death comes 20 years after she and Nadine first met on Pop Stars: The Rivals, where Girls Aloud was created.

Meanwhile, for the first time in her career, Nadine will now take on the role as a judge in a reality competition show on RTÉ’s Last Singer Standing.

The show, which sees singers battle it out to win €25,000, will air on RTE One later this autumn.

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