Cheryl has admitted she’s ‘lost for words’ after Sarah Harding’s death in an emotional tribute to the late star.
Harding died on Sunday morning at the age of 39 following a battle with breast cancer, which she publicly revealed in August 2020.
Her friend and bandmate Cheryl has now spoken out for the first time since the news broke.
In a poignant Instagram post, she wrote: ‘Although we knew this day would arrive I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft hearted girl has departed.
‘As I try to navigate my way through these painfully strange and horribly unfamiliar waves of disbelief & finality I am experiencing, I wanted to extend my condolences to all of our GA fans. We were like an extended family for so long and we know so many of you by name.
‘I wanted to make sure you knew just how much your love and continued support meant to Sarah through her most vulnerable times. She was so grateful and you really lifted her spirits when she needed you most 🙏🏼 I also realize so many will be deeply affected by the circumstances of Sarah’s passing… I am sending you all so much love 💔 I love you Sarah… farewell.’
She concluded: ‘Sarah Nicole Harding forever in our hearts.’
Cheryl and Harding rose to fame in 2002 after winning Popstars: The Rivals alongside Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle and Kimberley Walsh.
All members of Girls Aloud have now paid tribute to Harding publicly, with Nadine the first to speak out on Sunday.
In an Instagram post, the devastated singer wrote: ‘I am absolutely devastated!! I can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl & 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!!!’
Nicola shared old photos of her and Sarah together behind-the-scenes of a shoot in the early days of their time in the group.
She wrote in the post: ‘I’m absolutely devastated and I can’t accept that this day has come.
‘My heart is aching and all day everything we went through together has raced round my mind. Especially this last year since her diagnosis, as hard as the year has been, our new memories are strong in my heart.
‘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.
‘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 ♥️ Electric girl, you made us. You gave it everything and still with a smile.’
Kimberley said the news of Harding’s death ‘hurt so bad’ and found it ‘too much to bear’ the thought of waking up knowing her friend is ‘really gone’.
‘Your fire burned so bright and you loved, lived and laughed so hard. Sending love and strength to everyone who is grieving today. My heart is broken,’ she said.
Harding’s mother Marie broke the news via the singer’s Instagram account, and revealed she ‘slipped away peacefully’.
The Sound of the Underground hitmaker announced her breast cancer diagnosis in August 2020 and that the disease had advanced to other parts of her body. She had undergone chemotherapy and opened up about her experience fighting the cancer in her autobiography, Hear Me Out, released earlier this year.
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