Emotional tributes to Sarah Harding from her bandmates and other public figures

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Photo credit: Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images

Earlier today the incredibly sad news was shared that Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding has died. The musician was just 39 years old and had been battling breast cancer since last summer.

The news of her passing was announced in a statement on Sarah's social media channels through a post written by her mother, Marie, which encouraged everyone to remember her as "a bright shining star" rather than somebody who fought a "terrible disease".

Many notable names, including Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh (also members of Girls Aloud), have now shared their memories of Sarah and posted emotional tributes to her.

Nadine, the first of the band to publicly post, shared an image of Sarah laughing - the same photo which is used on the front cover of Sarah's recent autobiography, Hear Me Out - and said she was devastated over the loss of her friend.

"I am absolutely devastated!! I can’t think of words that could possibly express how I feel about this girl and what she means to me!!" Nadine captioned the photo. "I know so many of you will be feeling this way. For now I’m sending so much love to you!!! ❤️❤️"

Nicola also posted on Instagram, sharing three pictures of her and Sarah early on in their career. "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," she wrote. "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. A white butterfly flew past my window this morning before I knew, it must have been you."

Kimberley posted three photos of her and Sarah together, featuring big smiles, and told her followers that her heart was broken by the news of her friend's passing. "Beautiful Sarah this hurts so bad. To wake up and know that you are really gone is too much to bear. Hearing your infectious chuckle was one of my favourite things in the world. 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 💔."

Cheryl Tweedy also shared a heartfelt post offering her condolences to Girls Aloud fans, as well as remarking that she felt lost for words. "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," she captioned a black and white photo of Sarah laughing.

"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 realise 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 🕊 Sarah Nicole Harding forever in our hearts 💖💞🙏🏼."

Sarah's ex-fiancé, DJ Tom Crane, also took to Instagram to pay tribute to her, posting an old photo of the pair together:

Reality star Calum Best, who dated Sarah on and off for two years after meeting her in 2005, shared with his followers that the news had hit him hard.

"Jesus this one hits home, this is so sad. So young, so much life, so much talent," he began. "Sarah I’m so sorry you're gone, I will always remember the good times, I remember when we met around 22/23 at an event for Glamour, spent all night flirting, we then spent a few years together and I remember you were a shoulder for me when my dad passed and I valued you so much for that! So blessed we where able to continue on a 16 year friendship. Rest in peace gorgeous and sending so much love to your mom."

Presenter and podcast host Fearne Cotton shared her happy memories of working with Sarah over the years, writing on Instagram, "Rest peacefully, Sarah. My thoughts and prayers are with Sarah’s family and friends today. I met Sarah many times over the years in the Live Lounge, at Top of The Pops and Children In Need and she was always a kind, friendly and sparky person who was a lot of fun to interview. A beautiful energy that will be hugely missed. Prayers and more prayers."

Michelle Heaton, of the group Liberty X, also recounted her memories of Sarah, describing her as somebody who was a good friend and support when they both embarked on pop careers around the same time.

"Sometimes God's plan makes no sense at all. Leaving us with the questions why?" Michelle wrote alongside a photo of Sarah. "My love [and] strength to Sarah’s family. Sarah lit up every room she went into. She was one of my best friends when we started in this business… and at my first wedding her rendition of "Mustang Sally" still to this day fills me with so much happiness and joy I wee a little with love and laughter.. @nickede @katieprice @missdlloyd @biancagascoigne1 and my good friend @nikkigrahameofficial who lost her battle too… all those years ago, had the best times together.

"We miss you @nikkigrahameofficial and @sarahnicoleharding xxxx love you girls x #ripsarah."

Oritsé Williams, one fourth of the band JLS, described Sarah as 'bubbly' in a tweet about her passing: "Heartbreaking to hear that Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud has just passed away after a long battle with cancer. The times we met she was always so bubbly, such a big beautiful personality. My sincerest sympathies and heart goes out to Sarah’s friends, family & band members."

Presenter Davina McCall, who hosted the TV programme Popstars: The Rivals that Girls Aloud was formed on, also tweeted saying, "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 #SarahHarding."

Our thoughts are with Sarah's loved ones during this incredibly sad time.

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