Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding has died, The Guardian and BBC News report. The singer disclosed in August 2020 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and that the disease had advanced to other parts of her body. Earlier today (September 5), Harding’s mother Marie broke the news of Sarah’s death in a post on the singer’s official Instagram account, which you can read in full below. “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away,” she wrote. “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.” Harding was 39 years old.
Harding first came to prominence after auditioning for Popstars: The Rivals, the British reality television series that resulted in the formation of Girls Aloud. The girl group’s first single “Sound of the Underground” debuted at no. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in 2002. It was the title track to their first album, which went platinum that same year. Girls Aloud were together for six years in total, and released five studio albums. Their last LP Out of Control came out in 2008.
After Girls Aloud came to its initial end, Harding focused on her acting and solo music career. The band would reunite in 2012 for a greatest hits compilation and a final tour before disbanding the following year. She put out her debut solo EP Threads in 2015 and became a Celebrity Big Brother winner in 2017. Earlier this year she released the solo single “Wear It Like a Crown.”
In the final lines of her Instagram post, Harding’s mother thanked everyone who offered support during her daughter’s illness. “It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved,” she wrote. “I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease—she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead.”