'She was a bright shining star' - Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding dies at age of 39
Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding has died at the age of 39 after suffering from cancer.
The singer revealed last August that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.
Her mother Marie announced the death on Instagram and described her “beautiful” daughter as “a bright shining star”.
The caption under the black and white image of Harding smiling said: “It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.
“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.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year.
“It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
“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. – Marie x”
Earlier this year, Harding said she was told by a doctor she will probably not be alive next Christmas.
In an extract of her memoir, titled Hear Me Out, which was published in The Times, Harding wrote: “In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last.
“I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that.
“Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now.”
Ant and Dec, Denise van Outen and Vernon Kay were among those sharing their condolences on social media as news of the singer’s death broke on Sunday.
In the memoir, Harding added that she was “trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be”.
She said publicly revealing her diagnosis was “scary” but was also “the right thing to do”.
She said the support she has received has been “incredible”, adding: “I’ve been inundated with lovely messages from my fans. I’m grateful beyond words for that.”
Harding found fame with Girls Aloud which were formed on ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.