Sarah Harding, a singer and performer who was one of the founding members of the English-Irish girl group Girls Aloud, died Sunday after a battle with breast cancer. She was 39 years old.
Harding’s mother confirmed the news on Instagram, saying that her daughter “slipped away peacefully” on Sunday morning.
“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,” Marie Harding wrote. “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.”
Sarah Harding revealed her diagnosis to fans in August 2020, and gave an update last December that “things are tough right now.” But she promised that she was “fighting as hard as I possibly can and being as brave as I know how.”
Girls Aloud was formed on the reality show “Popstars: The Rivals” in 2002 and continued to perform until they broke up in 2013. Together, the women put out 20 consecutive top 10 singles in the U.K, with four going to No. 1, and were nominated for five Brit Awards, winning the 2009 Best Single for “The Promise.”
Harding also had a brief acting career, won “Celebrity Big Brother” in its 20th season in the U.K. in 2017, and modeled for Ultimo lingerie.