British pop star Cheryl has paid tribute to her former Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding following her death from breast cancer.
Harding’s mother Marie issued a statement on Sunday in which she confirmed her daughter had passed away at the age of 39 following her battle with the disease. The musician announced the cancer had spread to other parts of her body in August last year.
Cheryl added her tribute to those of fellow Girls Aloud members Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh on Monday, writing of her her “disbelief” at the loss of her friend – who she supported following a terminal diagnosis.
“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 wrote on Instagram next to a picture of Sarah. “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.
Praising fans for their support, Cheryl added: “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 (praying emoji) I also realize so many will be deeply affected by the circumstances of Sarah’s passing… I am sending you all so much love (broken heart emoji) I love you Sarah… farewell.”
She concluded her message by writing: “Sarah Nicole Harding forever in our hearts.”
Roberts had previously shared that her “heart is aching” and that she was left “absolutely devastated” by her pal’s death, words echoed by Coyle on her own Instagram.
In her own tribute Walsh added: “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.”