Who Was The Late Girls Aloud Singer Sarah Harding?

Your favourite noughties pop stars Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh reunited this year for the first ever ‘Girls Aloud’ arena tour in 10 years. But, member Sarah Harding was missing from the group, as her girls paid an emotional tribute to her at the opening show in Dublin. 

Sarah was the nation’s sweetheart, but tragically passed away in 2021 at just 39-years-old after a long fight with Breast Cancer. Let’s take a look at Sarah’s life. 

Early Life 

Sarah was born in Berkshire, England in 1981, and led a fairly average life until her rise to fame in 2002, studying Hair and Beauty at college and working at Pizza Hut, like most teenagers at the time. But Sarah had big dreams.  At just 23-years-old, the aspiring singer auditioned for the ITV reality series Popstars: The Rivals, eventually going on to secure herself a place in the band ‘Girls Aloud’, the iconic girl group that would eventually define her career. 

Girls Aloud

It didn’t take long for the girl group to take the world by storm. Girls Aloud’s debut single “Sound of the Underground” peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one. And it didn’t stop there. The group went on to achieve twenty consecutive top ten singles, including four number ones, and accumulate a total of five BRIT Award nominations, eventually winning best single in 2009. 

Arguably the most well known girl group of the noughties, Girls Aloud was named the biggest-selling girl group of the 21st century, with over 4.3 million singles sales and 4 million albums sold in the UK alone. Despite their success, the girls decided to take a year long hiatus in 2009 to work on solo projects. 

Modelling and Acting 

During their break from the music industry, Sarah decided to focus on her acting and modelling career. She said: “Singing was always my main ambition, but acting was something else I wanted to achieve”. As ever, she was successful in her pursuits, appearing on shows such as ‘Freefall’, ‘St.Trinians’ and even a British classic, ‘Coronation Street’. She also focused on her £100,000 modelling contract with Ultimo Lingerie. 

Later Life 

After Girls Aloud disbanded in 2013, shortly after Ten: The Hits Tour, Sarah released her debut solo album, saying she was inspired by the Queen of Pop at the time, Lady Gaga. The album chartered success, allowing Sarah to focus on other pursuits, such as performing in Musical Theatre in 2016.

In 2020, Sarah announced to the public she has been diagnosed with advanced Breast Cancer. In 2021, she admitted that her illness was in fact terminal. After publishing her memoir, Hear Me Out, in late 2021, Sarah passed away from complications from her disease, devastating Girls Aloud fans. Tributes poured in through social media, expressing their gratitude for Sarah’s contribution to music. The proceeds from Sarah’s final single ‘Wear It Like a Crown’ were donated to The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, to help other women suffering with Breast Cancer. 

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Written by: Mia Rose
Mia Rose is a Final Year Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. She has experience in feature writing and broadcasting. Mia forms a part of the Website Team at 5678 Magazine.