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Singer and actress Sarah Harding has died aged 39

The news was announced via Instagram today

Sarah Harding
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Sarah Harding has died at the age of 39, it has been confirmed.

The multi-million-record selling performer, best known for being one fifth of iconic group Girls Aloud, had a lengthy battle with cancer, which she first discussed last summer.

Harding was no stranger to the stage, making her professional stage debut in Ghost the Musical on tour in 2016, though was later forced to pull out due to pain from an injury after appearing on The Jump.

She has appeared in a variety of TV series and films including Freefall, Run for Your Wife and Coronation Street.

As part of Girls Aloud, Harding released a variety of chart-topping numbers including "The Promise", "Love Machine" and "Sound of the Underground".

The news was announced today via Instagram, with Harding's mother Marie stating: "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."