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‘My heart is heavy’: Cheryl withdraws from Birmingham Pride after death of Sarah Harding

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Cheryl has pulled out of performing at Birmingham Pride due to her grief following the death of Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding.

The singer, 38, was due to headline the event this weekend, but wrote on Instagram that she is “not emotionally, mentally or physically able to perform”.

Harding died on 5 September aged 39 after revealing last August she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which spread to other parts of her body.

Sarah Harding, Kimberley Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud arrives for the BRIT Awards 2008, at Earls Court in central London.
Image: Sarah Harding and Cheryl were part of Girls Aloud, formed in 2002

Writing on her Instagram stories, Cheryl said: “Saying goodbye to somebody you spent such a massive piece of your life with is like nothing else. My heart is heavy.

“Grief is such a harsh experience and an absolute rollercoaster of emotions. Questions without answers and pain without resolve. So tumultuous and constant.

“With that said I am sorry but I really am not emotionally, mentally or physically able to perform for you this Saturday at Birmingham Pride.

“I apologise wholeheartedly and I can only hope for your understanding (I promise I will make it up to you somehow).

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“I feel now I just need some time to sit with my feelings and process the grief. Nothing prepares you for this bit.”

Cheryl, then Cheryl Tweedy, was part of Girls Aloud with Harding, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts from their formation on TV show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.

Earlier this year, Harding said she was told by a doctor she would probably not be alive next Christmas.

There was an outpouring of tributes after Harding’s mum announced her “beautiful” daughter’s death.

 Sarah Harding And Cheryl Cole (tweedy) From Girls Aloud Are Pictured With The New Samsung Phone At Its Launch Today On London's Oxford Street.
Image: Harding’s death was announced on 5 September by her mum

Coyle said she was “absolutely devastated”, while Walsh remembered her as someone who “loved, lived and laughed so hard”.

At the time, Cheryl wrote: “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.”