Cheryl thanks fans for 'amazing night' at Mighty Hoopla last month

Cheryl makes rare social media appearance to thank fans for ‘amazing night’ at Mighty Hoopla which took place hours before Sarah Harding died – as she says ‘a lot has happened since’

  • Sarah Harding, 39, passed away after a breast cancer battle on Saturday 5 September, hours after Cheryl headlined the Mighty Hoopla Festival in London  
  • Sarah, who also modelled and had a starring role in the St Trinian’s film series, passed away just 13 months after confirming her terminal cancer diagnosis
  • Her death was announced by her devastated family on social media 
  • Taking to Instagram the next day, Cheryl, 38, shared an image of her bandmate and credited Sarah’s fans for their unwavering support during her final months
  • Sarah and Cheryl enjoyed more than a decade of chart success with Girls Aloud
  • Three weeks after Sarah’s tragic death, Cheryl pulled out of performing at Birmingham Pride 
  • The Fight For This Love singer explained that she felt unable to perform, writing to Instagram: ‘I just need some time to sit with my feelings and process the grief’ 

She made her music comeback at Mighty Hoopla in Brixton’s Brockwell Park at the beginning of September. 

And on Wednesday – almost six weeks later – Cheryl thanked fans for ‘amazing night’ after performing on stage at the South London festival just hours before Sarah Harding passed away aged 39 following a battle with cancer.  

Taking to her Instagram Stories, the Fight For This Love songstress, 38, admitted: ‘A lot has happened in-between’ as she gushed about how ‘incredible’ the crowd was while also sharing a BTS video of her performance.

Thankful: On Wednesday, Cheryl thanked fans for ‘amazing night’ after performing on stage at Mighty Hoopla in Brixton’s Brockwell Park, South London almost six weeks ago

Wearing a ribbed beige jumper with her long locks a pretty shade of strawberry blonde, Cheryl spoke directly to camera.  

She said: ‘Hello everyone. So I know it’s been a minute since Hoopla, but I really wanted to refer back to it just to say thank you so much for an amazing night.

‘I had the best time. You lot were incredible. And yeh, I didn’t have the chance to say thank you. A lot has happened in-between, but I really had the best night. So, you lot are major and I can’t wait to see you again.’ 

Sharing the behind-the-scenes video of her performance to Instagram, Cheryl wrote: ‘I love you all thank you for an amazing night @mightyhoopla.’  

Devastating: The Fight For This Love songstress made her music comeback at the festival just hours before Sarah Harding passed away aged 39 following a battle with cancer

Amazing: ‘So I know it’s been a minute since Hoopla, but I really wanted to refer back to it just to say thank you so much for an amazing night’ said Cheryl (Pictured during her performance)

Grieving: ‘I didn’t have the chance to say thank you. A lot has happened in-between’ admitted Cheryl (Pictured with late bandmate Sarah Harding in 2008)

Girls Aloud bandmate Nicola Roberts, 35, who joined her on stage at the festival, commented: ‘The best night.’ 

The performance marked Cheryl’s grand return to the music scene after she took time away from her singing career following the birth of her son, Bear, now four. 

Just three weeks after Mighty Hoopla and the death of Sarah Harding, Cheryl pulled out of her scheduled Birmingham Pride performance, as she continued to grieve for her former bandmate. 

Cheryl was set to headline the event, but took to her Instagram Stories the night before to reveal that she would no longer be appearing. 

She shared a heartfelt message with fans, in which she admitted that she was ‘not emotionally, mentally or physically able to perform’ while struggling to come to terms with Sarah’s death.

 

Behind-the-scenes: Cheryl also shared a BTS video of her performance at Mighty Hoopla

Reminiscing: Girls Aloud bandmate Nicola Roberts, 35, who joined her on stage at the festival, commented: ‘The best night’

‘I am not able to’: Three weeks after Sarah’s death, Cheryl pulled out of her scheduled Birmingham Pride performance, as she continues to grieve for her former bandmate (Pictured in 2019)

Cheryl penned: ‘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).

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

Heartbroken: The Fight For This Love singer took to Instagram, where she shared a heartfelt message with fans

Shock: Sarah passed away aged 39 following a battle with cancer on Saturday 5 September, just hours after Cheryl headlined the Mighty Hoopla Festival in South London (pictured)

Birmingham Pride and insiders had previously revealed that while Cheryl is battling heartache she was determined to honour her commitment to the event. 

Sources told The Sun: ‘Cheryl will still headline this weekend as planned, despite her heartbreak. She is devastated by Sarah’s passing but also knows the last thing Sarah would have wanted was for her to let down their fans.’

Sarah passed away aged 39 following a battle with breast cancer on Saturday 5 September, just hours after Cheryl headlined the Mighty Hoopla Festival in South London, where she was joined by their bandmate Nicola Roberts. 

 Moving: Cheryl previously paid an emotional tribute to former Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding following her tragic death to breast cancer

Sarah, who also modelled and had a starring role in the St Trinian’s film series, passed away just 13 months after confirming her terminal cancer diagnosis. Her death was announced by her devastated family on social media. 

Taking to Instagram after her death, Cheryl – who enjoyed more than a decade of chart success with Sarah – shared an image of her bandmate alongside a caption in which she credited Sarah’s fans for their support during her final months. 

She 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. 

‘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. We were like an extended family for so long and we know so many of you by name.

‘I figured I should definitely give it a go’: The Girls Aloud star said she decided to try CBD after revealing her cancer treatment is ‘moving in the right direction’

‘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… I also realize so many will be deeply affected by the circumstances of Sarah’s passing… I am sending you all so much love. I love you Sarah… farewell.’ 

Bandmate Kimberley Walsh, 39, had previously paid tribute to her late bandmate, sharing a trio of snaps with her former bandmate, in a post that came hours after Nicola and Nadine Coyle, 36, paid tribute on social media. 

Kimberley, Nicola, Nadine, and Cheryl were in the chart-topping band with Sarah from 2002-2013.

Treasured memories: Cheryl and Sarah toured the world with Sarah after finding same on talent show Pop Stars: The Rivals in 2000 (pictured in 2005)

Shortly before Cheryl’s tribute, Kimberley posted: ‘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’. 

Nicola said ‘my heart is aching’ as she posted photos of the pair on their first video shoot for Sound of the Underground back in 2002 – shortly after they were formed on Popstars: The Rivals. 

She wrote: ‘I’m absolutely devastated and I can’t accept that this day has come. My heart is aching and all day everything we went through together has raced round my mind. 

Old times: Cheryl enjoyed over a decade of chart success with Sarah in the popular girl group (pictured in 2012, L-R: Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Sarah, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle)

‘Especially this last year since her diagnosis, as hard as the year has been, our new memories are strong in my heart…

‘There are so many things to say and at first it felt to personal to put them here and then I remembered that there are so many other people grieving her too. 

‘A part of me or us isn’t here anymore and it’s unthinkable and painful and utterly cruel. She would have loved your messages today.

‘Electric girl, you made us. You gave it everything and still with a smile. A white butterfly flew past my window this morning before I knew, it must have been you.’ 

Sweet: Shortly before Cheryl’s tribute, Kimberley posted: ‘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’

Sarah, who found fame with the rest of Girls Aloud on reality singing show Pop Stars: The Rivals, revealed last year she had been diagnosed with cancer. 

A message from Sarah’s mother Marie was posted to the star’s Instagram account to announce her death reading: ‘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. Marie x’.

Touching: She shared a trio of throwback snaps and a heartbreaking message


A message from Sarah’s mother Marie was posted to her Instagram account. It read: ‘It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away’

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