How Sarah Harding’s cancer diagnosis reunited Girls Aloud after years of ‘bitter’ feuding between Cheryl and Nadine
THERE was a time when Girls Aloud’s relationships had been so fractured that it appeared unlikely they’d ever get again collectively.
After their cut up in 2013, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle had an enormous, public falling out.
And Cheryl, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh hadn’t spoken to Sarah Harding – who tragically died yesterday, aged 39 – or Nadine in years.
Their authentic supervisor Louis Walsh even claimed the ladies “never liked each other”.
But, when Sarah was recognized with stage 4 breast cancer final yr, the ladies – who met and had been put collectively on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 – rallied round and lastly put all their variations apart.
They loved a secret reunion weekend away at Soho Farmhouse earlier this yr.
Cheryl stated on the time: “It was a lovely trip away for us all, and Sarah was at her best.”
But issues have not all the time been so rosy for the band members.
‘Nadine is full of s**t!’
Girls Aloud had been put collectively on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, and went on to safe 21 prime ten singles, together with 4 quantity ones.
The band took a break in 2009, however returned in 2012 with a comeback tour to mark their tenth anniversary, earlier than formally splitting once more in 2013.
At the time, Nadine instructed her followers that her bandmates had been guilty for the break-up.
She wrote on Twitter: “You ought to know by now I had no half in any of this cut up enterprise.
“I couldn’t stop them. I had the best time & want to keep going. Xxxx”
But a livid Cheryl hit again, telling Attitude journal that Nadine was “full of s***” and accused her of holding the band to “ransom”.
She stated: “She was the one who wished to make a solo report. Which is why we took the hiatus.
“She desires to come back out and say we broke the band up? No! She shouldn’t inform porkie pies.
“Okay, so would you like us to inform the reality? She wasn’t going to make one other Girls Aloud report till she bought a solo deal.
“I really feel she held us to ransom and then made her solo report deal.”
Hadn’t spoken for six years
Six years later, Nadine confessed she and Cheryl nonetheless hadn’t spoken.
In reality, the one one of her bandmates she’d been in touch with was Sarah – who received Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.
In 2019, Nadine instructed the Mirror: “I haven’t seen or spoken to them because the finish of Girls Aloud or simply earlier than I had my daughter.
“That’s about six years ago, Sarah more recently at the start of Big Brother.”
‘A huge divide’
Nadine additionally confirmed there was all the time an enormous divide in Girls Aloud.
While Kimberley, Cheryl and Nicola stayed shut, and had been usually seen out collectively, Nadine and Sarah drifted aside.
On being requested if there was a divide, Nadine instructed The Sun: “Definitely.
“It’s so sad for me to have to admit this stuff now because for so long there’s the band, and you want everybody to think we’re best friends and we have pillow fights and drink milkshakes.
“That’s what I wished it to be, but it surely simply wasn’t the way it was.
“So yeah, there was a divide. We’re all very, very different characters.”
Nadine additionally confessed her bandmates felt bitterness in direction of her, because of the reality she would get extra solos than them.
She instructed us in 2013: “It was effective in the beginning however there’s all the time politics in any band.
“It simply occurred that I all the time bought extra vocals than all people else, so in phrases of individuals wanting their voice heard, that wasn’t taking place.
“And it made individuals very bitter.
“They didn’t like that.”
‘They never liked each other’
Manager, Louis Walsh, stated the cut up was inevitable as Cheryl, Sarah, Nicola, Kimberley and Nadine didn’t even like one another.
Speaking on Kate Thornton’s Paper Cuts on BBC Radio 2 in 2014, Louis responded to claims that he did not give the lady group quite a bit of his time.
“I didn’t give them a lot of my time but they didn’t give me time and they didn’t even like each other!” he stated.
“It was issues from day one there.
“I contacted them as much as I could but they didn’t like each other.”
The former X Factor choose went on to assert that their issues stemmed from the opposite women being jealous of Nadine’s expertise.
He continued: “It was by no means going to work as a result of I stated Nadine was one of the best singer and she was.
“She was the voice of Girls Aloud.”
Sarah’s cancer diagnosis
Last yr, Sarah revealed the heartbreaking news she was struggling with stage 4 breast cancer.
And the ladies instantly did “everything they can” to assist her after she privately broke the unhappy news to them over the telephone, a couple of days earlier.
A supply instructed the Mirror: “They’ve all shed quite a bit of tears however all of the ladies vowed to be sturdy and be there for her it doesn’t matter what. They are nearer than ever as a unit.
“Sarah could be very unwell and resides at house together with her mum.
“They are each being very sturdy and everyone seems to be doing all they will to assist them each.”
A ‘tearful’ secret reunion
The 5 women rapidly put all their variations apart and had a secret reunion at Soho Farmhouse collectively – the primary time they’d all been collectively in eight years.
Sarah revealed in her autobiography Hear Me Out that she was anxious about seeing her former bandmates after having remedy for breast cancer.
She wrote: “The steroids I’d been taking made me look bloated, and I’d misplaced my eyelashes because of the chemo.
“It’s not that I assumed they wouldn’t perceive or be judgemental, of course; it’s simply that after we had been collectively as a bunch, half of our factor was the glamour.
“As a band, we all had our own styles and looks, but there was a sexiness and glamorousness about Girls Aloud that I just wasn’t able to rise to them.”
During their reunion they rewatched their 2006 documentary-style E4 present Girls Aloud: Off The Record.
Sarah stated: “We had been all so completely different then. There was a kind of candy naivety about us.
“Watching Off the Record provoked lots of laughing and even more cringing, but I have to say, I looked on fondly. ‘You only miss this when it’s gone,’ I told the girls.”
Cheryl added of the journey: “When all of us bought collectively at Soho Farmhouse, there have been no tears.
“Actually, that’s not totally true; there have been tears, however they had been from laughter somewhat than unhappiness.
“It was a beautiful journey away for us all, and Sarah was at her finest.
“She’s always been funny and sharp-witted, but somehow, in all this, she’s even funnier. God knows how!”
‘She knows she can ask us for anything’
It was when she was recognized with breast cancer that Sarah determined to put in writing her autobiography.
She wished to make use of it as a approach of elevating consciousness in regards to the significance of checking your breasts, as she had delay going to the physician’s together with her signs.
Sarah’s e-book – launched in March – additionally introduced Girls Aloud again collectively, as they’d share reminiscences to assist her write her e-book.
Talking of how Sarah was doing final yr, Kimberley stated: “She’s superb truly.
“She’s simply managed to put in writing an autobiography. I don’t know the way she’s managed to do this however I believe she was glad to have one thing to give attention to.
“We haven’t learn it however we’ve been chatting to her quite a bit about reminiscences simply to assist her bear in mind stuff.”
She continued: “With anybody who’s affected by cancer, that’s the one factor you do really feel is totally helpless.
“All you can do is literally be there, constantly remind them that you’re there to help with whatever is humanely possible.
“And she is aware of, she totally is aware of that, and that’s all that I care about that she is aware of that she will be able to ask us for something.”
Cheryl’s ‘spiritual’ Facetiming
After her diagnosis, Cheryl began staying in touch with Sarah, usually FaceTiming her for hours on finish and messaging her.
The pair had deep conversations about what would occur when Sarah ultimately died.
In Sarah’s e-book, Cheryl stated: “I think of myself as a spiritual person, and I guess Sarah does too, so there’s been an honesty between us when we talk about what might be.
“I’ve always believed that the end of our life on Planet Earth isn’t the end of everything and that we go to an incredible place once it’s over.”
She continued: “That’s one thing I’ll all the time hold reminding her.
“We’ve additionally made a pact that if and when she’s left us, she’s going to come back again and go to me.
“We haven’t decided exactly what form she might take, or what sign she might give to let me know it’s her, but I said I don’t mind as long as she doesn’t come when I’m on the loo.”
Wine and cheese evening with Nadine
Nadine was additionally fast to consolation Sarah.
Sarah opened up about drowning her sorrows together with her pal in her autobiography, spending a night with the Irish star, crying, ingesting wine and consuming cheese, as her pal instructed her how a lot she cherished her.
She stated: “Throughout the night, all of us had our moments of hysterical laughter adopted by tears.
“At one point, Nadine told me in no uncertain terms how much she cared about me: ‘You don’t understand, Sarah. I love you!'”
“OK, so it wasn’t like the nights of wild partying I did back in the day, but it was still very special.”
‘My heart is aching’
Since Sarah’s tragic loss of life yesterday, Cheryl, Nadine, Kimberley and Nicola have shared tributes to their late pal.
And Nicola’s publish on Instagram made it clear how a lot they’d been in contact not too long ago, after years aside.
Sharing a snap of herself and Sarah collectively, the Masked Singer winner wrote: “I’m absolutely devastated and I can’t accept that this day has come.
“My coronary heart is aching and all day all the things we went by means of collectively has raced spherical my thoughts.
“Especially this final yr since her diagnosis, as exhausting because the yr has been, our new reminiscences are sturdy in my coronary heart.”
Sarah’s loss of life is totally heartbreaking, but it surely’s clear that, if one good factor has come out of it, it’s introduced the Girls Aloud women again collectively.