Sarah Harding’s powerhouse Popstars audition resurfaces as fans remember ‘shining’ star’s talent

Sarah Harding’s Popstars: The Rivals audition has reminded fans of her incredible talent following the Girls Aloud singer’s tragic death.

Harding, who died on Sunday (5 September) aged 39, shot to fame as one of the contestants on ITV contest Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.

It was through that contest that Sarah Harding won a spot in Girls Aloud, the girl band that would go on to conquer the charts and release a collection of timeless, addictive songs.

Harding’s death was confirmed in an Instagram post written by her mother Marie on Sunday, who asked fans to remember as a “bright shining star”.

As fans reminisced, it wasn’t long before footage of her Popstars: The Rivals audition resurfaced.

A short clip of Harding’s first appearance on the show has gained traction in the hours since her death. In the video, a 21-year-old Harding delivers her trademark powerhouse vocals – and immediately wows the judges.

Louis Walsh, Peter Waterman and Geri Horner were clearly blown away by Harding’s vocal prowess, with Walsh telling her she had made it to the next round.

Girls Aloud fans are remembering when they first heard Sarah Harding sing

Girls Aloud fans have been reflecting on the first moment they heard Sarah Harding sing on Popstars: The Rivals since her death, with many commenting on her extraordinary talent.

Heartbroken to hear about Sarah Harding passing. I remember seeing her first audition on Popstars The Rivals & thinking she was a star in the making – beautiful & talented but also a warm & lovely person and she stayed that way once famous. RIP sweetheart

— Carol D (@bluejeanbaby01) September 5, 2021

Sarah’s mother has asked for her to be remembered as a shining star, so we’ll do that – let’s go back to how many of us first saw that young lady who was destined for big things! #SarahHarding https://t.co/9sPTKBcqzv

— James Taylor-Goddard (@JTaylorGoddard) September 5, 2021

Devastated to hear Sarah Harding has died. I remember watching her audition on Pop Idol and became a huge Girls Aloud fan, even though it wasn’t my usual type of music. So sorry for her family and friends; a terrible tragedy. My thoughts today with all breast cancer victims xx

— Lynn Braben Working Class Hero is something to be (@LynnBraben) September 5, 2021

So sad to hear Sarah Harding lost her battle with Breast Cancer!
I spent lots of time with her during “popstars the rivals” auditions- she was so bubbly, free spirited and loved life! #RIPSarah

— Pollyanna Woodward (@PollyannaWW) September 5, 2021

So sad to hear about #sarahharding – she was always a favourite from the first time I saw her audition on screen – she shone a bright light and always walked her own path. F**k cancer. May she rest in peace

— Caroline Feraday (@CarolineFeraday) September 5, 2021

Girls Aloud achieved enormous success throughout their career, racking up 21 UK Top 10 singles and launching a string of addictive radio friendly songs.

After the group went their separate ways in 2013, Sarah Harding made a name for herself as an actor, starring in Run for Your Wife and St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold.

She later appeared in a stage musical version of Ghost and went on to win Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.

Harding’s mother Marie confirmed her death on Sunday in a heart-wrenching Instagram post.

“It’s with deep heartbreak that today I’m sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away,” Marie wrote.

“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.”

Her Girls Aloud co-stars led tributes to her, with each one sharing their heartbreak and their memories of Harding on their Instagram pages.

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