TRAGIC star Sarah Harding shot to stardom after auditioning for a spot in Girls Aloud.
The star, whose death aged just 39 was announced by her devastated mum today, appeared as a young wannabe on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.
Sarah impressed the judging panel performing the Steps song Last Thing on My Mind without so much as a microphone.
Pete Waterman, who was a judge alongside Geri Halliwell and Louis Walsh, instantly put her through to the next round saying: “You’re going to London.”
The band, which was assembled by the team of experts, eventually saw Sarah joined by Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh.
Girls Aloud, which made multi-millionaires of all the bandmates, was a huge success, recording 20 consecutive Top 10 singles in the UK.
Managed by Louis until 2005, they saw off the competition’s rival boys band, One True Voice, with their hit single Sound of the Underground.
Sarah was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer last August and underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy in a bid to prolong her life.
But the singer’s mum Marie today confirmed the heartbreaking news of her daughter’s death – saying her “shining star” had “slipped away” after bravely fighting the disease for 12 months.
She wrote: “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”.
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