Cheryl drops out of Birmingham Pride to process grief after Sarah Harding death

Cheryl has dropped out of Birmingham Pride as she comes to terms wit the death of former Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding.

The 38-year-old told fans that she is not ‘emotionally, mentally or physically able’ to perform at the event this weekend, saying that she needs to process her grief.

In a statement shared to her Instagram stories, the Call My Name singer wrote: ‘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 so 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.’

Birmingham Pride confirmed Cheryl would no longer be performing, with organisers saying: ‘This decision has not been taken lightly and she is completely devastated that she feels emotionally and physically unable to perform for us all.

‘Naturally we are disappointed that Cheryl is unable to perform for us all this weekend, but we fully understand and respect her decision. Personal loss and grief in the big scheme of things are far more important than any single performance.’

The festival is donating Cheryl’s fee in its entirety to a charity supporting LGBTQ+ people living with cancer.

Cheryl had been set to perform on Saturday’s line-up, alongside stars like Bree Runway, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Katy B and Ms Banks.

Sister Sledge and Clean Bandit are headlining on the Sunday.

Cheryl last performed at Mighty Hoopla earlier this month, the night before Sarah died aged 39 after a battle with breast cancer.

The singer had been diagnosed a year earlier, and shared the news with fans that it had advanced to other parts of her body.

Following the devastating news, Cheryl wrote on Instagram: ‘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 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.’

Cheryl and Sarah, along with Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh, were selected to form Girls Aloud on Popstars: The Rivals 19 years ago.

The group went on to become the UK’s most successful girl band of the 21st century with number ones including Sound Of The Underground and The Promise.

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