Cheryl has pulled out of Birmingham Pride as she feels “physically and emotionally unable to perform” following the death of Sarah Harding.
The singer was set to headline Birmingham Pride on Saturday (25 September), but has cancelled as she mourns her former Girls Aloud bandmate, who died of cancer earlier this month aged 39.
Cheryl shared her grief on Instagram. “Saying goodbye to somebody you spent such a massive piece of your life with is like nothing else,” she wrote.
“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 at this Birmingham Pride.”
Cheryl was also due to headline the event back in 2020 before it was cancelled due to COVID, and apologised to fans that she was forced to cancel once again again.
“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 this grief.
“Nothing prepares you for this bit.
Birmingham Pride confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter, saying: “This decision has not been taken lightly and [Cheryl] is completely devastated that she feels emotionally and physically unable to perform.
“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.”
— Birmingham Pride (@BirminghamPride) September 24, 2021
It continued: “Birmingham Pride is much more than our artist line up, it’s about us, our community.
“We have taken the decision to show our support by donating Cheryl’s fee in its entirety to a cancer charity or charities that support LGBT+ people with cancer. We send our thoughts and wishes to Cheryl and the family of Sarah Harding.”
Cheryl, who joined Girls Aloud in 2002, shared a heart-wrenching tribute to Harding on Instagram shortly after her death was announced to the public.
“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,” she said.
“As I try to navigate my way through these painfully strange and horribly unfamiliar waves of disbelief and 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.”