Cheryl has pulled out of appearing at Birmingham Pride, saying she is not “emotionally, mentally or physically able to perform” following the death of Sarah Harding.
Her Girls Aloud bandmate died on September 5 aged 39 after revealing last August that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.
Cheryl, 38, was due to headline the pride event this weekend, alongside acts including Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Katy B.
She wrote on Instagram Stories: “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 absolutely rollercoaster of emotions. Questions without answers and pain without resolve. So tumultuous and constant.
“With that said I am 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.”
Harding’s death was announced on Instagram by her mother Marie, who said her “beautiful” daughter was “a bright shining star”.
Earlier this year, Harding said she was told by a doctor that she would probably not be alive next Christmas.
Cheryl, then Cheryl Tweedy, was part of Girls Aloud with Harding, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts from their formation on TV show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.
There was an outpouring of tributes after Harding’s death was announced.
Coyle said she was “absolutely devastated” while Walsh remembered her as someone who “loved, lived and laughed so hard”.