Cheryl and Nadine Coyle share a tender moment holding hands in support following emotional Sarah Harding tribute at reunion concert.

Cheryl and Nadine Coyle share a tender moment holding hands in support following emotional Sarah Harding tribute at reunion concert.

Emotional Cheryl and Nadine Coyle shared a sweet moment as they supportively held hands after a heartbreaking Sarah Harding tribute was shown during their reunion concert this weekend.

The band – also including Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts – returned to the stage for the first time in 11 years for the first night of their reunion tour in Dublin on Friday. 

And the girl group’s opening night had their late bandmate – who tragically died from breast cancer in 2021 – at its centre with a rendition of their iconic hit The Promise which featured Sarah’s vocals as she was shown in old footage singing on the screen.

Nadine, Cheryl, Kimberley and Nicola turned around for the tribute to watch Sarah on the screen, with their backs to the audience. 

Then then turned around after Sarah’s vocals on part of the song had finished as they carried on with the next part of the tune.

Cheryl and Nadine Coyle share a tender moment holding hands in support following emotional Sarah Harding tribute at reunion concert.

Emotional Cheryl and Nadine Coyle shared a sweet moment as they supportively held hands after a heartbreaking Sarah Harding tribute was shown during their reunion concert this weekend

The band - also including Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts - returned to the stage for the first time in 11 years for the first night of their reunion tour in Dublin on Friday

The band – also including Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts – returned to the stage for the first time in 11 years for the first night of their reunion tour in Dublin on Friday

Nadine, 38, looked particularly emotional as she turned back around, with her close pal Cheryl, 40, quickly noticing and offering a supportive hand on her back.

They then briefly held hands during the tough moment and Nicola continued with her part of the song.

Elsewhere the band made other sweet nods to Sarah including with their hit I’ll Stand By You set to a video of Sarah and her vocals, leaving fans in tears. 

Before the ballad began, Nadine told the crowd: ‘We’re going to do a duet with Sarah tonight. It’s going to be us, Sarah, you. Lets do this together.’ 

Sarah’s vocals then began to play as her four bandmates sang live on stage alongside their late friend.

Keeping Sarah as the focus from the start until the end of the performance, the show began with hit Untouchable which was set against a backdrop of footage of Sarah displayed on pink curtains. 

Later they performed Whole Lotta History, which was also dedicated to the late star. 

Nicola reflected: ‘When we recorded this next song 19 years ago, we had no idea 19 years later it would become so poignant on our journey.’ 

Black and white footage of Sarah singing were then shown, followed by a emotional montage dedicated to the late star which read: ‘The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.’

And the girl group's opening night had their late bandmate - who tragically died from breast cancer in 2021 - at its centre with a rendition of their iconic hit The Promise which featured Sarah's vocals as she was shown in old footage singing on the screen

And the girl group’s opening night had their late bandmate – who tragically died from breast cancer in 2021 – at its centre with a rendition of their iconic hit The Promise which featured Sarah’s vocals as she was shown in old footage singing on the screen

Nadine, Cheryl, Kimberley and Nicola turned around for the tribute to watch Sarah on the screen, with their backs to the audience but when they turned back Nadine looked emotional

Nadine, Cheryl, Kimberley and Nicola turned around for the tribute to watch Sarah on the screen, with their backs to the audience but when they turned back Nadine looked emotional

Nadine, 38, looked particularly emotional as she turned back around, with her close pal Cheryl, 40, quickly noticing and offering a supportive hand on her back

Nadine, 38, looked particularly emotional as she turned back around, with her close pal Cheryl, 40, quickly noticing and offering a supportive hand on her back

They then briefly held hands during the tough moment and Nicola continued with her part of the song

They then briefly held hands during the tough moment and Nicola continued with her part of the song

They shared a tender moment after the emotional tribute to Sarah which played on the screens

They shared a tender moment after the emotional tribute to Sarah which played on the screens 

They duetted with her vocals during first reunion concert as a four-piece in Dublin on Friday night

They duetted with her vocals during first reunion concert as a four-piece in Dublin on Friday night

Elsewhere the band made other sweet nods to Sarah including with their hit I'll Stand By You set to a video of Sarah and her vocals, leaving fans in tears

Elsewhere the band made other sweet nods to Sarah including with their hit I’ll Stand By You set to a video of Sarah and her vocals, leaving fans in tears 

Sarah tragically died in September 2021 after a battle with breast cancer (pictured in 2017)

Sarah tragically died in September 2021 after a battle with breast cancer (pictured in 2017)

Holding back emotion, Kimberley told the audience: ‘Standing feeling all the emotions you’re feeling. I hope you know it means as much as it means you to you.’ 

Cheryl added: ‘Thank you for your support through everything we went through with Sarah. It’s hard to believe but it’s such a beautiful thing to be on stage with these ladies again.’

The stars formed the iconic girl band in 2002 after winning Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and reunited with new music for their 10th anniversary in 2012. A second reunion for their 20th anniversary was planned but came as Sarah received her diagnosis.

Taking to Twitter after their first show, the band thanked fans as they wrote: ‘Show 1 done Dublin you were absolutely INCREDIBLE. What a start to the #TheGirlsAloudShow tour’.

Replying fans wrote: ‘amazing show! so entertaining, both fun and then also lots of beautiful tributes to Sarah ❤️ well done girls’.

‘You did Sarah proud! Love you all so much! See you next month’; ‘Absolutely smashed it, you all looked and sounded incredible too’; ‘I was in the front row, you were INCREDIBLE!’. 

‘you’ve done Sarah so proud’; ‘You were amazing and Sarah would be so proud! Good luck with the rest of the tour.’

Others penned: ‘This is what you call a tribute. Taking out her demo vocals to showcase her incredible legacy is something only this band would do. Long reign Girls Aloud!’ and ‘If you see me crying in Cardiff at the Girls Aloud show, yes you did ‘cause Sarah Harding was a legend. RIP Queen,’;

‘What a beautiful tribute to Sarah. Girls aloud truly breathtaking. Girls be proud! Sarah will be. x,’;

‘Well this just broke my heart,’; ‘I’m honestly crying. We miss you Sarah,’;

‘this moment is going to be the end of me, my goodness… SARAH FOREVER ❤️❤️❤️,’;

‘Sarah tribute is so special, so nice to hear her voice part of the tour,’; ‘This is a moment wow.’

After two back-to-back opening nights in Dublin’s 3Arena, Girls Aloud will play two concerts at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Monday and Tuesday.

They will then head to the Manchester AO Arena from Thursday to Saturday.    

In November, the group had to add six extra dates to their UK and Ireland 2024 arena tour due to ‘unprecedented demand’ following ticket pre-sales.

When they announced the tour, Cheryl revealed they had been discussing the plans for some time but put the idea on ice when Sarah – who died in September 2021 – was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said: ‘We all started talking about the possibility of doing something to celebrate Girls Aloud’s 20-year anniversary a few years ago. The anniversary seemed like an obvious thing that we would celebrate.

‘But when Sarah fell ill all priorities changed. She passed away a year before the anniversary and it just didn’t feel right, it felt too soon.’

The group plan to use the tour to “celebrate” their late friend.

Cheryl added: ‘But now, I think there is an energy that does makes it feel right. It’s the right time to celebrate Sarah, it’s the right time to celebrate the band and the right time to celebrate the fact we can still do this 21 years later. That’s a big honour in lots of ways.’

Kimberley said: ‘Over the last year, we’ve felt this outpouring of love – obviously towards Sarah, but actually towards all of us as a group.

Black and white footage of Sarah singing were then shown, followed by a emotional montage dedicated to the late star which read: 'The darkest nights produce the brightest stars'

 Black and white footage of Sarah singing were then shown, followed by a emotional montage dedicated to the late star which read: ‘The darkest nights produce the brightest stars’

Later they performed Whole Lotta History, which was also dedicated to the late star. Nicola reflected: 'When we recorded this next song 19 years ago, we had no idea 19 years later it would become so poignant on our journey'

Later they performed Whole Lotta History, which was also dedicated to the late star. Nicola reflected: ‘When we recorded this next song 19 years ago, we had no idea 19 years later it would become so poignant on our journey’ 

Nadine Coyle, Cheryl, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Sarah Harding formed the iconic band in 2002 after winning Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (pictured)

Nadine Coyle, Cheryl, Nicola Roberts, Kimberley Walsh and Sarah Harding formed the iconic band in 2002 after winning Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 (pictured)

Holding back emotion, Kimberley told the audience: 'Standing feeling all the emotions you're feeling. I hope you know it means as much as it means you to you'

Holding back emotion, Kimberley told the audience: ‘Standing feeling all the emotions you’re feeling. I hope you know it means as much as it means you to you’

‘And I guess it’s ignited something in all of us again. It feels like something has changed and it does feel like the right time to celebrate Sarah and the 20-year anniversary that we didn’t celebrate at the time.’

The group hope fans will enjoy the tour just as much as them.

Nadine said: ‘Girls Aloud are a band that made such a huge impact on people’s lives. We grew up with the band, but so did so many other people.

‘So for us not to do something again feels like such a shame and a waste. We want to have that moment with fans where we can all enjoy it together.’

Girls Aloud tour setlist in full 

Untouchable

The Show

Something New

Love Machine

Can’t Speak French

Biology

Whole Lotta History (Sarah tribute)

Wake Me Up

Sound of the Underground

Girl Overboard

No Good Advice

Graffiti My Soul

Long Hot Summer

I’ll Stand By You (starts with Sarah solo)

Sexy No No No

On The Metro

Jump

Call The Shots

Something Kinda Ooh

The Promise

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