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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Nicole Vassell

Nadine Coyle rescues Cheryl with emergency solo during Girls Aloud tour

X / DaniSpiceBoy

Nadine Coyle swept in to help bandmate Cheryl at short notice at a recent stop on the Girls Aloud reunion tour.

One of Britain’s biggest-selling girl bands kicked off their first shows in more than a decade last week, dedicating their performances to late member Sarah Harding, who died of breast cancer in 2021.

During a show in Belfast, the group performed their 2008 Number One single “The Promise”, which includes a special tribute to Harding with video footage of her projected in the background.

However, on Monday night’s performance (20 May), the song had a last-minute change of plan when Cheryl, 40, had to call on Coyle, 38, to sing her solo line in her place.

Footage captured by fans at the SSE Arena shows the “Fight for This Love” singer grabbing Coyle’s elbow ahead of the line, before saying something to her away from the mic.

Visibly surprised at her groupmate’s unexpected action, Coyle raised her eyebrows and nodded at Cheryl, before saying a questioning remark to her off-mic.

Coyle then sang Cheryl’s line in the song’s bridge, accidentally substituting the word “convince” for “forgive”: “If you wanna forgive me, start again / If you wanna be with me in my arms.”

It is unclear what caused Cheryl to be unable to sing her line.

In response to the video of the sweet moment, Girls Aloud fans have praised the singers for their quick-thinking, particularly Coyle for ensuring the song continued almost without a hitch.

“This is amazing! The brief panic in her eyes when she agrees to sing Cheryl’s line and then realises she actually doesn’t know it,” one wrote. “She did get it slightly wrong, but she still nailed it. Icon!”

Others were moved by seeing how the bandmates were working well together, after feud rumours.

Cheryl surprises Nadine Coyle on tour with on-stage request (X / DaniSpiceBoy)

“This is so precious. It’s wonderful to see them having one another’s backs again,” one X user wrote.

Another suggested that Harding’s death brought Cheryl and Coyle closer, as well as with fellow bandmates Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts.

“If there is any silver lining that can come from losing Sarah, it’s that Girls Aloud are friends again,” the fan wrote. “Grief is a powerful thing, genuinely emotional seeing these two care about each other again.”

On the opening night of their reunion tour at Dublin’s 3Arena on Friday night (17 May), the remaining members began their show with a special moment for Harding.

Nadine Coyle, Cheryl, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh stood on individual podiums singing the opening track “Untouchable” as a montage of photographs of Harding were projected onto the screen behind them.

Speaking to The Independent ahead of the tour’s launch, Cheryl shared her hopes for the performances.

“We want people to be transported back to the time through our music. We want people to sing their hearts out and dance their socks off,” she said.

“It’s the right time to celebrate Sarah, the right time to celebrate the band, and the right time to celebrate the fact we can still do this over 20 years later. That’s a big honour.”

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