Sarah Harding played her first solo gig at London's Kensington Palace last night (20.03.14).

The former Girls Aloud singer performed two new tracks and her old band's hit 'Promises' at the charity event to celebrate Street Child's fifth birthday.

The 32-year-old star wore a stunning £40,000 full-length gown by Yuvna Kim for the acoustic set and admitted she was nervous about stepping out on her own without her old band mates - Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts.

Ahead of the show, Sarah exclusively told BANG Showbiz: ''I'm excited but nervous. I'm laying my soul out to bare, it's all very stripped back as well, I'm jumping in the deep end.''

The blonde beauty, who has been working on her new tracks with DJ boyfriend Mark Foster, realises there will be people who are critical of her decision to go it alone but it hasn't stopped her.

She explained: ''You can't please everyone, there's always going to be critics out there. Over the years you learn self-acceptance is the key. If you can enjoy what you're doing, regardless, then that will come across to everyone else.

''There will be a minority, or a majority, probably, waiting for me to fail, you do feel like you've got a lot to prove [but] I always want to prove it to myself first.''

Sarah will head to Africa later this year with Street Child, which creates opportunities for children to go to school in some of the world's poorest countries.

She added: ''I can't wait to go to Africa. The work that goes into helping these people and guys giving them opportunities in life. How can you not get involved in something like that?''

Donations to the charity for the next three months will be matched by the Government as part of the 'Every Child in School' campaign.

Sarah will perform a showcase gig at O2 Academy Islington on Wednesday (26.03.14) and hopes to release her album later this year.