It's always tragic when a young person dies, but hearts have been broken across the world as news spread that Tom Parker, one of the singers of the band The Wanted, has died at just 33. Parker passed away after a long battle with brain cancer, and leaves behind a loving family and fan base that stretches back nearly a decade and a half.
Tom Parker Dies at 33
Parker was a man with an "infectious smile" and "energetic presence" who will be dearly missed by both those closest to him and fans across the world.
Variety reports, "Parker’s wife Kelsey Hardwick shared the news on Instagram Wednesday, writing, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we confirm Tom passed away peacefully earlier today with all of his family by his side. Our hearts are broken, Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence. We are truly thankful for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we all unite to ensure Tom’s light continues to shine for his beautiful children. Thank you to everyone who has supported in his care throughout, he fought until the very end. I’m forever proud of you.”
Parker's battle started in 2020 when he suffered two seizures and was hospitalized. Ultimately, the singer was diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma tumor in late 2020. Glioblastoma is the same cancer that took the life of celebrated Senator and former Presidential candidate John McCain in 2018.
Variety adds, "'We are all absolutely devastated but we are gonna fight this all the way. We don’t want your sadness, we just want love and positivity and together we will raise awareness of this terrible disease and look for all available treatment options. It’s gonna be a tough battle but with everyone’s love and support we are going to beat this,' he wrote [at the time]."
Parker leaves behind his wife Kelsey and two children, Aurelia (2) and Bodhi (1). The Guardian shares, "His four bandmates paid tribute to Parker, calling him 'our brother' and saying: 'Words can’t express the loss and sadness we feel. Always and forever in our hearts.'”
A Look Back at His Time in The Wanted
Parker was best known for his time as one of the singers of the band The Wanted. Parker was inclined to music from childhood and first picked up a guitar at the age of 16. In 2009, Parker co-founded The Wanted with bandmates Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness and Nathan Sykes. Their first hit took off in 2010, "All Time Low."
The Wanted signed on with the notorious Scooter Braun, manager for Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande among others, the same Tinsel Town suit that Taylor Swift famously feuded with. From there, they rocketed to superstardom. Mega-hits like "Glad You Came," "Heart Vacancy" and others dominated the UK charts before doing the same in the US. The band broke up in 2014, but got back together in 2021.
Parker went on to release several solo songs, including a song called "Fireflies" with Richard Rawson. Parker also appeared on the UK's "Celebrity MasterChef" where he made it all the way to the semi-finals before being eliminated.
In 2021, Parker was the front of a documentary for Channel 4's "Stand Up for Cancer" which took fans and viewers on a journey through his treatment and life at home as he battled glioblastoma. In November of 2021, Parker shared that his tumor was stable and he had planned to return to the stage with his bandmates this year, however his condition went downhill rapidly.
The Guardian adds, "His memoir, Hope, will be published in July after its announcement earlier this month. He described it as 'about finding hope in whatever situation you’re dealt, and living your best life no matter what'." It's unclear if the band will continue with their planned reunion in the wake of Parker's loss, but for now they're all pausing to mourn the devastating void left behind by his passing.