The Wanted star Tom Parker dies at 33 after brain tumor battle

0
10
Tom Parker of The Wanted, seen performing in 2013, has died at age 33. (Photo: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Radio.com)

Tom Parker of The Wanted, seen performing in 2013, has died at age 33. (Photo: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Radio.com)

Tom Parker, the 33-year-old singer and member of the British pop group The Wanted, has died at the age of 33.

Wife Kelsey Hardwick announced the news on Instagram, saying that the singer “passed away peacefully earlier today with all of his family by his side.”

Parker was diagnosed with inoperable stage-four glioblastoma in 2020, while his Kelsey was pregnant with their second child.

“Our hearts are broken,” Kelsey’s post read.

“Tom was the center of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence.”

A statement on the band’s Instagram page said: “Max, Jay, Siva, Nathan and the whole Wanted family are devastated by the tragic and premature loss of our bandmate Tom Parker, who passed away peacefully at lunchtime today surrounded by his family and his bandmates.

“Tom was an amazing husband to Kelsey, and father to Aurelia and Bodhi.

“He was our brother. Words can’t express the loss and sadness we feel. Always and forever in our hearts.”

Parker joined the rest of The Wanted on stage while seated on a throne. (Photo: Max George/Instagram)Parker joined the rest of The Wanted on stage while seated on a throne. (Photo: Max George/Instagram)

Parker joined the rest of The Wanted on stage while seated on a throne. (Photo: Max George/Instagram)

He had been forced to pull out of tour dates to undergo cancer treatment, but joined Max George, Nathan Sykes, Siva Kaneswaran and Jay McGuinness in surprise appearances at shows, including a special cameo earlier this month. In photos that bandmate Max George shared from their time together, he was shown using a wheelchair.

Last October, Parker told the Sun he was determined to defy the odds of his illness.

“They give you 12 to 18 months of survival,” he said. “But that’s the general statistics. Everyone we’ve spoken to has been way, way beyond that.

“Now, we’re aiming to be cancer-free by March. That’s the aim. This disease is always there. You might have residual cells but just not active.”

Parker and Kelsey Hardwick in 2016. (Photo: Getty Images for The London Cabaret Club)Parker and Kelsey Hardwick in 2016. (Photo: Getty Images for The London Cabaret Club)

Parker and Kelsey Hardwick in 2016. (Photo: Getty Images for The London Cabaret Club)

In December last year, Parker spoke at an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumors via video-link.

“I’m staggered they can find a cure for COVID within a year but, for decades on end, they haven’t found better treatments let alone a cure for brain tumors,” he said. “Why is it taking so long for clinical trials to come through?”

Parker had undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and over 30 radiotherapy sessions, and revealed last week that he had written a book about his cancer battle.

He told fans: “My book is not about dying: It’s a book about living. It’s a book about finding hope in whatever situation you’re dealt, and living your best life no matter what.”

He also appeared in a documentary on the U.K.’s Channel 4 in 2021, called Tom Parker: Inside My Head.

The Wanted formed in 2009 with Parker, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Nathan Sykes and Jay McGuinness. They went on hiatus in 2014, and reformed last year.