Tom Parker, the British singer and former member of the boy band The Wanted, died on Wednesday after it was revealed that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago. He was 33 years old.
The group had a No. 1 hit debut single in the UK with “Glad You Came,” and released three albums between 2010 and 2013 before splitting up to pursue solo projects. They also appeared on the E! reality television series The Wanted Life, which chronicled the lives of the boy band members behind the scenes as they prepared for their world tour and final studio album.
An X Factor alum, Tom Parker sold over 12 million records worldwide with The Wanted, later appearing on Celebrity MasterChef, The Jump, and the UK’s 2017 production of Grease as the lead, Danny Zuko.
“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 band mates,” the Wanted members wrote in an official statement on Tom Parker’s passing. “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.”
Tom Parker was survived by his wife Kelsey Hardwick, and their two children, Aurelia, 3, and Bodhi, 2. He recently starred in Tom Parker: Inside My Head, a 2021 documentary for UK’s Channel 4 that raised awareness for his specific kind of brain tumor.
According to People, he was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.
This past November, he revealed to his fans that he was stable, but his health later deteriorated. The London Evening Standard reported that he recently went through six rounds of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of radiology in a private hospital in Spain.
“We are all devastated but we are gonna fight this all the way,” he said in an Instagram post at the time. “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.”
“More time with my kids. More time with my wife. More time with life, and I feel like that’s going to happen,” he said about his future plans. “I’ve got that positive outlook on life. And I think when you take strength and courage from other people around you, that really helps.”
Tom Parker also planned to release a book in July titled Hope about his experience, finding hope, and “living your best life no matter what.”
His wife Kelsey revealed on Wednesday that he was surrounded by family when he passed and thanked his fans for their support.
“Our hearts are broken, Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence,” she wrote. “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,” she continued. “I’m forever proud of you.”