Obituary – Tom Parker – The Wanted Star
Tom Parker‘s first brush with fame on The X Factor, aged 16, was short and brutal. The born-and-bred Bolton singer, who went on to storm the UK and US charts with boy band The Wanted, lasted less than a minute before Simon Cowell stopped his audition and sent him off stage.
- Died: March 30, 2022
- Details of death: Died due to terminal brain cancer aged 33.
Tom Parker, who has died of cancer aged 33, was a singer with the boy band The Wanted, who sold millions of records around the world with hits such as Glad You Came and All Time Low; when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2020 he became an activist and fundraiser and had the support of millions of fans as he documented his struggles with the disease.
Thomas Parker was born on August 4, 1988, in Bolton, north-west England. He taught himself to play the guitar and auditioned for The X Factor talent show but failed to progress beyond the first round.
He went to Manchester Metropolitan University to study geography but was unable to set his musical ambitions aside, and took a small step on the path to stardom when he joined a Take That tribute band.
In 2009 the manager Jayne Collins, who had masterminded the rise of the girl band The Saturdays, which included Tipperary’s Una Healy, held auditions for a male version, seeing more than 1,000 men over nine months. Parker was chosen along with Nathan Sykes, Dubliner Siva Kaneswaran, Max George and Jay McGuiness to form the group that would become known internationally as The Wanted.
When The Wanted announced a hiatus in 2014, he took up DJ-ing and reached the semi-finals of Celebrity MasterChef in 2015. Three years later, he stripped off for ITV’s The Real Full Monty: Live to raise funds for male cancers.
But in 2020, after suffering a seizure, Parker announced that he had been diagnosed with inoperable grade 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour that is notoriously difficult to treat.
Last December 2021 Parker addressed the House of Commons all-party parliamentary group on brain tumours, telling them: “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 tumours.”
Parker married Kelsey Hardwick in 2018.
She survives him, along with their young daughter Aurelia and son Bodhi.
Date of birth: August 4th 1988
Date of Death: March 30th 2022 (aged 33 years)