Tom Parker, singer in the pop band the Wanted, dies at 33

A man onstage holding a microphone up in the air
Tom Parker performs in Birmingham, England, in November 2021.
(Anthony Devlin / Getty Images for Bauer)

Tom Parker, a member of the English-Irish boy band the Wanted, has died. He was 33.

The musician, whose band’s top-charting hit was the 2011 single “Glad You Came,” died Wednesday after battling brain cancer, both the band and his wife Kelsey said on Instagram.

Parker was diagnosed in October 2020 with Stage 4 glioblastoma, an inoperable and terminal tumor. The singer said in 2020 that he had suffered unexplained seizures ahead of his diagnosis.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we confirm Tom passed away peacefully earlier today with all of his family by his side,” his wife wrote. “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.”


Added his former bandmates: “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. 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.”

Five men in suits pose on a red carpet
The Wanted, seen in 2013, was made up of Nathan Sykes, left, Jay McGuiness, Max George, Tom Parker and Siva Kaneswaran.
(Christian Palma / Associated Press)

The English-Irish quintet, which comprised Parker, Jay McGuiness, Nathan Sykes, Max George and Siva Kaneswaran, formed in 2009 and was managed and shepherded by Scooter Braun. They released their debut single “All Time Low” and their first album, “The Wanted,” in 2010. The group followed it up with “Battleground” in 2011 and “Word of Mouth” in 2013.

In 2012, the band moved to Los Angeles to film “The Wanted Life,” an E! reality series chronicling their exploits. The first season aired from June to July 2013 and lasted for seven episodes. Several of the band members said that the show led to the act’s demise.

The band called it quits in 2014. After that, Parker played Danny Zuko in a touring production of “Grease” and reached the semifinals in Britain’s “Celebrity MasterChef.” He married Kelsey (née Hardwick) in 2018 and welcomed two children, Aurelia and Bodhi, the latter of whom was born two weeks after he was diagnosed, according to the BBC.

Boy band the Wanted is calling it quits for now — but we’re glad you came, fellas.

Jan. 22, 2014

Seven years after disbanding, Parker and the Wanted reunited for a benefit concert he helped organize after his diagnosis. The band performed along with Ed Sheeran, Sigrid, Liam Payne and McFly. He also made a TV documentary about his diagnosis called “Tom Parker: Inside My Head” that was pegged to the concert.


Last week, Parker announced the July release of his memoir, “Hope.”

“[A] lot of you know me as one fifth of The Wanted, but I am also a father, a husband, and a son, that’s battling brain cancer,” he wrote on Instagram. “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. It will show you how having faith in hope and daring to dream means you can carry on, against all odds.”

Parker is survived by his wife and two children.