Tom Parker, English Boy Band Star, Dies of a Cancerous Brain Tumor at Age 33

The singer was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma in October 2020.

Tom Parker and his bandmates posing for a picture before his untimely passing due to a cancerous brain tumor.

Tom Parker (pictured second from right), singer for English boy band the Wanted, died Wednesday of a cancerous brain tumor called a glioblastoma. He was 33.

Kelsey Hardwick, Parker’s wife and the mother of his two young children, shared the news of his passing on Instagram. She wrote: “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.”

Parker revealed his glioblastoma diagnosis via Instagram in October of 2020. Doctors discovered the tumor after the singer suffered a pair of seizures over the summer.

About glioblastoma

Each year, more than 240,000 people all over the world die of cancer of the brain or nervous system; in 2020, the disease killed over 18,000 Americans. The most common type of cancerous brain tumor is a glioblastoma multiforme, also called GBM or glioblastoma.

Glioblastomas begin in the brain’s glial cells, which act as support for other brain cells. They grow and spread quickly throughout the brain, though they rarely move outside of it. Glioblastomas are considered difficult to treat or remove surgically because they invade and “blend” with healthy brain tissue. By his own account, Parker’s grade IV glioblastoma was inoperable.

Glioblastomas are more common in men than women and tend to occur between ages 45 and 70. Other notable people who have died of glioblastomas include Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy, as well as President Biden’s son, Beau.

The life of Tom Parker

Thomas Anthony Parker was born August 4, 1988, in Bolton, England. He rose to fame in the early 2010s as a member of the Wanted, a British-Irish boy band in the vein of *NSYNC and One Direction. Until their 2014 breakup, the group found wide success in the U.K. with multiple top-10 singles and albums.

After leaving the Wanted, Parker released solo singles, appeared on British reality shows, and starred in a U.K. tour of the musical Grease.

Article sources open article sources

TomParkerOfficial. Instagram.com. October 12, 2020.
Being_kelsey. Instagram.com. March 30, 2022.
Mark Savage. Tom Parker: The Wanted singer diagnosed with inoperable brain tumour. BBC.com. October 12, 2020.
National Brain Tumor Society. Quick Brain Tumor Facts. 2021.
D Purves, GJ Augustine, D Fitzpatrick D, et al., editors. Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001. Neuroglial Cells.
American Cancer Society. Types of Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults. May 5, 2020.
American Brain Tumor Association. Glioblastoma. 2021.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Glioblastoma Multiforme. 2021.
AllMusic.com. The Wanted: Biography. 2021.

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