Tom Parker’s ‘devastated’ bandmates have joined a national outpouring of grief after it was announced The Wanted singer had died at the age of 33 following a two-year battle with a brain tumour.
Taking to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute, the band, consisting of Siva Kaneswaran, Max George, Nathan Sykes and Jay McGuinness, described the singer as an ‘amazing husband and father’ who would ‘always and forever be in their hearts.’
Tom’s death, which sparked a slew of other stars to share their social media tributes, was announced by his wife Kelsey on Wednesday after he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour in October 2020, writing on social media that he ‘fought to the very end’ before passing away ‘peacefully’ surrounded by his family.
Tragic: Tom Parker’s ‘devastated’ bandmates have joined a national outpouring of grief after it was announced The Wanted singer had died at the age of 33 following a two-year battle with a brain tumour (pictured on March 19)
Sharing a black and white image of Tom on The Wanted’s Instagram, the band 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 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.’
Siva Kaneswaran shared his own tribute on Instagram, writing: ‘Hey Tom, hope you’re having a blast up there. I am so grateful that I had a chance to witness your true courage.
Emotional: Taking to Instagram, the band, consisting of Siva Kaneswaran, Max George, Nathan Sykes and Jay McGuinness, described the singer as an ‘amazing husband and father’ who would ‘always and forever be in their hearts’
Touching: Alongside the band posting a joint tribute, Siva Kaneswaran shared his own on Instagram, writing: ‘I am so grateful I had the chance to witness your courage’
RIP: Tom’s death was announced by his wife Kelsey on Wednesday after he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour in October 2020, writing on social media that he ‘fought to the very end’ before passing away ‘peacefully’
Heartfelt: In a lengthy caption Kelsey said she ‘couldn’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence’
‘It has been a pleasure of my life Tommy Boy. Thank you for letting us see you light up the world. Talk to you soon and see you later. Love you brother x.’
After Tom’s passing was announcing, a slew of UK stars also took to social media to share their own tributes, with Rylan Clark tweeting: ‘I’ve just seen the news about Tom and that’s absolutely gutting. He was such a good’un. So sad to hear. Sending my love to Kelsey and the kids. Awful news .’
Take That star Howard Donald added: ‘So young and so sad. RIP @TomParker from @thewanted. Strength and love to his family.’
Peter Andre tweeted: ‘Very sad and very unfair. Rest in Peace Tom. Thoughts are with his wife and children.’
The Vamps’ Connor Ball wrote: ’33 is far too young, so much sadness, Rest in peace Tom Parker’.
Strictly Come Dancing star HRVY said: ‘We all love you Tom Parker.’
Love Island star Malin Andersson, tweeted: ‘Rest in paradise Tom Parker, sending love and strength to your family.’
The Nolans wrote: ‘Absolutely heartbreaking news. Tom was a great guy – kind, funny, talented and a fighter. Sending lots of love to his partner Kelsey, their kids and his bandmates… Rest in Peace, Tom.’
Noting his own father’s death following a battle with cancer last year, James Jordan wrote: ‘Just heard that Tom Parker passed away, the same wicked disease that took my father. My thoughts and prayers are with his family
Emotional: After Tom’s passing was announcing, a slew of UK stars also took to social media to share their own tributes
‘He was a very special man that I had the honour of meeting several times. Rest In Peace brother ❤️ My dad will be there waiting for you with a beer.’
Martin Kemp also tweeted: ‘Tom Parker, rest in peace my love goes out to all your family and all your friends.. your bravery, your fight and your spirit will never be forgotten.’
Blue star Antony Costa wrote: ‘Devastating news about #tomparker R.I.P sending my condolences to his family,loved ones and friends. X.’
Posting on Twitter, X Factor star Joe McElderry said: ‘So very very sad ?? life can be cruel! My thoughts to his family and friends.’
Tamzin Outwaite posted on Twitter: ‘This has floored me. Sending love and light to Tom’s wife and children. So unbelievably tragic. R.I.P Tom Parker.’
Ahead of announcing Tom’s death, Kelsey’s last post to her husband came on March 8, with the mother-of-two sharing a snap of him performing alongside his bandmates, writing: ‘That’s my husband ❤️✌️ You’ve made us so proud. Love you @tomparkerofficial.’
On Wednesday Tom’s death was announced by his wife Kelsey, 32, who he leaves behind along with their two children, Aurelia, two, and Bodhi, one.
Reaching out: As Kelsey shared the news of Tom’s death on Instagram, many stars shared their own tributes in the comments
Kelsey said: ‘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.
‘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.’
She went on to thank everyone who has cared for Tom during his illness, adding that he fought the disease until the very end.
Tom’s death comes just one week after he revealed he was in the process of writing a tell-all memoir amid his battle with brain cancer.
In shock: Along with a slew of stars, The Wanted’s fans struggled to hide their shock as they learned the ‘heartbreaking’ news of Tom’s passing
Parker took to Instagram last Tuesday to share the news with his fans and announce that the book would be released in July.
He said that the book, called Hope, isn’t going to be about ‘dying’ but about ‘living’ and ‘finding hope’ no matter what situation you are in.
Parker was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma and went public with his diagnosis in October 2020, and revealed last year the glioblastoma was stable after an MRI scan.
‘So proud’: Ahead of announcing Tom’s death, Kelsey’s last post to her husband came on March 8, with the mother-of-two sharing a snap of him performing alongside his bandmates, writing: ‘That’s my husband’
Last appearance: In the final picture posted on his Instagram account before his death, Parker shared this snap of him on stage with his bandmates (pictured on March 17)
As he revealed a draft cover of his memoir, he shared a sweet video of an animated book flipping through pages, which contained photographs of Tom and his family.
In a caption alongside the post, he revealed: ‘Hi, I’m Tom Parker, 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.
‘My book, coming this July, 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.’
No one expected a former member of tribute act Take That II to become part of one of the UK’s biggest boy bands but Tom managed to defy odds.
Heartbreaking: The singer’s death comes just one week after he revealed he was in the process of writing a tell-all memoir amid his battle with brain cancer
Tough time: Tom was given just 12 months to live when he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in 2020 at the age of 31, but in October 2021 he continued to make public appearances
Tom was given just 12 months to live when he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma in 2020 at the age of 31.
Yet in October 2021, a year after he went public with his diagnosis, he was continuing to make public appearances and used his fame to advocate for more funding for brain tumour research, which only receives around one per cent of total cancer research funding.
Throughout his adult years Tom was instantly recognisable to many teenager and young people thanks to the success of his band.
The Wanted released their first album in October 2010, which reached number four in the UK Albums Chart and created three UK top 20 singles.
Their later singles released in 2012 the band also found success in the United States and Canada with their hit Glad You Came becoming the highest American chart entry by a British boy band at that time.
Best pals: Tom, who had been using a wheelchair during recent performances with The Wanted, appeared in a recent snap alongside bandmate Max George, which he shared on March 12
A few years later in 2014 after the band announced a hiatus, Tom chose to take part in TV shows and reached the semi finals of Celebrity Masterchef in 2015 came third in skiing show The Jump in 2016.
His participation in these shows made him a household name rather than one that only teenagers know.
Tom re-entered the world of showbiz and was cast as male lead Danny Zuko in the UK tour of Grease in 2017, which actually led him to postpone his wedding to Kelsey Hardwick, who he got engaged to in 2016.
Speaking to Hello magazine, Tom said: ‘I don’t want to take two weeks off, get married, do a week on honeymoon, then go back on tour.
‘I’m letting Kelsey put everything into place and I’ll just give her my credit card when needed.’
Best pals: The Wanted (pictured in 2011) released their first album in October 2010, which reached number four in the UK Albums Chart and created three UK top 20 singles
Taking a break: After attempting to crack the US with later albums and singles, The Wanted went on hiatus in 2014, but reunited last year (picturd in 2013)
Despite his successful career Tom was not met with beginner’s luck when entering the music industry including being rejected by X Factor judges during the first round of auditions.
Tom told The Metro in 2011 that he received all nos from the judges before he had reached the chorus of his song choice (Flying Without Wings by Westlife) which left him ‘shattered’ and he ‘didn’t sing for years.’
This rejection came before becoming mimicking Mark Owen in tribute band Take That II which saw him ‘singing to 50-year-old men smoking in the corner of working mens clubs’.
His audition for The Wanted took a more positive turn despite, according to Tom, turning up to the audition looking ‘chavvy.’
WHAT IS A GLIOBLASTOMA AND JUST HOW DEADLY IS IT?
Glioblastoma is considered the most aggressive tumour that can form in the brain.
Patients have a 10 percent chance of surviving five years after their diagnosis, according to figures. The average lifespan is between 14 and 16 months.
Three adults per every 100,000 will be struck down with a glioblastoma, says The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
It is most commonly found in men aged 50 to 60, and there is no link between developing glioblastoma and having a previous history with other cancers.
WHAT IS THE TUMOUR MADE OF?
The tumour is made up of a mass of cells growing quickly in the brain, and in most cases patients have no family history of the disease.
It won’t spread to other organs, however, once it is diagnosed, it is nearly impossible to target, surgeons claim.
Unlike other types of brain cancer which are more specifically located, glioblastoma can occur in any part of the brain.
WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?
Because the tumour likely already spread deep into the brain by the time it is diagnosed, the cancerous tissue is incredibly difficult to remove.
Surgeon will only ever remove the tumour, or part of the tumour, if it won’t do any damage to the surrounding brain tissue.
Dr Babcar Cisse, a neurosurgeon at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, told Daily Mail Online in July 2017: ‘By the time a glioblastoma is diagnosed, microfibers can spread to the rest of the brain which an MRI would not spot.
‘So even if the main tumour is removed and the patient receives radiation and chemotherapy, it will come back.’
GRADING A GLIOBLASTOMA
Brain tumours are graded from between one to four, depending on how fast they grow and how aggressive they are.
Malignant tumours are either given a high-grade three or four, while benign ones are given a lower grade one or two.
Glioblastoma is often referred to as a grade four astrocytoma – another form of brain tumour, says the AANS.
Patients typically complain of symptoms such as confused vision, trouble with memory, dizziness and headaches.
The symptoms are somewhat nonspecific, and vary from person to person, and may not persist.
The disease is therefore impossible to diagnose based on symptoms alone.
Tom said to Metro: ‘I turned up wearing a tracksuit with my hood up, so I looked a bit chavvy, but played ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ on the guitar. Maybe our manager Jane saw something in me no-one else did at the time.’
This underestimation was also seen when he was growing up in Bolton as a ‘working class lad’ and in an interview with Hello Magazine, Tom admitted he thought he was ‘really cool’ but in reality was bullied.
Tom said: ‘Do you know what they did? They chucked my bag with all my GCSE school notes onto the cricket field so I couldn’t find it for weeks and all my notes got soaked, I had to do them all again.
‘But who’s had the last laugh? Me. That’s called karma.’
Tom and Kelsey have had two children: their daughter Aurelia bin 2019 and a son Bodhi, who was born after Tom’s cancer diagnosis in 2020.
He said: ‘The kids are the one thing to get me up in the morning, they bring that positivity out of me.’
Tom and Kelsey had been open with how cancer treatment was impacting him which also meant time away from his children.
Kelsey wrote on instagram that she and Tom had been in Spain for treatment which ‘meant the longest time away from our babies.’
She added: ‘You don’t realise how someone having cancer really affects the whole family.’
After his diagnosis. Tom spent three months in bed, saying to a camera in his room that all he could think was ‘I’m just going to lie here and die.’
He said: ‘It’s so hard to think about the future because I genuinely don’t know what it holds any more.’
Tom did not remain in bed for much longer and in September 2021, Tom held a special charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall where all proceeds went to Stand Up To Cancer and The National Brain Appeal.
Tom said: ‘I was absolutely shocked to discover that only one per cent of the annual research budget for cancer goes towards finding a cure and treatment for glioblastoma.
‘That’s why I’m supporting The National Brain Appeal – I want to use my voice and platform to do something about it and help in any small way I can.’
Following on from the concert Tom released a documentary called Tom Parker: Inside My Head for Stand Up To Cancer which shows him and his family navigating his illness and preparing for the concert.
This year Tom was adamant to join his bandmates on their tour celebrating their greatest hits and for some shows he performed on stage sitting on a throne visibly frail.
Yet Tom’s illness has not taken away from how much he revelled in his time on stage playing music.
Tom said in a Stand Up To Cancer video: ‘I was just a kid from Bolton, and then I got in a Band and travelled the world, it was absolutely incredible.
‘I’m very proud of where I’ve got to in my life.’