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The Wanted

The Wanted

With an eye toward reinventing the boy band sound, the Wanted formed in 2009, nearly ten years after groups like *NSync and the Backstreet Boys hit their commercial peak. Like those two groups, the Wanted were assembled through a series of auditions. Max George, a member of the short-lived British boy band Avenue, was the most famous singer to land a spot in the outfit's lineup, while Siva Kaneswaran became the group's only Irish member. Rounded out by British vocalists Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker, and Nathan Sykes, the Wanted topped the U.K. charts less than 12 months after forming when their debut single, "All Time Low," debuted at number one in August 2010.

The band's debut album, The Wanted, followed with similar chart success, debuting at number four on the U.K. album charts upon release in October 2010. One year later, the Wanted returned with their sophomore effort, Battleground, featuring the single "Gold Forever." By the time the album was released, the band had already signed a distribution deal with the American-based Def Jam Records. In 2012, the band released a self-titled compilation EP as an introduction to the U.S. market; it featured hits off its first two albums, as well as two newly recorded songs. The EP was well-received stateside and soon after, they began sessions for their third record, Word of Mouth, which was issued in 2013. It reached Top Ten in the U.K., and the Wanted began a world tour that took them into 2014. The band began to splinter later that year before announcing a hiatus.

Following the news, each member focused on their own solo careers, with Sykes delivering his debut album, Unfinished Business, in 2016, George releasing a handful of singles and embarking on a television career, Kaneswaran working behind the scenes in the industry and issuing his own material, McGuiness moving into theatre, and Parker working on solo material and television appearances. By 2020 rumors began circulating of the Wanted's return, but at the end of the year Parker was diagnosed with an inoperable stage four brain tumor. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to any comeback and Parker receiving treatment for his cancer, the group put everything on hold. In September 2021 Parker organized a concert for the U.K. charity Stand Up to Cancer, with acts such as Becky Hill, McFly, and Liam Payne performing. The show also saw the reunited the Wanted return, performing for the first time since 2014. At the end of 2021 the group issued their first greatest-hits collection. Most Wanted featured a trove of their hit singles alongside newly recorded material especially for the release. Tom Parker died on March 30, 2022 due to complications from glioblastoma. He was 33. ~ Andrew Leahey & Rich Wilson

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