Low drummer and vocalist Mimi Parker dies aged 55

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2020.

Mimi Parker of Low

Image: John Bentley / Alamy

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Mimi Parker, the vocalist and drummer of Minnesota slowcore band Low, has died at the age of 55 following a two-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Low confirmed Parker’s passing in a statement on the band’s official Twitter account this Sunday (6 November), writing: “Friends, it’s hard to put the universe into language and into a short message, but she passed away last night, surrounded by family and love, including yours. Keep her name close and sacred. Share this moment with someone who needs you. Love is indeed the most important thing.”

The news follows the cancellation of a series of shows in the UK and Europe while Parker continued her cancer treatments. She was diagnosed with the disease in December 2020 and revealed her condition to fans in a 2022 interview.

“There have been difficult days, but your love has sustained us and will continue to lift us through this time,” Parker’s husband and bandmate Alan Sparkhawk wrote on Instagram this October. “With tears, we say thank you and hope to see you soon.”

Born and raised in Minnesota, Parker grew up in a musical family, to a mother who was an aspiring country singer. “My role was always to come up with harmonies, because she and my sister would usually sing the lead,” she shared in a 2005 interview. “From the beginning I learned how to just listen and draw and come up with harmonies.”

Growing up, Parker also played the drums in her high school marching band. She met her future husband Sparkawk during primary school and the pair began dating in high school. They eventually formed Low in 1993 with original bassist John Nichols.

Often cited as a standout name in the slowcore subgenre, Low’s music is characterised by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. The band has put out 13 full-length albums across their 29-year career, with their latest record being 2021’s celebrated Hey What.

Parker is survived by her husband, Sparhawk, and their two children, Hollis and Cyrus.

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