How did Mimi Parker die? Tributes pour in as drummer and vocalist of indie band Low dies at 55

The news follows the cancellation of a string of live shows due to concerns related to Parker’s health

How did Mimi Parker die? Tributes pour in as drummer and vocalist of indie band Low dies at 55
Mimi Parker, the drummer and songwriter of the indie band Low has died at age 55 (John Grant/Facebook)
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Mimi Parker, the drummer, singer, and songwriter for the Minnesota indie band Low, has died unexpectedly at age 55. The sad news was confirmed by her husband and fellow musician Ala Sparhawk. The band's management revealed that Parker was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2020. 

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The band took to social media to share the tragic news. "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."

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The news comes after a number of stage concerts were canceled owing to worries over Parker's health. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in late 2020, started treatment in 2021, and made a public statement about her condition in a podcast interview at the beginning of 2022, reports The Guardian.

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Many friends of the band paid tribute to Parker on social media. John Grant wrote on Facebook and wrote, "Devastating to hear about Mimi Parker’s passing, she was amazing, very sad. I was lucky to meet her a few times. She was very kind to me." Producer Steve Albini tweeted, "I heard the news in the most base circumstances, surrounded by degenerates, stuck and cursing, in a conference room in Deerfield. I was momentarily overwhelmed, the sound of her voice resonated in my memory, beautiful and heartbreaking. Godspeed Mimi Parker. Requiescat." Albini collaborated with the group on the albums Secret Name (1999) and Things We Lost in the Fire as well as the 1996 Transmission EP (2001). 

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Geoff Barrow of Portishead's BEAK, a Bristol-based trio wrote, "We can’t express how saddened we are of this news. Mimi & Alan have created some of the greatest music of our time and to have spent time with them was a very humbling experience for us. A beautiful couple. Our thoughts are with Alan and their family. Beak> x" Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite tweeted, "Absolutely heartbroken by the news about Mimi. Sending all my love to Alan and his family." "My heart goes out to you all. Rest peacefully Mimi. x," wrote Cosey Fanni Tutti and Tracey Thorn said, "So sorry to hear this news. Love and condolences to all who knew and loved Mimi."

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Parker was born in 1967 and grew up in a small Minnesota hamlet outside Bemidji. She played music from a young age, creating harmonies to her sister's guitar and vocals. When her parents would play them old country and gospel recordings, the two would sing along. Before forming the band Low with bassist John Nichols in 1993, Parker and Alan Sparhawk met while attending elementary school. They began using brushes instead of drumsticks to play a simple drum kit consisting of only a snare, cymbal, and floor tom. The group's 1994 debut album, I Could Live in Hope, was ranked among the best albums of the 1990s by Pitchfork in 1999.

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The band has so far produced 13 studio albums, and their most recent one, 'Hey What,' earned them a nomination for the best-engineered album (non-classical) at the 64th Grammy Awards, reports USA Today. Along with Sparhawk, Parker is survived by her two kids, Hollis and Cyrus.

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