Mimi Parker—the vocalist, drummer and songwriter who, alongside her husband, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Alan Sparhawk, formed the core of singular rock band Low—has died. She was 55 years old.
Sparhawk confirmed the news on social media Sunday, 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.
Parker was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in December 2020, which she revealed on the Sheroes Radio podcast in January 2022. “From January to August , I was going through really intense chemotherapy and having surgery in the middle of that. So it’s been a crazy, surreal two years for me,” she said, adding, “Our time can be cut short, and what do we do with that time that we have? We try to make each day mean something.” Low canceled shows in August and October while Parker underwent treatment.
Born in 1967, Parker grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota, where she met Sparhawk in elementary school, and started drumming in middle school. She and Sparhawk started dating in high school, married a few years later and formed Low in 1993 with bassist John Nichols in Duluth. Low released their debut album I Could Live in Hope in 1994, and would go on to put out a dozen more, including HEY WHAT, Parker and Sparhawk’s first and only album as a duo, and one of 2021’s best. The LP was released during Parker’s cancer battle, which was “so affirming, and so positive for me,” she told Sheroes Radio.
Parker is survived by her husband, Sparhawk, and their two children, Hollis and Cyrus.
[Note: This story has been updated to include Parker’s age.]