Steve Harwell, Smash Mouth Vocalist, Dead at 56
Smash Mouth’s original lead singer Steve Harwell has died at the age of 56.
The band’s manager Robert Hayes confirmed that the singer was “surrounded by family and friends” when he “passed peacefully and comfortably” at his home in Boise, Idaho on Monday after suffering from liver failure.
“Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation. He loved the fans and loved to perform. Steve Harwell was a true American original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle,” Hayes said in a statement, reports Rolling Stone. “Steve lived a 100 percent full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out.”
Over the weekend, Hayes revealed to TMZ that Harwell was receiving end-of-life care and only had days left to live. “Although Steve is here with us still, sadly it will only be for a short time,” he told the outlet. “We would hope that people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
The singer, who had struggled with alcohol abuse throughout his life, retired from Smash Mouth due to his ongoing health issues, following a difficult final gig in upstate New York in October 2021.
Days after the incident, Harwell officially announced that he was retiring. “Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” the singer said in a statement. “To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years, and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”
He added, “To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues, and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to.”
Harwell co-founded the much-loved alt-rock band in San Jose, California with Kevin Coleman, Greg Camp, and Paul De Lisle in 1994. They were best known for their 1999 signature hit All Star, which became hugely popular after its appearance in the 2001 animation Shrek. Their other hit songs include Walkin’ on the Sun, Then The Morning Comes and a cover of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer.