Former Smash Mouth Lead Singer Steve Harwell Passes Away at 56
via @PMintheAMBoston / YouTube
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Steve Harwell, the lead singer of the iconic US band Smash Mouth, at the age of 56. The band’s manager had previously informed the public that Harwell was in the final stages of liver failure and was receiving end-of-life care at his home.
In a heartfelt statement, Robert Hayes, the band’s manager, confirmed that Steve Harwell passed away at his home in Idaho, surrounded by his family and friends. He described Harwell’s life as one lived at “100% full throttle,” a shining star that burned brightly across the universe before burning out.
Smash Mouth made a significant mark on the music scene in the 1990s and 2000s with unforgettable hits like “All Star,” “Walkin’ on the Sun,” and “I’m a Believer.”
The band’s unique fusion of pop, ska, surf, and punk, combined with a touch of 60s retro vibes, resonated with fans worldwide.
Harwell’s musical journey began in the rap group F.O.S. (Freedom of Speech), where they drew inspiration from the sample-heavy beats of Chuck D and Public Enemy. However, he shifted gears towards alternative rock and eventually formed Smash Mouth alongside talented musicians Greg Camp and Paul De Lisle, along with his old friend, drummer Kevin Coleman.
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Smash Mouth’s debut single, “Walkin’ On The Sun,” catapulted them to success, topping Billboard’s modern rock charts and propelling their debut album “Fush Yu Mang” into the Top 40.
They proved their staying power with their second album, “Astro Lounge” in 1999, which went triple platinum and included hits like “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” and the infectious “All Star.”
Steve Harwell’s distinctive raspy rap-singing voice became instantly recognizable, and Smash Mouth’s songs became viral sensations. “All Star,” written by Greg Camp, enjoyed an enduring afterlife, notably featuring in the original Shrek movie and inspiring numerous memes and TikTok trends.