Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell, the “All Star” singer for the band popular in the 1990s and 2000s, has died. He was 56.
His death was confirmed in a statement to Rolling Stone On Monday. Smash Mouth manager Robert Hayes said he passed away “peacefully and comfortably” at home in Boise, Idaho, “surrounded by friends and family.”
“Steve Harwell was a true American original,” the statement said. “A larger-than-life figure that shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and fierce determination to reach pop star heights. And the fact that he achieved this near-impossible goal with very limited musical experience makes his achievements all the more remarkable.”
“His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearless ruthless ambition and his king-size cajones. Steve lived a 100 percent life full throttle. It burns brightly across the universe before it burns out.”
A cause of death was not given.
The group’s former lead singer was in hospice care and all TMZ reportedon his “death bed” on Sunday.
The former frontman, who struggled with alcoholism, suffered from liver failure and was told he had just days to live, his manager said.
“Steve is resting at home being cared for by his fiancé and hospice care,” Hayes said told people by the time.
Harwell’s family and friends reportedly visited him at home where he was in hospice after his liver disease got too far, the manager said.
“Even though Steve has been out of Smash Mouth for two years and the band continues to tour with new vocalist Zach Goode, his legacy in music will live on,” he added.
Two years ago, Harwell announced his departure from the band, which formed in San Jose, California in the 1990s and had hits like “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby,” “Walkin’ on the Sun,” and a cover of the Monkees spawned “I Am a Believer” – many of which appeared in the movie “Shrek”.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of being a rock star performing to sold-out arenas, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to achieve that dream,” Harwell said at the time. “My bandmates have been honored to perform with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone I would rather have embarked on this wild journey with.”
“Thank you to our loyal and amazing fans, all of this was possible thanks to you,” he added. “I tried so hard to get my physical and mental issues under control and play in front of you one last time, but I just couldn’t make it.”
Harwell’s departure follows an incident in 2021 in which the singer was caught on camera slurring his words, threatening the audience and what appeared to be a Nazi salute to the crowd at the Big Sip beer festival in Bethel, NY directed.
Smash Mouth officials told the Post at the time that he was retiring following the incident, which was linked to “long-term medical issues” and that Hawell “suffered from numerous symptoms directly related to his current medical condition.”
Harwell reportedly suffered from “various types of addictions that led to medical and mental health problems,” his rep said. Eight years prior to the incident, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and suffering from heart failure. The Cleveland Clinic notes that cardiomyopathy is often due to “long-term heavy drinking”.
Harwell started out as a rapper in San Jose with the group FOS (Freedom of Speech) before meeting drummer Kevin Coleman and forming Smash Mouth in 1994 with guitarist Greg Camp and bassist Paul De Lisle. Her 1997 debut album, Fush Yu Mang, featured her first number one hit, Walkin’ on the Sun.
As Hayes pointed out in a statement Monday, during Harwell’s tenure at Smashmouth, the band “sold over 10 million albums worldwide and topped the charts with two #1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles and four Billboard 200 albums.” and a Grammy nomination.”
Of course, “All Star” was a catchy tune that dominated radio in 1999 and became Smash Mouth’s biggest hit.
“The song just won’t go away because it’s just one of those songs,” Harwell said said Rolling Stone. “It’s like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by King Led Zeppelin.” It’s like Lynyrd Skynyrd. There are certain songs by bands that just won’t go away. We were blessed with that and it was ‘All Star’.”
“Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices of his generation,” said Hayes.
“Steve loved the fans and loved performing.”