Tragic news from the world of music today as Steve Harwell, singer of the beloved rock band Smash Mouth, has passed away at the age of 56.
News of the passing has been confirmed by the band’s manager, Robert Hayes, who announced on Sunday that Harwell was receiving hospice care at home.
“Although Steve is here with us still, sadly it will only be for a short time,” Hayes said at the time.
No official cause of death has been announced, but several sources close to Harwell have indicated that his untimely passing was tied to his lifelong struggle with addiction.
“We would hope that people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time,” Hayes said in a statement issued Monday.
“Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation. Steve loved the fans and loved to perform.”
Thanks in no small part to Harwell’s inimitable stage presence, Smash Mouth became one of the biggest rock bands of the late 1990s.
Songs like “Walking on the Sun” and “All Star” became ubiquitous radio hits and sold millions of copies in the last years before streaming services took over the record industry.
Harwell went to great lengths to ensure his band’s success, driving across the country with copies of Smash Mouth’s albums in the hope of convincing radio DJs to play them on the air.
“We never do anything traditional,” the singer said in 1999.
“We never go through the front door. It’s always the back door, or an open window or something, to get our stuff played.”
The effort paid off.
In June of 1997, Smash Mouth’s breakthrough single “All Star” reached number one on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
The band repeated that success in 1999 with “All Star,” another number-one hit that’s frequently heard in TV and movie soundtracks to this day.
According to TMZ, Harwell and the rest of Smash Moth parted ways under contentious circumstances in 2021.
The feud came to a head in October 2021, when Harwell behaved erratically during a performance in Upstate New York, allegedly while intoxicated.
TMZ is also reporting that Harwell died of liver failure, but those claims have yet to be confirmed.
Our thoughts go out to Steve Harwell’s loved ones during this difficult time.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.