Steve Harwell, a founding member and former lead singer of the iconic rock band Smash Mouth, has passed away at the age of 56. His agent confirmed the news, stating that Harwell died at his home in Boise, Idaho, while surrounded by family and friends. The cause of death was liver failure.
Harwell played a pivotal role in shaping Smash Mouth’s unique musical style, which combined elements of pop, rock, ska, and punk. The band gained worldwide fame in 1997 with the release of their album “Fush Yu Mang” and the chart-topping hit “Walkin’ on the Sun.” The song’s distinctive sound left an indelible mark on the music industry.
In 1999, Smash Mouth achieved even greater success with the release of their album “Astro Lounge,” featuring the Grammy-nominated hit “All Star.” This song became an anthem of its era and was featured on the soundtrack of the beloved animated film “Shrek.”
Harwell’s unmistakable voice became one of the most recognizable in the music industry during his time with Smash Mouth. The band’s popularity soared, with “All Star” amassing nearly a billion streams on Spotify alone.
Over the years, Smash Mouth’s music has left an enduring legacy, with more than 25 cover versions of “All Star” being recorded. Harwell’s contributions to the band led to the sale of 10 million records worldwide during his tenure as the lead singer.
Despite the band’s success, Harwell faced several health challenges in recent years. He cited heart problems as a factor in his decision to leave Smash Mouth in 2021. Harwell’s agent, Robert Hayes, paid tribute to the late musician, describing him as having lived a “100 percent full-throttle life” that left an indelible mark on the music world.
Steve Harwell’s passing marks the end of an era for Smash Mouth and leaves a void in the music industry. His unique voice and the band’s iconic hits will continue to be celebrated by fans around the world for generations to come.