Steve Harwell Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Steve Harwell left his mark on the music business because the lead singer of Smash Mouth, the rock band finest identified for hits together with “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun.”
Despite coping with well being points and private tragedy, Harwell by no means misplaced his ardour for the band, telling Vice in 2014 that he’d by no means tire of taking part in the hits for stay audiences.
“There’s at all times someone within the crowd who hasn’t heard it. Or hasn’t seen it stay. When I’m going out on stage, I take a look at it that method,” he instructed the outlet. “Has ‘Free Bird’ ever obtained outdated?”
Harwell died at age 56 in September 2023, in the future after Us Weekly realized that he was receiving end-of-life hospice care amid liver failure.
Keep scrolling for a glance again at Harwell’s life by way of the years:
Harwell based Smash Mouth together with drummer Kevin Coleman, whom he met in 1990, guitarist Greg Camp and bass participant Paul De Lisle.
During a 2014 interview with Vice, Harwell talked in regards to the band’s early success, together with the second their 1997 track “Walkin’ on the Sun” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“That was f—king huge,” he instructed the outlet. “I used to be 27 years outdated. I’d f—king by no means owned a brand new automotive, [and] I went and purchased a BMW f—king two days after signing a document deal. And paid money for it. I used to be residing in an condominium with my drummer, consuming Taco Bell, and operating extension cords over the roof to steal energy off my neighbor’s home as a result of we couldn’t pay our f—king payments.”
(L-R) Portrait of the American band Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell, Paul De Lisle, Greg Camp, and Kevin Coleman on the Metro in Chicago, Illinois, August 30, 1997. Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Smash Mouth’s star continued to rise with the discharge of the group’s best-known track, “All Star.” The track charted world wide and earned the band a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals.
“It feels prefer it got here out yesterday,” Harwell instructed Vice of the tune in 2014, including that it “form of pisses me off” when folks requested whether or not he obtained bored of taking part in the hits at stay reveals.
“Why would I get tired of singing these songs? These are in all probability a few of the best-written songs ever,” he mentioned.
Steve Harwell Getty Images
The identical yr that Smash Mouth contributed a canopy of The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” to the Shrek soundtrack, Harwell’s son, Presley, whom he shared with ex Michelle Laroque, died at 6 months outdated from acute lymphocytic leukemia. Harwell later created a medical analysis fund in his son’s identify.
Steve Harwell, Paul De Lisle, Michael Urbano and Greg Camp of Smash Mouth with Shrek. Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage
In June 2011, a author for the web site Something Awful provided Harwell $20 to eat 24 eggs. Additional gives have been subsequently made through social media, finally focused to numerous charities.
One month later, Harwell mentioned that he would settle for the problem if followers might collect pledges of $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. When the fundraising objective was reached in lower than one week, Harwell enlisted his pal Guy Fieri to arrange the eggs.
The problem befell in Dublin, California, in October 2011, with about 150 folks in attendance. Although Harwell required help from the viewers to complete the eggs, the cash raised nonetheless went to charity.
Harwell was identified with cardiomyopathy and Wernicke encephalopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a illness of the center muscle that may result in coronary heart failure whereas Wernicke encephalopathy is a neurological situation that may impair motor capabilities together with speech and reminiscence and trigger weak spot or paralysis of the muscle groups liable for eye actions.
Steve Harwell of Smashmouth performs on the Audi Best Buddies Challenge at Hearst Castle on September 10, 2011 in Carmel, California. Steve Jennings/WireImage
A TikTok video of Harwell performing with Smash Mouth on the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York, confirmed him slurring his phrases, threatening the viewers and swaying forwards and backwards.
“I’ll f—king kill your entire household, I swear to God,” he mentioned to at least one fan through the October present.
A rep for the musician subsequently addressed the erratic conduct and introduced Harwell’s retirement from Smash Mouth.
“Steve has been coping with long-term medical points over the past eight years and through his final efficiency on the Big Sip stage, he suffered quite a few signs instantly linked along with his present medical scenario,” the rep mentioned in a press release. “As of immediately, Steve can be retiring from Smash Mouth to give attention to his bodily and psychological well being.”
Harwell thanked his followers and bandmates in a press release of his personal after the retirement announcement.
“I’ve tried so exhausting to energy by way of my bodily and psychological well being points and to play in entrance of you one final time, however I simply wasn’t in a position to,” he wrote. “I’m so grateful to every one among you who has helped Smash Mouth promote over 10 million albums worldwide, put us on high of radio charts and those that have saved ‘All Star’ related as one of many high memes on the web immediately.”
Steve Harwell Theo Wargo/WireImage
In September, a rep for Harwell instructed Us that the singer was receiving end-of-life hospice care amid liver failure. One day later, Harwell died at age 56.
Smash Mouth supervisor Robert Hayes confirmed the information in a press release to Rolling Stone, noting that Harwell had “handed peacefully and comfortably” at his residence in Idaho.
Hayes added that “Steve’s legacy will stay on by way of [Smash Mouth’s] music,” calling Harwell a “bigger than life character” with “one of the recognizable voices from his technology.”
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The band supervisor wrapped up the tribute by writing: “His solely instruments have been his irrepressible allure and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition, and his king-size cajones. Steve lived a one hundred pc full-throttle life. Burning brightly throughout the universe earlier than burning out.”
An further assertion shared through the official Smash Mouth social media account learn: “Rest in peace realizing you aimed for the celebrities, and magically hit your goal. Rest simple.”