Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell dead at age 56

Harwell, who retired from music in 2021 and entered hospice care for liver failure on Sept. 3, had battled various health issues for years.

Steve Harwell, the lead singer of the ska/punk-pop band Smash Mouth, has passed away at the age of 56. He was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, Wernicke encephalopathy, and heart failure in 2013 and struggled with alcohol abuse throughout his life.

In 2016, he collapsed onstage at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival in Urbana, Ill., and in 2017, the band postponed several concerts while Harwell underwent treatment for his heart problems. In October 2021, he made a bizarre appearance at the Big Sip beer and wine festival in the Hudson Valley’s Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, causing him to appear intoxicated and have a limited understanding of his environment.

Smash Mouth manager Robert Hayes announced that Harwell was in hospice care for final-stage chronic liver failure with only a week or so to live. Harwell’s legacy will live on through the music, as the band has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and topped the charts with two No. 1 hit singles, five top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles, four Billboard 200 albums, and a Grammy nomination.

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