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Steve Harwell, iconic singer of Smash Mouth, dies

Steve Harwell, the lead vocalist of the popular American band Smash Mouth, has died aged 56. Harwell, who had been in the final stages of liver failure, died at his Idaho residence surrounded by loved ones, according to the band’s manager, Robert. Hayes.

Famous for hits like “All Star,” “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “I’m a Believer,” Smash Mouth rose to prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Hayes recalled Harwell for living a “full life speed,” stating that it “burned brightly through the universe before burning itself out.”

Harwell, who battled alcoholism and various health issues, retired from the band in 2021. The musician had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2013 and later developed a neurological condition that affected his speech and memory . He decided to leave the band after an incident at a performance in New York, where he seemed visibly impaired.

Born in California in 1967, Harwell initially pursued a career in rap before transitioning to alternative rock. He founded Smash Mouth along with Greg Camp, Paul De Lisle and Kevin Coleman. Their unique fusion of pop, ska and punk earned them critical and commercial success, silencing critics who called them one-hit wonders. Their second album, “Astro Lounge”, went triple platinum and included more hits.

“All Star,” perhaps his most famous song, gained a second life thanks to its inclusion in the movie “Shrek” and its subsequent viral Internet fame. Harwell was also known for his philanthropy, including raising $15,000 for a children’s hospital.

Although his health struggles marred some of his later performances, Harwell’s influence on the music industry remains undeniable. His band manager claimed that Harwell achieved “almost impossible” stardom with “limited musical experience”, and attributed his success to his “passionate determination”.

He is survived by his fiancee and will be remembered as a pioneering figure in pop-rock music.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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