Smash Mouth vocalist Steve Harwell who sang All Star and I'm a Believer dies aged 56

4 September 2023, 16:50

Steve Harwell has died aged 56
Steve Harwell has died aged 56. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell, who was best known for hits including All Star, which appeared in Shrek, has died aged 56.

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The vocalist, who cofounded the 90s rock band but retired from it in 2021, died at his home in Boise, Idaho surrounded by his family and friends.

Robert Hayes, the band's manager, told Rolling Stone he "passed peacefully and comfortably".

"Steve has been retired from Smash Mouth for two years now, and the band continues to tour with new vocalist Zach Goode.

"That said, Steve's legacy will live on through the music. With Steve, Smash Mouth has sold over 10 million albums worldwide-wide and topped the charts with two #1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles, four Billboard 200 albums and a Grammy nomination not to mention the hundreds of film and television placements and of course those musical features in Shrek."

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Smash Mouth - All Star (Official Music Video)

The band, which was also known for their cover of The Monkees' I'm A Believer and Walkin' on the Sun, have enduring popularity due to their music's appearance in Shrek.

Paul Delisle, the band's bassist, is now the only original member to still be with the band.

Harwell had been admitted to hospice care amid a struggle with liver disease.

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He kicked off his music career rapping in San Jose has part of the group FOS before setting up a new band with Delisle, guitarist Greg Camp and long-time friend Kevin Coleman on drums.

"Fush Yu Mang", the band's first album, was released in 1997 and included Walkin' on the Sun, which hit number one on the US chart Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks, and Number Two on the Hot 100.

Steve Harwell has died aged 56
Steve Harwell has died aged 56. Picture: Alamy

1999's Astro Lounge saw them release All Star, which appeared in the first Shrek film along with I'm A Believer.

The ogre fantasy film's popularity helped surge the album into triple platinum sales.

Hayes said: "Steve's iconic voice is one of the most recognisable voices from his generation. He loved the fans and loved to perform.

"Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle.

"Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom.

"And the fact that he achieved this near-impossible goal with very limited musical experience makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable. His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition, and his king-size cajones.

"Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out."

Smash Mouth went on to release three more full-length albums, the latest in 2012.

Harwell retired from the band after he was videoed slurring his words and threatening the audience during an October 2021 performance.

His representative later said he had a neurological condition, Wernicke encephalopathy, which had affected his memory and motor functions.

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