Founding member and lead singer of Smash Mouth Steve Harwell has died. The performer was just 56 years old.
Harwell’s death comes shortly after news broke that the singer had gone into hospice care due to liver failure. According to a rep per The Hollywood Reporter, Harwell died at his Boise, Idaho home on Monday, September 4, surrounded by his friends and family.
“Steve’s legacy will live on through the music,” Harwell’s rep shared. “Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation. He loved the fans and loved to perform.”
(Credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
The band’s official social media page recognized Harwell, writing, “Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. Steve will be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom. Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target. Rest easy.”
As the lead singer of Smash Mouth, Harwell and the band sold over 10 million albums worldwide with his songs like “All Star” and their memorable cover of The Monkee’s “I’m a Believer.” Those two tunes hit even more popularity when used for the Shrek movie franchise.
Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. Steve will be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom.
Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the… pic.twitter.com/qZDliiIl30
— Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) September 4, 2023
Smash Mouth was founded in 1994 out of San Jose, California, with Harwell and fellow band members Kevin Coleman, Greg Camp, and Paul De Lisle. Their first hit together, “Walkin’ on the Sun” came from their debut album Fush Ya Mang.
In 2021, Harwell retired from the band, leaving De Lisle as the only remaining original member. Along with the hits mentioned, above, Smash Mouth is also known for “Then The Morning Comes” from their second album Astro Lounge as well as the remake of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
Harwell is survived by his fiance, sisters, and a brother. He was predeceased by his son, Presley Scott Harwell, who died in 2001 at six months old from acute lymphocytic leukemia.