American pop culture just took a pretty hard hit as original vocalist of super well known 1990s rock band Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell, died as a result of liver failure on Monday at the age of 56. This is seriously a bummer. Smash Mouth had a number of big hits in the late 90s, having a number of tracks featured on movie soundtracks. Their biggest song was, without a doubt, “All-Star,” which just about everyone and their mother’s brother’s uncle’s cousin twice removed knows the lyrics to.
According to the Daily Wire, the band’s manager, Robert Hayes, has confirmed Harwell’s passing to music publication Rolling Stone, stating that the frontman died “peacefully and comfortably” at his home in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by his loved ones.
“Steve has been retired from Smash Mouth for two years now, and the band continues to tour with new vocalist Zach Goode,” Hayes revealed in his statement concerning Harwell’s passing. “That said, Steve’s legacy will live on through the music.”
Over the weekend, reports emerged that Harwell had gone into hospice care after coming to the end of his battle with liver failure, which was caused by his severe, life-long battle with alcoholism, according to an article from TMZ.
“Harwell had experienced several medical incidents in recent years, including collapsing at a concert in 2016, receiving treatment for heart problems in 2017, and slurring his words while performing in 2021,” the Daily Wire continued. “Nearly ten years ago, Harwell was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which impairs the heart’s ability to pump efficiently. He experienced heart failure and had acute Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which impacted his motor functions, speech, and memory.
“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” he said following his retirement from the band in 2021. “To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years, and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”
“To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you,” the former frontman added. “I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to.”
The band was originally formed way back in 1994 in San Jose, California. The very first big hit Smash Mouth had was “Walkin’ on the Sun,” in 1997, which was the first single from their debut album, “Fush Yu Mang.”
In 1999, the song, “All-Star” from the follow up album, “Astro Lounge” skyrocketed them to super stardom.
“Smash Mouth sold more than ten million albums worldwide 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 when Harwell led the band,” the report said. “The group’s music can also be heard in hundreds of films and television and featured in the musical productions in Shrek.”
The choices we make in our lives when we are young most definitely impact our lives later on, despite the arrogance of our youth convincing us we are invincible. We are, in fact, mere mortals. Rest in peace, Mr. Harwell.
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