Steve Harwell, the lead singer of the ska-punk band Smash Mouth, has died of liver failure. He was 56.
The news of Harwell’s death comes almost two years after a concerning health scare during a live performance.
He appeared disoriented, slurring his words and yelling at the audience. Shortly after, he announced his retirement.
The band released a statement which read, “Despite Steve’s best efforts to work through these ailments, he is heartbroken to share that it has become impossible for him to continue doing what he loves most, performing in front of the band’s millions of fans around the world.”
“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,” Harwell added in a separate statement. “I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next.”
Sources close to the band revealed that the singer had been dealing with a number of health issues, including cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and Wernicke’s encephalopathy.
Substance abuse was also mentioned as a contributing factor to his declining state.
Smash Mouth is one of the most famous ska-punk bands to come out of the 1990s with iconic hits such as Walkin’ on the Sun, All Star, Then The Morning Comes and the popular cover of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer.
The band’s music was featured in dozens of films over the years, such as Shrek, Rat Race, and Mystery Men.
In January 2022, it was announced upon Harwell’s departure that the band had recruited new lead singer Zach Goode, formerly of Ghoulspoon, Divided By Zero and The Secret Seven.