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Smash Mouth front man Steve Harwell dead at 56, band confirms

(KTLA) – After years of battling health problems, former Smash Mouth front man Steve Harwell died, the band confirmed Monday. He was 56 years old.

Harwell’s manager told TMZ that the singer had suffered from alcohol abuse for years and that he had reached the final stages of liver failure, which he had recently been receiving treatment for.

After being place in hospice care at his Boise, Idaho, home, Harwell died surrounded by loved ones, band manager Robert Hayes told Rolling Stone.

“We would hope people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time,” Hayes told the Washington Post.

Smash Mouth formed in San Jose, California, in the 1990s and had several hits in the early 2000s, including “All Star,” “Walkin on the Sun,” and a cover of “I’m a Believer.” Both “All Star” and “I’m a Believer” were featured on the soundtrack of the movie “Shrek.”  

FILE – Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth performs during the 2013 Under the Sun Tour at Wente Vineyard on July 10, 2013 in Livermore, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

Harwell struggled publicly with health and addiction problems. Two years ago, the singer became disoriented on stage during a live performance. According to TMZ, he was yelling at the audience and slurring his words.  

At the time, sources told the tabloid outlet that Harwell had been diagnosed with several serious medical conditions. People reported in 2016 that Harwell had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood.

Harwell retired from the band in 2021 to focus on his health.  

“Steve’s legacy will live on through the music,” the band’s new vocalist Zach Goode told Rolling Stone. “Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable 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 lived a 100 percent full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out.”

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