Steve Harwell, the former frontman of the iconic band Smash Mouth, passed away on Monday at the age of 56, as confirmed by his representative to CBS News. The artist, renowned for Smash Mouth’s 1999 chart-topper “All Star,” had been under hospice care, revealed representative Robert Hayes.
The cause of his demise was acute liver failure, as disclosed in a statement by Hayes, who added, “He was surrounded by family and friends and passed peacefully and comfortably.”
Harwell had retired from Smash Mouth in 2021, with the band continuing its musical journey under the leadership of new vocalist Zach Goode. Boasting over 10 million global album sales, two No. 1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, and a Grammy nomination, Smash Mouth’s legacy remains indelible. Hits like “Walkin’ on the Sun” and their rendition of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” continue to amass hundreds of millions of streams.
However, it’s “All Star,” the infectious anthem featured in the 2001 blockbuster “Shrek,” that will forever be synonymous with Harwell and Smash Mouth.
“Nobody else could have sung that song,” Harwell told Rolling Stone in 2019. “It would have never been what it is now. I could’ve pitched that song to a million bands, and they would have tried to do it, and it would’ve never been what it is.”
Harwell had previously faced a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease.
According to Hayes, Harwell will be cremated in Boise and laid to rest in San Jose, California. Hayes fondly recalled, “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.”
On Monday afternoon, Smash Mouth, using the social media platform “X” (formerly known as Twitter), expressed their condolences and paid tribute to Harwell, saying, “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.”