Steve Harwell Wiki – Steve Harwell Biography
Steve Harwell, singer of the American band Smash Mouth, has died at the age of 56. The band’s manager had previously said that Harwell was in the final stages of liver failure and was receiving end-of-life care at his home. In a statement, Robert Hayes said Harwell died at his home in Idaho, “surrounded by family and friends.” Smash Mouth had a string of hits in the 1990s and 2000s with All Star, Walkin’ on the Sun and I’m a Believer. Hayes added that “Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life. Burning brightly throughout the universe before burning up.” Harwell retired from the band in 2021 due to physical and mental health issues. The musician, who struggled with alcoholism, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a heart disease, in 2013; and later a neurological condition that affected his memory and speech.
But his final decision to leave Smash Mouth came after he showed up drunk at a performance in upstate New York, where he was filmed slurring his words and yelling at the audience. Smash Mouth’s former manager, Robert Hayes, confirmed to US media on September 3 that the singer did not have long to live and that he was being cared for by his fiancee and in a hospice. Born in California in 1967, Harwell began his musical career in the rap group F.O.S. (Freedom of Speech), who based their sound on the sample-heavy beats of Chuck D and Public Enemy. Although they gained local radio support for their debut single Big Black Boots, Harwell caught the band’s attention when he heard the groundbreaking work of Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg on The Chronic, and sensed that the sound of rap was about to change. Taking a detour into alternative rock, he began playing with his old friend, drummer Kevin Coleman, and later formed Smash Mouth alongside Greg Camp and Paul De Lisle.
Steve Harwell was 56 ears old.
Their fusion of pop, ska, surf and punk, along with ’60s retro vibes, generated early success in the form of Walkin’ On The Sun, which topped Billboard’s modern rock charts and helped lead to their debut album, Fush Yu Mang, will enter the market. The first 40. Some critics dismissed the band as a one-hit wonder, but Smash Mouth proved them wrong with their second album Astro Lounge in 1999. It went triple platinum and included the hits Can’t Get Enough of You Baby and the incredibly catchy All Star, a song that Rolling Stone magazine said “inexplicably captivated the world for 20 years.” Harwell preferred the second album to the group’s debut: “The songs are more spread out, less fast and furious,” he told the magazine in 1999. His distinctive, raspy rap singing voice was instantly recognizable and several of Smash Mouth’s songs became viral sensations. All Star, which was written by Camp, had the longest afterlife of all. It became a hit for the second time after appearing in the original Shrek movie (with the band also covering The Monkees’ I’m A Believer for the closing credits) and spawned dozens of memes, including a Mario parody and a trending on TikTok which synchronizes Harwell’s opening lyrics with videos of people facing various misfortunes.
“At first it was strange and we were a little cautious and resistant,” Harwell said of the song’s online popularity, in a 2017 interview with Polygon. “But as we get more into it and focus on it, we start to ‘get it’. Plus, to be honest, it’s really skyrocketed [the song’s] sales.” Although the band never achieved another hit on the same scale, the following albums Smash Mouth (2001), Get the Picture? (2003), Summer Girl (2006) and Magic (2012) showed a continued knack for sparkling pop melodies. Harwell suffered a personal tragedy in 2001 when his newborn son, Presley, died from complications of acute lymphocytic leukemia. The musician reportedly helped create a medical research fund in his son’s name. Ten years later, Harwell raised $15,000 for a children’s hospital after taking on the challenge of eating 24 eggs. However, his own poor health and alcohol abuse affected several performances over the years. In 2016, he collapsed onstage at a music festival in Illinois. The following year, a show in Memphis was canceled after he had trouble breathing during soundcheck. And in 2018 he fell ill in the middle of a show in Australia and had to leave the stage: the band continued without him. In 2020, he dismissed the seriousness of Covid-19 to a packed crowd at a motorcycle rally in South Dakota.
The rally was later declared a superspreader event by the National Institute of Health, and Smash Mouth said they received hate mail for performing there. The same year his fiancée at the time, Esther Campbell, filed a restraining order against him, according to TMZ. Announcing his retirement in 2021, Harwell said: “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’s manager’s statement added: “Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom. “And the fact that he achieved this near-impossible goal with very limited musical experience makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable. “His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition, and his king-size cajones. “Good night Heevo Veev. Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.” Smash Mouth’s line-up has changed several times over the years – bassist Paul De Lisle is the only remaining original member – while Zach Goode took over as lead singer when Harwell retired.