Lead Singer of Smash Mouth Passes

Steve Harwell, lead singer of the band Smash Mouth, passed away early Monday morning. He was 56 years old. Band manager Robert Hayes has confirmed Harwell died peacefully Monday morning at his home in Boise, ID “surrounded by family and friends.” His cause of death is liver failure. The musician was best known for hits like “All Star” and “I’m a Believer.

TMZ said Harwell had long abused alcohol and had been diagnosed cardiomyopathy, heart failure and Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Over the weekend, Hayes told Entertainment Weekly that Harwell was in hospice and only had about a week to live as he was in the last stages of liver failure. His family and friends were gathered at his side.

The band’s hits included “Walkin’ on the Sun,” “All Star” and a cover of “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby,” Smash Mouth was popular on the radio in the late ‘90s. Steve Harwell was known for his distinctive raspy voice. While Smash Mouth’s popularity peaked in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they continue to perform and create music, maintaining a dedicated fan base. Their music is often associated with the pop culture of that era.

In 1999, the songs “All Star” and their cover of the Monkees “I’m a Believer” were featured on the Shrek soundtrack. He played himself in the comedy Ratrace in 2001.Harwell also composed The Monkey Song for The Jungle Book 2 (Disney) in 2003 and two songs for The Little Penguin Pororo’s movie. He also appeared in VH1 The Surreal Life in 2006.

Hartwell retired from the band in October 2021 after a bad performance at a beer and wine festival in New York. Harwell was slurring his speech and swearing at his fans. His representatives later blamed his heart disease as the cause of speech and memory issues during the performance.