Steve Harwell, Smash Mouth Singer, Gone at 56

The “All Star” vocalist died peacefully at home following long battle with alcoholism

Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth (Image: Wikipedia)

Steve Harwell, the founding singer of Smash Mouth, has died at his home in Boise, Idaho, according to a report in The New York Times

And though an official cause of death hasn’t been revealed at press time, it was confirmed in the days before Harwell’s death that he was experiencing liver failure. 

Harwell has suffered with alcoholism and numerous health issues in the years preceding his death. In 2013, he was diagnosed with a heart condition (cardiomyopathy) and a neurological condition (acute Wernicke encephalopathy). He collapsed onstage during a concert a few years later, and, in 2021, he retired from performing following a difficult show in Upstate New York where he performed visibly inebriated. 


VIDEO: Smash Mouth “Walkin’ on the Sun”

Over on Instagram, Smash Mouth wrote a tribute to their friend and fallen comrade today:

Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. 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.

Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life.

Burning brightly across the universe before burning out.

Good night Heevo Veev.

Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target.

The “All Star” singer, who retired from the band two years ago, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, according to the band’s manager Robert Hayes.

It should be noted that Harwell was predeceased by his son named Presley who died in July 2001 from acute lymphocytic leukemia at the age of six months. It’s a loss from which he never fully recovered.

Steve Harwell was 56 years old. 


VIDEO: Smash Mouth “All Star”





Ron Hart

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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

2 thoughts on “Steve Harwell, Smash Mouth Singer, Gone at 56

  • September 4, 2023 at 9:08 pm

    Beautiful obituary, Ron. You write with such nice empathy here. A few years ago, Gawker ran a funny and very Gawker-y story making fun of Smash Mouth and how much Harwell resembled Guy Fieri. Its big sin, in addition to having “only three lonely hits,” was that years after those hits, Harwell would take the time to email or tweet reporters who dissed the band. I loved that he did that.

    • September 4, 2023 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks Ken. Heartbreaking news.


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