Singer of Smash Mouth Steve Harwell enters hospice care


‘We would hope that people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy’: Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell dead at 56 (updated)

Harwell battled health problems, alcoholism for years.


Jack Alban


Posted on Sep 4, 2023   Updated on Sep 4, 2023, 3:31 pm CDT

Updated Sept. 4, 10:35am CT: Steve Harwell has passed away, according to Rolling Stone. His manager said he was surrounded by friends and family, and died “peacefully” and “comfortably.” Our original report announcing the singer had moved into hospice care is below. Here’s what we know about his failing health.

In recent years. Harwell had overseen a resurgence in his music in the meme era, often chiming in on Twitter himself.

Steve Harwell (56) of the band Smash Mouth widely known for its 1999 No. 1-charting hit song, “All Star” has reportedly entered hospice care and is nearing the final days of his life. Harwell’s manager told TMZ that the lead singer struggled with alcoholism for several years and is now succumbing to liver failure, which he had been recently treating in a hospital, before transitioning at-home-hospice supervision.

In October of 2021, Harwell made headlines after footage of him appearing inebriated and acting in a disoriented manner appeared. He was singing onstage during the incident—his speech was purportedly slurred and he was heard cursing out fans. The Santa Clara, California native ended up quitting the band shortly after the performance, and at the time, TMZ also wrote that individuals close to the singer said he was battling a slew of health-related issues: “including cardiomyopathy, heart failure and Wernicke’s encephalopathy.”

A rep for Harwell says that he is currently “surrounded by family and friends,” while adding, “My only additional comment is that we would hope that people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Smash Mouth first became a household name after the 1997 track “Walkin’ on the Sun” made it to the No. 1 spot of the U.S. Adult Top 40 Billboard chart. The band reached even greater success after two of their songs: “All Star” and a cover of the Monkees “I’m a Believer” were featured in the 2001 animated hit film Shrek.

Harwell was one of two of the band’s original members that consistently performed in Smash Mouth until his 2021 retirement. In 2013, Harwell was diagnosed with the heart condition cariodmypathy which “is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.”

Soon after, he was diagnosed with the neurological condition Wernicke encephalopathy, which afflicts sufferers with ataxia (involuntary movements), confusion, and ophthalmoplegia, a form of muscular palsy.

Fans of the singer flocked to social media in order to share their sympathies with his friends and family, fondly commenting on his career, like Smash Mouth’s performance in the 2001 ensemble comedy Rat Race.

The Daily Dot will update this story with new developments as they become available.

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*First Published: Sep 4, 2023, 9:51 am CDT