Steve Harwell, co-founder of Smash Mouth, dies

Steve Harwell, who co-founded the group Smash Mouth, died Monday.

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He was 56.

His death was confirmed by his manager, Roger Hayes. The musician, best known for hits like “All Star,” “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “I’m a Believer,” died at his home in Boise, Idaho,“ surrounded by family and friends,” Hayes said.

Hayes said Harwell “passed peacefully and comfortably.”

Soon after news of his death broke, the band posted a tribute on X that read: “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,”

On Sunday, Hayes said that Harwell was resting at home and being cared for by his fiancé and hospice care workers, CBS News and Billboard reported.

Hayes told Rolling Stone that “Steve has been retired from Smash Mouth for two years now, and the band continues to tour with new vocalist Zach Goode.”

“That said, Steve’s legacy will live on through the music. With Steve, Smash Mouth has sold over 10 Million albums worldwide-wide and topped the charts with two #1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles, four Billboard 200 albums and a Grammy nomination not to mention the hundreds of film and television placements and of course those musical features in Shrek.”

While no cause of death was given, TMZ reported Sunday that Harwell was in the final stages of liver failure. The BBC said he struggled with alcoholism and was diagnosed with the heart ailment cardiomyopathy in 2013; and subsequently, a neurological condition that affected his memory and speech.

Harwell was hospitalized in August 2016 after collapsing during a concert in Urbana, Illinois, Entertainment Weekly reported.

In 2017, the group postponed several concert dates while Harwell underwent treatment for his heart problems, EW reported.

Harwell was born in California in 1967. He started his musical career in the rap group, F.O.S. (Freedom of Speech). He later left rap to try alternative rock, according to Rolling Stone. He began playing with drummer Kevin Coleman and later formed Smash Mouth alongside Greg Camp and Paul De Lisle.

The band’s second album Astro Lounge was released in 1999 and went triple platinum. It included the hits “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” and “All Star” -- a song that Rolling Stone magazine said “inexplicably mesmerized the world for 20 years”.

The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals in 2000.

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