Steve Harwell, original Smash Mouth lead singer, dies at 56

ByAndy Rose and Alli Rosenbloom, CNNWire
Monday, September 4, 2023
Steve Harwell, original Smash Mouth lead singer, dies at 56
Steve Harwell, the 56-year-old former lead singer of the rock group Smash Mouth, has died after receiving hospice care at his home, the band's manager said.

Steve Harwell, the former lead singer of the rock group Smash Mouth, died Monday, his manager tells CNN. He was 56.

No cause of death was shared, but Harwell had been receiving hospice care over the weekend. He died at his home in Boise, Idaho, with family and friends by his side, according Robert Hayes, the manager of Smash Mouth.

"Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle," Hayes said in a statement to CNN. "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."

Harwell was a founding member and longtime lead singer of Smash Mouth, best known for its chart-topping singles "All Star" and "I'm a Believer."

Harwell was born in Santa Clara, California and the band formed in San Jose in 1994.

During Harwell's career, the band was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for "All Star," a song which later achieved cult status after its appearance on the sound track of the 2001 animated film "Shrek."

Harwell himself went to great lengths to boost the band's early fame - personally taking their "Astro Lounge" to radio stations across the country to get it played across the airwaves.

"We never do anything traditional," Harwell said in 1999. "We never go through the front door. It's always the back door, or an open window or something, to get our stuff played."

Since Harwell left the band in 2021, the group has continued to perform with new lead vocalist Zach Goode.

"Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out," Hayes concluded his statement. "Good night Heevo Veev. Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target."

ABC7 contributed to this report.

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