Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell dead at 56 after suffering liver failure

Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell died Monday after suffering liver failure. He was 56.

The band’s manager, Robert Hayes, confirmed the news in a statement to Rolling Stone, saying the musician was “surrounded by family and friends” when he “passed peacefully and comfortably” at his home in Boise, Idaho.

“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,” Hayes said.

“With Steve, Smash Mouth has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and topped the charts with two No. 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,’” the manager continued.

Hayes remembered Harwell’s “iconic voice” as “one of the most recognizable … from his generation” and celebrated the performer’s “unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom.”

Steve Harwell.
The band’s manager, Robert Hayes, confirmed the news Monday.
FilmMagic, Inc

Steve Harwell performing.
Hayes said the musician was “surrounded by family and friends” and “passed peacefully and comfortably” at home.

He concluded, “His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition and his king-size cojones. Steve lived a 100 percent full-throttle life, burning brightly across the universe before burning out.”

On Sunday, a rep for Smash Mouth told Entertainment Weekly that Harwell had been placed in hospice care at home after suffering liver failure.

The rep added that Harwell had “only a week or so to live” and that friends and family had gathered to visit him over the past few days.

Steve Harwell.
Harwell had been in hospice care before his death.
FilmMagic, Inc

Smash Mouth.
A rep for the band previously said the musician had been given “only a week or so to live.”
Getty Images

“We hope that people respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time,” the rep told the outlet.

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Harwell had been dealing with serious health issues over the years.

In 2013, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body, per the Mayo Clinic.

Steve Harwell performing.
The Smash Mouth lead singer was suffering from liver failure.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Three years later, he was hospitalized after collapsing onstage during a show in Illinois.

The Grammy-nominated group behind hits like “I’m a Believer” and “All Star” had to postpone several shows in 2017 as Harwell underwent treatment for his heart.

Additionally, he had been dealing with heart failure, as well as Wernicke encephalopathy, which is defined as an acute neurological condition that primarily affects the peripheral and central nervous systems, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Smash Mouth.
Harwell was a founding member of Smash Mouth.
Getty Images

Steve Harwell performing.
In 2021, he announced his departure from the group.
Getty Images

Due to his ongoing health complications, Harwell announced that he would be retiring from Smash Mouth — of which he was a founding member.

“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rock star performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” he wrote in October 2021. “To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”

Harwell then thanked his “loyal and amazing fans,” for whom he said he tried to “power through” his issues.

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