Smash Mouth former frontman Steve Harwell has died aged 56, it has been announced.
The singer died “peacefully and comfortably” on Monday at his home in Boise, Idaho while surrounded by family and friends, the band’s manager Robert Hayes confirmed to the PA news agency.
Harwell, who co-founded the US rock band in 1994, rose to fame with the group who are known for their hits including All Star and their cover of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer.
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… pic.twitter.com/qZDliiIl30
— Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) September 4, 2023
In a statement, Hayes added: “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. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.”
Harwell retired from the band two years ago with the group now touring with new vocalist Zach Goode.
Goode posted a tribute to Harwell on his Instagram page following his death.
It read: “Today, my heart goes out to Steve’s family and friends.
“Although we never met personally, I have an enormous amount of respect for what he accomplished and the legacy that he left behind.
“Steve was a legend.
“Smash Mouth songs have been the soundtrack to so many people’s lives and i’m honoured to care for them in my own little way, even if only for a while.”
He added: “I love singing these songs every night and carrying on the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll in front of the best fans in the world.
“I will continue to try, in my own way, to honour what Steve and the band have created.
“These songs deserve to live on and be heard.
“Thank you all for your continued support and may Steve find the rest he deserves. I thank you for listening. Humbly yours, Zach Goode.”
During his time in the group, they released seven studio albums including their 1997 debut, Fush Yu Mang, which contained the hits Walkin’ on the Sun and a cover of funk band War’s Why Can’t We Be Friends?
Their smash hit, All Star, from their 1999 follow-up Astro Lounge emerged into popular culture following multiple appearances in films including 2001 animation film Shrek.
The song also earned them a Grammy nomination for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal.