Steve Harwell, the former lead singer of the rock band Smash Mouth, is in hospice care with only “a short amount of time” left, a representative for the group confirmed to The Washington Post on Sunday.
According to the band’s manager, Robert Hayes, the 56-year-old has end-stage liver failure and is resting at home while his fiancée is caring for him.
“Although Steve is here with us still, sadly it will only be for a short time,” Hayes said in a statement. “… We would hope people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
Harwell announced his retirement in October 2021 to focus on his physical and mental health following an uncontrolled performance in upstate New York, a video of which showed him in a clearly confused state.
According to Hayes, he struggled with a variety of addictions for many years, which led to health complications including cardiomyopathy, which results from a weakening of the heart muscle that affected his speech and memory.
Smash Mouth was created in the early 1990s and achieved international fame in the latter half of the decade for hit songs including “Walkin’ on the Sun” (1997) as well as “All-Star” (1999), the latter of which appeared in the band’s second half. studio album, “Astro Lounge,” and tagged on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
The band also presented to the 2001 animated film “Shrek”, which featured “All-Star” and a cover of the Monkees’ hit “I’m a Believer” on the soundtrack. Hayes said, “Steve’s iconic voice remains one of the most recognizable voices of his generation.”
With Harwell, Smash Mouth sold over 10 million albums worldwide.
The band has not yet commented publicly on Harwell’s situation. It continues touring with new frontman Zach Goode.
Read Harwell’s comment about retiring from Smash Mouth: “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. 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.”
The band’s debut single was 1997’s “Walkin’ on the Sun”, and they scored a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the earworm “All-Star”, which reached number 4 on the chart in 1999. Astro Lounge, Smash Mouth’s sophomore album which included “All Star”, peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 album chart that year.
“All-Star” was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2000 Grammy Awards, an award that ultimately went to Santana for “Maria Maria”.