Steve Harwell, former lead vocalist of the rock band Smash Mouth, is in hospice care.
Robert Hayes, a longtime manager of Harwell and the band that the 56-year-old singer is “resting at home” and “being cared for by his fiancée and hospice care.” The rep adds that the family is asking for “privacy during this difficult time.”
TMZ, which was the first outlet to report the news, reported Harwell has “reached the final stage of liver failure” due to alcohol abuse throughout his life.
In October 2021, Harwell announced his retirement from the band following a fumbled performance at a beer and wine festival. During an appearance with the band at The Big Sip in New York, a video of Harwell slurring his speech, cursing at the audience, and making a gesture that resembled a Nazi salute, became viral.
Following the performance, his reps at the time said in a news release that the video had “been taken out of context” to misrepresent the singer. In a statement, Harwell’s reps then revealed that the frontman had been battling health issues for the past eight years stemming from his diagnosis with cardiomyopathy.
The heart disease led to “serious medical setbacks” for Harwell, including heart failure and acute Wernicke encephalopathy, the latter of which affected his speech and memory. Harwell “suffered numerous symptoms” from his medical condition during his performance in 2021, according to his rep.
“I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to,” Harwell said in the news release.
“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,” Harwell continued. “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. I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans.”
Smash Mouth burst onto the scene in the late 1990s with the release of the band’s major-label debut, “Fush Yu Mang,” which went on to sell two million copies. The album’s follow-up, “Astro Lounge,” featured the Billboard Hot 100 hit “All Star.” The band also contributed to the soundtrack of the animated film “Shrek” in 2001.
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