Smash Mouth, health issues and more

With Steve Harwell over the years

Steve Harwell Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Steve Harwell made his mark on the music industry as the lead singer of Smash Mouth, the rock band best known for hits like “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun.”

Despite struggling with health issues and personal tragedy, Harwell never lost his passion for the band Vice in 2014 that he would never tire of performing the hits live in front of an audience.

“There’s always someone in the crowd who hasn’t heard it. Or haven’t seen it live. When I go on stage, that’s how I see it,” he told the outlet. “Did ‘Free Bird’ ever get old?”

Harwell died a day later in September 2023 at the age of 56 Us weekly learned he was being treated in a hospice at the end of his life for liver failure.

Keep scrolling for a look back at Harwell’s life through the years:


Harwell co-founded Smash Mouth with drummer Kevin Colemanwhom he met in 1990, guitarist Greg camp and bassist Paul DeLisle.

During a 2014 interview with Vice, Harwell spoke about the band’s early success, including the moment their 1997 song “Walkin’ on the Sun” hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“That was bloody big,” he told the outlet. “I was 27 years old. I would never have owned a new car [and] Two days after I signed a record deal, I bought a damn BMW. And paid for it in cash. I lived in an apartment with my drummer, ate Taco Bells, and ran extension cords over the roof to steal power from my neighbor’s house because we couldn’t pay our damn bills.”

1994 Steve Harwell over the years

(LR) Portrait of American band Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell, Paul De Lisle, Greg Camp and Kevin Coleman at the Metro in Chicago, Illinois August 30, 1997. Paul Natkin/Getty Images


Smash Mouth’s star continued to rise with the release of the group’s most iconic song, “All Star.” The song charted worldwide and earned the band a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

“It feels like it just came out yesterday,” Harwell told Vice of the song in 2014, adding that it “kinda pissed me off” when people asked if he was bored doing the hits on Live -Playing shows.

“Why should I get bored singing these songs? “These are probably some of the best written songs of all time,” he said.

1999 Steve Harwell over the years

Steve Harwell Getty Images


That same year, Smash Mouth contributed a cover of The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer.” Shrek Soundtrack, Harwell’s son Presley, whom he shared with his ex Michelle Laroque, died of acute lymphocytic leukemia at the age of 6 months. Harwell later established a medical research fund in his son’s name.

2001 Steve Harwell over the years

Steve Harwell, Paul De Lisle, Michael Urbano and Greg Camp from Smash Mouth with Shrek. Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage


In June 2011, an author for the website Something Awful offered Harwell $20 to eat 24 eggs. Further offers were then made via social media, eventually targeting various charities.

A month later, Harwell said that if fans could raise $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, he would accept the challenge. When the fundraising goal was reached in less than a week, Harwell hired his friend Guy Fieri to prepare the eggs.

The competition took place in Dublin, California in October 2011 with approximately 150 participants. Although Harwell needed the audience’s support to complete the eggs, the money raised still went to charity.


Harwell was diagnosed cardiomyopathy And Wernicke encephalopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure, while Wernicke’s encephalopathy is a neurological condition that can affect motor functions such as speech and memory and cause weakness or paralysis of the muscles responsible for eye movements.

2011 Steve Harwell over the years

Steve Harwell from Smashmouth performs at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge on September 10, 2011 at Hearst Castle in Carmel, California. Steve Jennings/WireImage


A TikTok video of Harwell performing with Smash Mouth at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York, showed him slurring his words, threatening the audience, and swaying back and forth.

“I’m going to kill your whole family, I swear to God,” he told a fan during the October show.

A rep for the musician then addressed the erratic behavior and announced Harwell’s departure from Smash Mouth.

“Steve has struggled with long-term medical issues for the past eight years and during his last appearance on the Big Sip stage, he was suffering from numerous symptoms directly related to his current medical condition,” the rep said in a statement. “Starting today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health.”

Harwell thanked his fans and bandmates in a statement of his own after announcing his retirement.

“I tried so hard to get over my physical and mental issues and play in front of you guys one last time, but I just couldn’t do it,” he wrote. “I’m so grateful to each and every one of you who helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, got us to the top of the radio charts and those who made ‘All Star’ grow as one of the top memes on the internet stays relevant.” Today.”

2023 Steve Harwell over the years

Steve Harwell Theo Wargo/WireImage


In September, a Harwell representative said Us that the singer was treated in a hospice at the end of her life due to liver failure. Harwell died a day later at the age of 56.

Smash Mouth manager Robert Hayes confirmed the news in a statement to Rolling Stoneand noted that Harwell passed away “peacefully and comfortably” at his home in Idaho.

Hayes added, “Steve’s legacy will live on.” [Smash Mouth’s] Music” and called Harwell a “larger than life character” with “one of the most recognizable voices of his generation”.

The band executive ended the tribute by saying, “His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly ruthless ambition and his king-size cajones.” Steve lived a 100 percent life at full throttle. It burns brightly across the universe before it burns out.”

An additional statement, shared via Smash Mouth’s official social media account, read, “Rest in peace knowing that you aimed for the stars and magically hit your target. Sleep soundly.”

Lindsay Lowe

Lindsay Lowe is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Lindsay Lowe joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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