Steve Harwell, the lead singer of the American rock band Smash Mouth, has passed away today at the age of 56. According to his manager, he died “peaceful and reassured” surrounded by his family and friends. He died of acute liver failure.
Smash Mouth is best known in the Netherlands for the hit All Star, which was released in 1999. The song was only in the Top 40 for two weeks, but became even more famous when it was used as the opening number in the popular animated film Shrek two years later.
In recent years, the song has experienced a revival due to videos on TikTok. The song is often put under videos on social media because of the phrase “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed” (I’m not the smartest), followed by a video of someone doing something stupid.
Popular in the US
In the United States the band was more successful than in the Netherlands: the first album Fush Yu Mang and especially the song Walkin’ on the Sun were very popular. Although All Star’s success was unmatched, new music from the band continued to appear regularly on film and series soundtracks.
Harwell left the band in 2021 due to health issues. He suffered from heart muscle disease and had Wernicke’s disease, which caused his brain to stop functioning properly. He was replaced by Zach Goode and has lived in the lee ever since. His manager announced yesterday that he did not have long to live and was being cared for by his fiancé, among others.
“He had irresistible charm and charisma, fearlessly reckless ambition and huge balls,” says his manager. “Steve had a life where he was always going full throttle. (…) He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”