Steve Harwell, Lead Singer of Smash Mouth, Dies at 56

The frontman of the popular rock band behind “All Star” entered hospice for liver failure over the weekend

Steve Harwell Smashmouth
Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth (Credit: Getty Images)

Steve Harwell, the former frontman of rock group Smash Mouth, renowned for their widely recognized 1999 hit “All Star,” died Monday. He was 56.

Harwell died of liver failure at his home in Boise, Idaho, TheWrap has learned. He was surrounded by family and friends and passed peacefully and comfortably, according to his manager Robert Hayes. It was reported on Sunday that Harwell entered hospice care over the weekend.

A cofounder of Smash Mouth, Harwell played a pivotal role in the band’s inception in 1994. The rock group gained notable acclaim for their standout track “All Star,” the hit single from their 1999 album, “Astro Lounge.” The song received a Grammy Award nomination and found its way into various films, notably as the opening credits piece in the Academy Award-nominated film “Shrek.” Additionally, “All Star” became part of the soundtrack for the 1999 movie “Mystery Men.”

Harwell had been retired from Smash Mouth for 2 years, and the band continues to tour with vocalist Zach Goode, Hayes said.

“Steve’s legacy will live on through the music,” Hayes said in a statement. “With Steve, Smash Mouth has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and topped the charts with two No. 1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles, four Billboard 200 albums and a Grammy nomination — not to mention the hundreds of film and television placements and of course those musical features in ‘Shrek’! Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation. He loved the fans and loved to perform.”

In a statement of their own posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Smash Mouth wrote that “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 stars, and magically hit your target.”

Hayes shared similar sentiments with TheWrap, adding: “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… He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.”

Harwell is survived by his fiancé, Annette; and his siblings Carla, Michelle, Julie and Mark.