Former lead singer of Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell died at the age of 56 on Monday after being in hospice care.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Harwell’s manager Robert Hayes, said in a statement to Rolling Stone that Harwell “passed peacefully and comfortably” with family and friends by his side. “Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation,” Harwell added. “He loved the fans and loved to perform … Steve lived a 100 percent full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out.”
Harwell’s cause of death has not been revealed. However, the singer told TMZ earlier this week that he had been suffering from liver failure after he encountered several health issues in recent years. In 2013, Harwell was diagnosed with heart disease cardiomyopathy and the neurological disorder, acute Wernicke encephalopathy. The latter affected his speech and memory. He also suffered from alcoholism.
Was Steve Harwell an alcoholic?
TMZ reported Sunday that the musician had been struggling with alcohol abuse throughout his life. Recently he reached the final stage of liver failure, just days before his death. He had been receiving treatment at a hospital but after the doctors gave him hours to live, arrangements were made for him to receive hospice care at home.
Harwell announced his retirement from the band six years after he was hospitalized for a heart problem. Two years after he announced his retirement, his health complications grew worse.
It is not known exactly when Harwell’s struggle with alcohol began. In 2013, his heart problems were made public after he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which is a form of heart disease that makes it harder for the organ to pump blood to the rest of the body. He began taking medication for the condition.
Four years later, Harwell’s show had to be postponed after he was hospitalized due to breathing difficulties at the concert sound check.
In August 2016, he reportedly collapsed onstage during the performance and left the location in an ambulance. After he was seen visibly slurring his words at a New York concert in October 2021, Harwell officially stepped away from the band.
“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream,” he told supporters. “To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. 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.”