Mouth crushing, health issues and more

Feature 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, a rock band best known for its hits including “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun.”

Despite suffering health issues and personal tragedy, Harwell never lost his passion for the band, telling Vice in 2014 that he would never tire of playing their hits to live audiences.

“There’s always someone in the crowd who didn’t hear it. Or I didn’t see it live and he told the outlet, ‘When I go out on stage, I look at it this way.'” “Is ‘Free Bird’ getting old?”

Harwell died at the age of 56 in September 2023, one day later Us Weekly I learned that he was receiving end-of-life hospice care amid liver failure.

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


Harwell founded Smash Mouth with their drummer Kevin ColemanWhom he met in 1990, the guitarist Greg Camp And the bass player Paul de Lisle.

During a 2014 interview with Vice, Harwell talked about the band’s early success, including the moment when their 1997 song “Walkin’ on the Sun” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“That was f**king big,” he told the outlet. “I was 27 years old. I’d never owned a new car, (and) I went and bought a f–king BMW two days after I signed a record deal. And paid for it in cash. I was living in an apartment with my drummer, eating Taco Bell, and stretching Extension cords on the roof to steal power from my neighbor’s house because we couldn’t pay our damn bills.

1994 Steve Harwell Through the Years

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


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

“It feels like it came out yesterday,” Harwell told Vice of the Tune in 2014, adding that it “kind of pisses me off” when people ask him if he gets bored playing hit songs at live shows.

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

1999 Steve Harwell Through the Years

Steve Harwell Getty Images


The same year that Smash Mouth contributed a cover of The Monkees’ song “I’m a Believer” to The Monkees a partner The soundtrack is played by Harwell’s son, Presley, who he shares with his ex-wife Michel LarocqueHe died at the age of 6 months from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Harwell later established a medical research fund in his son’s name.

2001 Steve Harwell Through the Years

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


In June 2011, a writer for the website Something Awful offered Harwell $20 to eat 24 eggs. Additional offers were later made via social media, eventually targeting various charities.

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

The challenge was held in Dublin, California, in October 2011, with approximately 150 people in attendance. Although Harwell asked for help from the public to finish the eggs, the money raised still went to charity.


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

2011 Steve Harwell Through the Years

Smashmouth’s Steve Harwell performs at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge at Hearst Castle on September 10, 2011 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 an October show.

The musician’s rep then addressed the inappropriate behavior and announced Harwell’s retirement from Smash Mouth.

“Steve has been dealing with long-term medical issues for the past eight years, and during his last Big Sip stage performance, he experienced several symptoms directly related to his current medical condition,” the actor said in a statement. “As of today, Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health.”

Harwell thanked his fans and colleagues in a statement of his own after the retirement announcement.

“I tried hard to overcome my physical and mental health issues and play in front of you one last time, but I couldn’t,” he wrote. “I’m so grateful to each and every one of you who have helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, put us at the top of the radio charts and to those who keep ‘All Star’ relevant as one of the best memes on the internet today.”

2023 Steve Harwell over the years

Steve Harwell Theo Wargo/WireImage


In September, Harwell’s rep said we That the singer was receiving end-of-life hospice care amid liver failure. A day later, Harwell died at the age of 56.

Mouth crushing director Robert Hayes The news was confirmed in a statement to Rolling StonePointing out that Harwell “passed peacefully and comfortably” at his home in Idaho.

“Steve’s legacy will live on through Smash Mouth’s music,” Hayes added, describing Harwell as a “larger-than-life figure” with “one of the most iconic voices of his generation.”

The band’s manager concluded the tribute by writing: “His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his reckless, fearless ambition, and his massive cajuns. Steve lived a life 100 percent full. It burns brightly through the universe before it burns out.”

An additional statement shared via Smash Mouth’s official social media account read: “Rest in peace knowing you’re aiming for the stars, and magically hit your target. Rest easy.”

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