Steve Harwell, the founding lead singer of the rock band Smash Mouth, has died after struggling with various health issues. He was 56.
He passed away peacefully Sept. 4 surrounded by family and friends at his home in Boise, Idaho, his representative, Robert Hayes, confirmed to NBC News. Hayes said in a separate statement that while Harwell had “many health issues,” he died of acute liver failure.
"Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle," Hayes' statement said in part. "Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom. ... Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out. Good night Heevo Veev. Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target."
Harwell was reportedly in hospice care the weekend before his death, Hayes had told the Washington Post, and was in the final stages of liver failure.
Hayes confirmed with TODAY.com that Harwell had struggled with addiction over the years, which led to health issues such as cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease, that affected his speech and memory.
In October 2021, Harwell, after appearing disoriented onstage at a Smash Mouth concert in upstate New York, had taken a brief hiatus from the band before retiring for good a few days later. Smash Mouth now tours with lead vocalist Zach Goode.
"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," Harwell had told People magazine. "To my bandmates, it’s been an honor performing with you all these years and I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with."
His rep at the time also told People he had been handling medical issues for the past 8 years, including cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that makes pumping blood to the rest of the body difficult. At the time of the concert, the rep said, he had suffered "numerous symptoms directly linked with his current medical situation."
Smash Mouth was formed in 1994 and received commercial success in the '90s and early aughts with hits like "All Star," "Walkin' On the Sun," and a cover of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" that appeared on the "Shrek" soundtrack.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com