Band manager Robert Hayes confirmed Harwell’s death in a statement to Rolling Stone on Monday, September 4, noting that the musician “passed peacefully and comfortably” at his home in Idaho.
“Steve has been retired from Smash Mouth for two years now, and the band continues to tour with new vocalist Zach Goode,” the statement continued. “That said, Steve’s legacy will live on through the music.”
Hayes went on to cite the band’s accomplishments with Harwell at the helm, including two No. 1 singles, five Top 40 singles, a Grammy nomination and more. “Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation. He loved the fans and loved to perform,” read the statement. “Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom. And the fact that he achieved this near-impossible goal with very limited musical experience makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable.”
Hayes’ tribute to Harwell concluded: “His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition, and his king-size cajones. Steve lived a 100 percent full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out.”
A statement shared via the official Smash Mouth social media account added on Monday, “Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target. Rest easy.”
One day before news broke of Harwell’s death, Us Weekly confirmed via Harwell’s rep that the singer was experiencing liver failure and receiving end-of-life care. He previously retired from performing in 2021 due to several long-term health challenges.
This story is developing.