Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell — the voice behind hits including “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun” — “passed peacefully and comfortably” on Sept. 4 surrounded by family and friends at his home in Boise, Idaho, the band’s manager confirmed. The Grammy nominee was 56.
Steve died from acute liver failure nearly two years after announcing his retirement. Smash Mouth’s manager previously told TMZ that Steve had struggled with alcohol abuse throughout his life and was hospitalized before heading home to enter hospice care as he reached the final stage of liver failure.
In the wake of the news, fellow music stars, famous friends and other celebrities spoke out to mourn the rocker.
Keep reading to see what they had to say…
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“Known this dude for a very long time.. opened for NSync and even was my wedding singer at my wedding . We had some good times ! Sad all things must come to an end and some times too soon due to things that are past fixing because too much damage has been done .. but let’s be real its never too late! Hopefully people out there that are dealing with addiction. get the right help that they need. Its a crazy world we live in now ..thinking /praying for all … RIP Steve!” –*NSYNC singer Joey Fatone
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“To my brutha Steve
Today is a sad day,
I will miss my friend.” –Guy Fieri
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Former DJ, MTV “TRL” host and “Today” show star Carson Daly shared two lengthy messages about Steve Harwell on Instagram.
“I spent the morning down the rabbit hole of 90’s music memories as I got the official heartbreaking news about the passing of Steve Harwell from Smash Mouth. I met Steve & the band in 1995 when I was a DJ on KOME in San Jose, CA where they’re from. The band was new, unsigned & only had an EP out.
“In an attempt to help support our local band (and new party pals) we played their song ‘Nervous In The Alley’ 1 billion times. Things started really happening for them. Our friendship grew tighter. In 1996 I got a job doing nights at KROQ-LA (my childhood radio station & dream job) I’m pretty sure Smash Mouth literally drove me to LA from the bay in their s***** white tour van as they set up showcases to try & get a deal.
“Inside KROQ I could continue to champion the band & played ‘Walking On the Sun’ in a music meeting & they LOVED IT. It would be a huge hit song on the countries most influential alt rock station performed by an UNSIGNED band. Unheard of. It played regularly next to Green Day, Nirvana, No Doubt, Pearl Jam & NIN. Finally Interscope signed them and they were on their way!
“I always kept track of their success as I moved onto MTV & NBC. They had a great run & wrote (and covered) some timeless pop songs…(continued in part 2 post)…”
Keep reading for part 2 of Carson’s memories…
Carson Daly continued sharing his memories of Steve Harwell in a second post…
“Many years went by & I was aware of Steve’s darker days. Life threw him some nasty curveballs including the tragic passing of his son in 2001 & addiction issues. I always rooted & prayed for him.
“I saw him in 2016 at the Today Show when he performed our 90’s Halloween show. We hugged like long lost bros & got caught up on each others lives. That was the last time I saw him.
“I’ll always remember all the laughs (Steve could have the room in stitches when he got on a roll, he was so quick witted) the gigs (I played guitar on stage at a show I’ll never forget in San Jose) It was a magical time.
“In better days, Steve was a force of a frontman & lived the life of 50 men. He brought joy to millions with his music and his legacy will thankfully live on. I hope in his final days & hours, surrounded by family & friends he found comfort. He’s in a better place now for sure. Thanks for the good times Steve. You’re home with little Presley now. Rejoice & Rest in peace.”
“Rest easy my friend. I’m truly sorry for the difficult battle you had to fight. You were an amazing soul and will be deeply missed.” –*NSYNC singer Chris Kirkpatrick
“Steve 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. Rest easy” –Steve’s former band, Smash Mouth
“11 years ago I met Steve Harwell, there was a fire alarm and we were staying at the same hotel, we talked outside while we waited, ended up at the bar, crashed a wedding, and that night I joined Instagram. This photo was my first post on Instagram — god**** we had a fun night that night!!! #RIPSteveHarwell” –comedian Bert Kreischer
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