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Former Smash Mouth Singer Steve Harwell Is Receiving Hospice Care Amid Liver Failure

Steve Harwell
Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Former Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell is receiving end-of-life care amid liver failure.

“Steve is resting at home [and] being cared for by his fiancé and hospice care,” a rep for Harwell tells Us Weekly. “We would hope that people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Harwell, 56, was the lead singer of Smash Mouth from 1994 to 2021. He retired due to several health conditions in 2021. He’d been struggling with a 2013 diagnosis of cardiomyopathy and acute Wernicke encephalopathy in addition to heart failure.

“Steve has been dealing with long-term medical issues over the last eight years and during his last performance at the Big Sip stage, he suffered numerous symptoms directly linked with his current medical situation,” his rep said in an October 2021 statement after Harwell was seen slurring his speech and swearing at the audience during his final performance in Bethel, New York. “Steve will be retiring from Smash Mouth to focus on his physical and mental health.”

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Harwell thanked his fans and bandmates for their loyalty in a press release following his retirement. “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,” he said. “I am so grateful to each and every one of you who has helped Smash Mouth sell over 10 million albums worldwide, put us on top of radio charts and those who have kept ‘All Star’ relevant as one of the top memes on the internet today.”

He continued: “I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next and am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band’s newest fans.”

Zach Goode replaced Harwell as lead singer. The only original member of the band still performing with the group is bassist Paul De Lisle.

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“Whatever he had to do, his health was the most important thing,” De Lisle told Variety while speaking about Harwell’s departure in June 2022. “Steve retired. We moved on. It was sad after so many years, but we did see it coming.”

Smash Mouth, formed in 1994, rose to fame in the late 1990s with hits such as “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star” and are also widely recognized for their cover of The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” from the Shrek soundtrack.