ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Steve Harwell, founding lead singer of Smash Mouth, dead at 56

Sep 4, 2023, 3:00 PM

Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth has died. Photo credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images...

Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth has died. Photo credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

(CNN) — Steve Harwell, the founding lead singer of the rock group Smash Mouth, died Monday, according to his manager.

He was 56.

No cause of death was shared, but Harwell had been receiving hospice care over the weekend. He died at his home in Boise, Idaho, with family and friends by his side, according Robert Hayes, the manager of Smash Mouth.

“Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle,” Hayes said in a statement to CNN. “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. His only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition, and his king-size cajones.”

Harwell was a founding member in 1994 and longtime lead singer of Smash Mouth, best known for its chart-topping singles “All Star” and “I’m a Believer.”

Career of Steve Harwell

During Harwell’s career, the band was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for “All Star,” a song which later achieved cult status after its appearance on the sound track of the 2001 animated film “Shrek.”

“It’s weird, people ask me, ‘Do you get bored of playing these songs?’ I’m like, ‘Why would I get bored of playing them? This is what puts bread and butter on my table,’” Harwell told Vice of the group’s best known hits in a 2014 interview. “You know, there’s always somebody in the crowd who hasn’t heard it. Or hasn’t seen it live. When I go out onstage, I look at it that way. Once that classic song starts, people just go bananas. Has ‘Free Bird’ ever got old?”

Harwell himself went to great lengths to boost the band’s early fame. Personally taking their “Astro Lounge” to radio stations across the country to get it played across the airwaves.

“We never do anything traditional,” Harwell said in 1999. “We never go through the front door. It’s always the back door, or an open window or something, to get our stuff played.”

Sticking together

While Smash Mouth reached peak success the late nineties, the group continued performing together and their fans stayed with them.

“We’ve never sounded better,” Harwell said of touring in more recent years. “The shows have been great. Crowd response is fantastic. There’s just a great camaraderie in the band now. We’re all getting older, and I take more pride in it than I did years ago.”

Since Harwell left the band in 2021 over health issues, the group has continued to perform with new lead vocalist Zach Goode.

“Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out,” Hayes concluded his statement. “Good night Heevo Veev. Rest in peace knowing you aimed for the stars, and magically hit your target.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Arts + Entertainment

Kenneth Mitchell, here in 2018, has died....

Megan Thomas, CNN

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Marvel’ actor, dead at 49

Originally Published: 25 FEB 24 14:49 ET Updated: 25 FEB 24 15:05 ET (CNN) — Kenneth Mitchell, an actor who appeared in the series “Star Trek: Discovery” and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” has died, his family announced in a statement shared on his verified social media Sunday. He was 49. “With heavy hearts we announce the […]

20 hours ago

kevin and michael bacon performing, they'll stop in utah in June...

Sam Herrera

Kevin Bacon to stop in Utah this summer with Bacon Brothers band

Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael will stop by Utah this June to take part in Lehi's Round-Up concert as the Bacon Brothers band.

3 days ago

KSL Movie Show Review of "Perfect Days." This is one of those “art house films” that mainstream...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Perfect Days’ is an exceptional effort

"Perfect Days" is one of those “art house films” that mainstream audiences can’t understand why anyone would want to sit through -- I’ll try to explain why in this review. 

3 days ago

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, center, sits with her attorney Jason Bowles, left, during the first day of t...

MORGAN LEE Associate Press

Negligence or scapegoating? Trial of ‘Rust’ armorer begins in fatal shooting by Alec Baldwin

Prosecutors sought to pin blame on a movie weapons supervisor for bringing live ammunition on set that contributed to the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin during production of the film "Rust."

3 days ago

steve salles next to a poster for ordinary angels...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Ordinary Angels’ is a feel-good movie worth watching

In this KSL Movie Show review, Steve Salles says to bring tissues to the theater if you go see 'Ordinary Angels.'

4 days ago

A bench sits surrounded by colorful, thriving plants in Salt Lake City's Red Butte Garden...

Mariah Maynes

Red Butte Garden announces new speaker series

Red Butte Garden announced a new speaker series called Cultivating Wisdom and Wonder on Wednesday. 

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Steve Harwell, founding lead singer of Smash Mouth, dead at 56