Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell under hospice care with ‘a week or so to live’, aged 56

Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell is under hospice care with “only a week or so to live”.

The rock band’s lead vocalist, 56, was receiving treatment for liver complications in hospital, but his manager has now confirmed he is “resting at home and being cared for by his fiancé and hospice care”.

Harwell’s manager Robert Hayes told The Independent: “Steve’s iconic voice is one of the most recognizable voices from his generation. Steve loved the fans and loved to perform.

“Although Steve is here with us still, sadly it will only be for a short time. My only additional comment is that we would hope that people would respect Steve and his family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Smash Mouth were formed in 1994 and are best known for their song “All Star”, which was released in 1999. The song reached No 1 in the US at the time, but gained new fans after it was used in the 2001 films Shrek and Rat Race.

The track has remained popular, and from 2017 to 2021, was one of the most-streamed rock songs in America.

Harwell himself performed the song in Rat Race alongside the comedy capers’s ensemble cast, including Whoopi Goldberg, Rowan Atkinson, and Jon Lovitz. Meanwhile, for the Shrek soundtrack, the band recorded a cover version of The Monkees’ track “I’m a Believer”.

Their other songs include “Walkin’ on the Sun” (1997) and “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” (1998).

Harwell retired from the music industry in 2001. In 2013, the singer was diagnosed with a form of heart disease called cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart muscle to become enlarged and weak, and Wernicke encephalopathy, an acute neurological condition.

He has also previously suffered heart failure and, in 2017, Smash Mouth were forced to postponse numerous shows while Harwell received treatment. The singer has struggled with alcoholism throughout his life.

Smash Mouth singer steve Harwell is in hospice, aged 56 (Getty Images)
Smash Mouth singer steve Harwell is in hospice, aged 56 (Getty Images)

Hayes added: “Even though Steve has not been with Smash Mouth for two years now, and the band continues to tour with new vocalist Zach Goode, his legacy will live on through the music.

“With Steve, Smash Mouth has sold over 10m albums worldwide-wide and topped the charts with two No 1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles, four Billboard 200 albums and a Grammy nomination.”

Following the news, singer Bret Michaels wrote on X/Twitter: “All my thoughts, prayers and well wishes are with my friend Steve Harwell. I knew you’re a fighter, keep fighting my brother.”

Alcoholics Anonymous helpline is open 24/7 on 0800 9177 650. If you would prefer, you can also email them at or live chat via their website at Drinkline, a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm)