5 Things to Know About Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell

Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell passed away on September 4 and fans of the alt-rockers are remembering his indelible contributions to the genre. From the Shrek classic, “I’m a Believer” to the insatiably catchy “All Star,” Smash Mouth has some mammoth hits at their disposal – all of which were bolstered by Harwell’s vocals.

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While we too are remembering Smash Mouth’s best tunes, we’d also like to remember a few fun facts about the frontman in the wake of his death. Check out five things to know about Harwell, below.

[RELATED: Smash Mouth Singer Steve Harwell Dead at 56]

1. He had a brief career as a rapper

Prior to earning fame in the rock community, Harwell tried his hand at rap with a defunct group called F.O.S (aka Freedom of Speech). He found little success while in the hip-hop space and decided to switch sides in the early 1990s. According to the late frontman, it was Snoop Dogg that inspired him to go the alt-rock route.

“Around the time we were about to put out our single, this kid Snoop Dogg came out and changed everything,” he recalled in a 2017 interview with Stereogum. “I was at a radio convention in Las Vegas watching MC Hammer, of all people, and I just looked at my manager, ‘I’m tired of all this hip-hop, I want to start an alternative rock band.'”

2. He had a reality TV stint

Harwell appeared on the reality TV show The Surreal Life in 2006.

The Smash Mouth singer appeared alongside Poison’s C.C. DeVille, Alexis Arquette, Sherman Hemsley, WWE star Maven Huffman, Andrea Lowell, and Tawny Kitaen. Needless to say, the rag-tag group of celebrities was fodder for a memorable moment or two.

3. He sang for Smash Mouth for 27 years

Harwell co-founded Smash Mouth in 1994. He acted as the alt-rocker frontman for 27 years prior to his death. His unique vocals helped to make songs like “All Star,” “Walking On The Sun,” and “I’m a Believer” timeless hits.

4. He retired in 2021

Harwell decided to retire in 2021 due to ongoing health issues. His struggles with alcoholism caused him to be diagnosed with ailments like cardiomyopathy and ongoing mental health issues. The band continued on with replacement vocalist, Zach Goode.

5. His cause of death was acute liver failure

Harwell’s cause of death was determined to be acute liver failure. His manager announced his death with a statement that assured he was “surrounded by family and friends.” Harwell was 56 at the time of his death.

Photo by Mychal Watts/NFL for ON 3 PRODUCTIONS

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