Bobby Bank/Getty Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth
Steve Harwell, the retired musician best known as the longtime frontman of Smash Mouth, is at home in hospice after serious health complications.
EW can confirm that Harwell is in the final stages of liver failure after receiving treatment in a hospital. A representative for the band also confirmed that he is back home with "only a week or so to live," with friends and loved ones gathering to see Harwell for the past 3 days.
"We hope that people respect Steve and his family's privacy during this difficult time," added the representative.
Harwell was previously hospitalized in August 2016 after collapsing mid-concert in Urbana, Ill. and being rushed away in an ambulance. In 2017, the Smash Mouth postponed several performances while Harwell underwent treatment for heart problems.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Steve Harwell on stage with Smash Mouth
The frontman for the San Jose, Calif., rock band — best known for '90s hits like "All Star" and "Walkin' on the Sun" — retired in 2021 due to medical issues. Zach Goode, formerly of Ghoulspoon, Divided By Zero and The Secret Seven, stepped in as the band's new lead singer.
After being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy a decade ago, which impairs the heart's ability to pump efficiently, Harwell has suffered medical setbacks including heart failure and acute Wernicke's encephalopathy, which impacts motor functions such as his speech and memory. The singer has also previously struggled with alcohol abuse.
Harwell's retirement came on the heels of a controversial concert in upstate New York. Videos circulated the internet, showing Harwell slurring his words and making vaguely threatening comments to the audience. A source familiar with the situation told EW that Harwell "forgot where he was [and] his own lyrics and had limited understanding of his environment due to one of his episodes." They went on to call the recording "unfortunate" and said it doesn't reflect who he is.
Days after the incident, Harwell officially announced his retirement.
"Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a Rockstar performing in front of sold-out arenas and have been so fortunate to live out that dream," the singer said in a statement. "To my bandmates, it's been an honor performing with you all these years and I can't think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with."
Harwell continued, "To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you. 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."
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