Steve Harwell
Steve Harwell founder of Smash Mouth dies at 56. Kevin Winter/AFP

Steve Harwell, best known for being the founder of the rock band 'Smash Mouth' has died at 56.

Although an official autopsy has not yet been revealed, fans have predicted that Harwell's long battle with alcoholism and drug addiction was the leading cause of his death.

On Monday 4 September, Harwell passed away while at his home in Idaho, US.

Smash Mouth founder Steve Harwell dies at 56.

Robert Hayes, the former grammy-nominees manager, said in a statement to Rolling Stone that Harwell "passed peacefully and comfortably" surrounded by family and friends.

Robert Hayes also alluded to Hartwell's cause of death being linked to substance abuse, after he noted that the band leader had been suffering in the final stages of liver failure and was receiving end-of-life care at his home.

It has also been reported that his fiancé Annette Jones was also tending to him until his last moments.

Harwell had previously been diagnosed with the heart ailment cardiomyopathy in 2013, which had led to a neurological condition that heavily affected his memory and speech.

Harwell retired from the band in 2021, due to his physical and mental health issues at the time. His last performance was in upstate New York, where he performed to his fans in an intoxicated state.

During the New York show, the lead vocalist of Smash Mouth was filmed slurring his words and yelling at the audience.

The Smash Mouth hit 'All Star' that appeared in the famous opening scene in 'Shrek'.

Harwell founded Smash Mouth in 1994, at just 27 years old. The band went on to produce the pop-rock hits 'All Star' and a cover of The Monkees 'I'm a Believer' that went on to reach the top charts and feature in the movie 'Shrek'.

Shortly after Harwell's death on Monday, tributes started to pour in on social media.

Greg Camp, the Guitarist of Smash Mouth, wrote a long and nostalgic message on Instagram. In his letter, which addressed his fellow bandmate directly, Camp said: "What a ride my friend. I had my reservations when we met and you wanted to start a band, but you quickly won me over with your humour, enormous personality, and charm. I wouldn't be the first nor last. Then I was introduced to your unwavering loyalty and humongous heart, throw in some annoying persistence and forceful motivation and I couldn't resist."

The Guitarist continued to thank Harwell for his friendship and work, stating: "So long for now, thank you for the laughs, the love and for sharing yourself with all of us. Rest easy brother."

Greg Camp took to Instagram to share his condolences with Steve Harwell's loved ones.

Guy Fieri, a Restaurateur and Emmy Award-winning Television Presenter, wrote on Instagram: "To my brutha Steve RIP. Today is a sad day, I will miss my friend."

Christopher Alan Kirkpatrick, a Singer-Songwriter who is best known for being the founder of the pop group NSYNC, also wrote on Instagram: "I'm truly sorry for the difficult battle you had to fight. You were an amazing soul and will be deeply missed."

Tom Green, a Comedian, also took to social media to share his condolences. On X (formerly known as Twitter) he wrote: "Rest in peace Steve Harwell I remember hanging with you back in the MTV days you were always super cool and an amazing talent - my condolences to your family and friends."

Manager Hayes also added that "Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger-than-life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle".

Hayes continued to note that "Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom", and that "his only tools were his irrepressible charm and charisma, his fearlessly reckless ambition, and his king-size (cojones)".

"Steve lived a 100% full-throttle life. Burning brightly across the universe before burning out. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him," Hayes concluded.