NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider The Voice

Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell Dead at 56: Carson Daly Reveals the Last Time He Saw Him

The Voice Host and the rocker first met in the '90s.

By Jackie Manno

Steve Harwell, the former lead singer of the band Smash Mouth, died on September 4 at the age of 56 due to acute liver failure. 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

That day, The Voice Host Carson Daly made a touching tribute to Harwell via social media, reminiscing on some fond memories they had together during the start of both of their careers. 

"I spent the morning down the rabbit hole of 90’s music memories as I got the official heartbreaking news about the passing of Steve Harwell from Smash Mouth. I met Steve & the band in 1995 when I was a DJ on KOME in San Jose, CA where they’re from. The band was new, unsigned & only had an EP out. In an attempt to help support our local band (and new party pals) we played their song 'Nervous In The Alley' 1 billion times," Daly captioned the post, which was a throwback picture of Harwell performing.  

He continued: "Things started really happening for them. Our friendship grew tighter. In 1996 I got a job doing nights at KROQ-LA (my childhood radio station & dream job) I’m pretty sure Smash Mouth literally drove me to LA from the bay in their sh***y white tour van as they set up showcases to try & get a deal. Inside KROQ I could continue to champion the band & played “Walking On the Sun” in a music meeting & they LOVED IT. It would be a huge hit song on the countries most influential alt rock station performed by an UNSIGNED band. Unheard of. It played regularly next to Green Day, Nirvana, No Doubt, Pearl Jam & NIN. Finally Interscope signed them and they were on their way! I always kept track of their success as I moved onto MTV & NBC. They had a great run & wrote (and covered) some timeless pop songs…"

RELATED: Carson Daly Pays Tribute to Sinead O'Connor and Their "Unlikely Friendship"

In another post, Daly took a serious note discussing Harwell's battle with addiction. 

"Many years went by & I was aware of Steve’s darker days. Life threw him some nasty curveballs including the tragic passing of his son in 2001 & addiction issues. I always rooted & prayed for him. I saw him in 2016 at the Today Show when he performed our 90’s Halloween show."

Split of Carson Daly and Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell

"We hugged like long lost bros & got caught up on each others lives. That was the last time I saw him. I’ll always remember all the laughs (Steve could have the room in stitches when he got on a roll, he was so quick witted) the gigs (I played guitar on stage at a show I’ll never forget in San Jose) It was a magical time," he wrote.

RELATED: He's One of the Top TV Hosts Out There — Carson Daly's Career, Explained

He continued: "In better days, Steve was a force of a frontman & lived the life of 50 men. He brought joy to millions with his music and his legacy will thankfully live on. I hope in his final days & hours, surrounded by family & friends he found comfort. He’s in a better place now for sure. Thanks for the good times Steve. You’re home with little Presley now. Rejoice & Rest in peace. ❤️"

the band's manager, Robert Hayes, said in a statement to NBC News: "He was surrounded by family and friends and passed peacefully and comfortably. Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle."

Rest in peace, Steve. 

Read more about: