Hey now, Steve Harwell is retiring from Smash Mouth.
In a statement to TMZ, Harwell, 54, says, "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."
"To my bandmates, it's been an honor performing with you all these years," he adds. "I can't think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with."
Harwell's announcement comes after his bizarre performance at a recent Smash Mouth concert in upstate New York, during which he repeatedly yelled and swore at the audience while slurring his speech. That show followed a string of dates in which Smash Mouth played with another singer instead of Harwell, who'd taken a break from the band due to his ongoing cardiomyopathy heart condition.
At the time, a rep for Smash Mouth said the replacement singer was only a temporary measure, but TMZ now reports that the New York show convinced Harwell to make the change permanent.
"To our loyal and amazing fans, thank you, all of this was possible because of you," Harwell says. "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."
"I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next," he adds, implying that the group will continue without him. "[I] am looking forward to counting myself as one of the band's newest fans."
Harwell co-founded Smash Mouth in 1994. The band has released seven albums, including the RIAA triple-Platinum Astro Lounge, and has scored hits with singles including "All Star," "Walkin' on the Sun" and a cover of The Monkees' "I'm a Believer."
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