Terry Hall, lead singer with iconic ska band The Specials, has died at the age of 63 after a short illness.
The news of Hall’s death was announced last night (December 19) by the band’s publicist in a statement which read:
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing, following a brief illness, of Terry, our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced.
“Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls. His music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life… the joy, the pain, the humour, the fight for justice, but mostly the love.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him and leaves behind the gift of his remarkable music and profound humanity.
“Terry often left the stage at the end of The Specials’ life-affirming shows with three words…
“Love Love Love
“We would ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”
The Special were widely regarded as one of the most influential bands of their generation, combining memorable melodies with socially and politically conscious lyrics. Singles like Ghost Town, Gangsters, and Too Much Too Young.
Since the news of hiss death, many from across the music industry have been paying their respects.
Boy George Twtteted: “Very sad to hear about Terry Hall! Absolutely loved him as an artist.”
Billy Bragg wrote: The Specials were a celebration of how British culture was envigorated by Caribbean immigration but the onstage demenour of their lead singer was a reminder that they were in the serious business of challenging our perception of who we were in the late 1970s. RIP Terry Hall.
Portishead’s Geoff Barrow Tweeted: This is very very sad news Only if we had the conscious humour & intelligence in popular music today that #terryhall brought in his lyrics to us all back then. It’s time to put the specials where they belong as one of the greatest British bands ever.
“Rest In Peace Terry Hall,” wrote Sleaford Mods. “King of the Suedeheads. A big man. Hope you find peace now mate.”
Elvic Costello wrote: Sad to receive the news of Terry Hall’s passing last night from Lynval Golding. Terry’s voice was the perfect instrument for the true and necessary songs on “The Specials”. That honesty is heard in so many of his songs in joy and sorrow. My condolences to his family and friends.
UK band The Coral also Tweeted: “Goes without saying but thanks Terry Hall for all the music, inspiration, and being kind to us when we were starting out. So sad. Thoughts with family and friends. RIP.”
Legendary US recording engineer Steve Albini wrote: “The Specials were an incredible band who changed things about music as well as changing music. Requiescat.”
“Omg Terry Hall has passed away,” Tweeted The Subways. “RIP, one of the true greats. Irreplaceable.”
Frank Turner posted on Twitter: “God damnit. Just heard the news about Terry Hall. What an absolute sadness. The Specials were one of the most important bands for me as a kid. Taught me many things I needed to know. Gutted. RIP.”
Earlier this year, Headliner spoke to The Specials bassist Horace Panter about the band's return to the live stage in the summer, as well as their longevity and why they have "always had something to say".
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