Terry Hall, the lead singer of The Specials, has died at the age of 63 following a short illness, the band announced.
In a statement released on social media following his death, the U.K. ska-punk band paid tribute to “our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced.”
The Specials were formed in Hall’s home city of Coventry, England, in 1977.
During their time together, The Specials produced a string of hit songs including “Ghost Town,” which reached number one and was hailed for its social commentary having been released during the riots across England in 1981.
The band split that year, after which Hall and two former bandmates went on to form Fun Boy Three.
Fun Boy Three achieved four UK top 10 singles during their time together, until Hall left the band in 1983 to form The Colourfield.
The band’s statement said: “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.”
Bandmate Neville Staple tweeted he was “deeply saddened” to hear about Hall’s death, saying: “We knew Terry had been unwell but didn’t realise how serious until recently. We had only just confirmed some 2023 joint music agreements together. This has hit me hard.”
He added: “In the music world, people have many ups and downs, but I will hang onto the great memories of Terry and I, making history fronting The Specials and Fun Boy Three together. Rest easy, Terry Hall.”
After undertaking a variety of solo and collaborative projects, it was announced in 2008 that The Specials would be reforming for a number of tour dates and potential new music.
In September that year, Hall and five members of the band performed at Bestival music festival under the name Very “Special” Guests.
The Specials embarked on a 2009 tour to celebrate their 30th anniversary and in 2018 supported The Rolling Stones during a concert at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
In February 2019, The Specials released “Encore,” their first album of new material in 37 years.
Upon release, the album went straight to number one on the Official U..K Album Chart, marking their first number one album, and the first time they had topped the charts since “Ghost Town” in 1981 and “Too Much Too Young” became a number one in 1980.