The Grammys kept with its annual tradition of paying tribute to musicians we lost in the past year, honoring Tina Turner, Jimmy Buffett, Sinéad O’Connor and more at the 2024 ceremony. But one name was excluded from this year’s “In Memoriam” segment: Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell, who died at age 56 in September and was nominated alongside his band at the 2000 Grammys for “All Star.”
When asked about the omission on Monday (Feb. 5), Smash Mouth manager Robert Hayes told Billboard: “Does anyone watch the Grammys anymore? That show hasn’t been good in over 20 years. And they never acknowledged Steve when he was alive so why would we think they would honor him when he’s dead? Rude and disrespectful.”
Fans of the rock singer were quick to note on social media that Harwell’s name and face never appeared on air during the awards show’s mid-ceremony montage on Sunday night. “Really #Grammys? You forgot to include Steve Harwell from Smash Mouth during the In Memoriam segment?” one person posted to X shortly afterward. “He was a Grammy nominee!”
“Sad they forgot our friend Steve Harwell of @smashmouth,” wrote another fan, while a third person posted, “boycotting the Grammys until they tribute Steve Harwell.”
Billboard has reached out to the Recording Academy for comment.
Harwell and his band earned a 2000 Grammy nod for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal for “All Star”; the award ended up going to Santana featuring The Project G&B for “Maria Maria.”
The frontman announced his retirement from Smash Mouth in 2021, writing in a statement, “Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a rock star 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. I can’t think of anyone else I would have rather gone on this wild journey with.”
On Sept. 4, 2023, Harwell died at his home in Boise, Idaho, after being in hospice care. Prior to his death, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy — a disease of the heart muscle that can make it hard for the heart to deliver blood to the body — and battled a number of health issues as a result.
“Steve Harwell was a true American original,” Hayes wrote in a statement following the musician’s death. “A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom.”
See how fans reacted to Harwell’s “In Memoriam” omission at the 2024 Grammys below.