Terry Hall, lead singer of the English 2 tone and ska revival band The Specials, has died.
The news of Hall’s passing was shared on the band’s verified social media accounts, who on Facebook wrote that he died “following a brief illness.”
The post called Hall “our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced,” going on to say that “his music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life… the joy, the pain, the humor, the fight for justice, but mostly the love.”
Hall was reportedly 63 at the time of his death, and is survived by wife Lindy Heymann, a filmmaker, and children Leo and Felix Hall.
Originating in 1977 in Coventry, England, the Specials found success in the late ’70s and early ‘80s, with their debut self-titled album.
The original lineup of members included Hall, who replaced vocalist Tim Strickland shortly after The Specials’ formation, along with Jerry Dammers, Roddy “Radiation” Byers, Neville Staple, John Bradbury, Dick Cuthell and Rico Rodriguez.
The Specials are known for tracks including “Gangsters” and “Ghost Town,” the latter of which remained at No. 1 for three weeks in the UK in 1981, going on to spend 10 weeks in the Top 40.
The band, also known for its staunch opposition of racial injustice, frequently commented on politics and social reform in England and beyond. “Forty years ago the Specials embodied the state of the nation – seven voices as one from a typically dispossessed UK town,” the band’s official website says by way of description.
Hall also formed bands Fun Boy Three in 1981 and The Colourfield in 1984 – known for the hit song “Thinking of You” – before going solo with a pair of albums in the ’90s.
Eventually, he reformed The Specials for a tour and new music in 2008 (the band had been reunited once before, in the ’90s, but Hall was not part of that iteration). The more recent Specials lineup included Lynval Golding, Horace Panter, John Bradbury, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers and Nikolaj Torp Larsen.
In 2019, The Specials released their eighth studio album “Encore,” which featured the first new material with Hall as vocalist since 1981’s “Ghost Town.”
Monday’s social media posts commemorating Hall concluded by sharing how the singer “often left the stage at the end of The Specials’ life-affirming shows with three words… ‘Love Love Love’.”
Note from Barry: Terry also co-wrote the first hit for the Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed” which was released with a Fun Boy Three version.