Terry Hall shot to fame in the 1970s as the modish lead vocalist of socially conscious ska band The Specials
Terry Hall, frontman of British ska band The Specials, has died at the age of 63, his bandmates announced Monday.
Hall shot to fame in the 1970s as the modish lead singer of the socially conscious 2 Tone band, which was formed with a multi-racial, anti-racism objective.
The Specials found success on the UK charts, notching seven consecutive top 10 singles, including “Ghost Town” and “Too Much Too Young”.
Hall died after a brief illness, The Specials said in a statement.
“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,” they wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
No cause of death was given, and the band asked for respect for Hall’s family.
Born in Coventry in 1959, Hall spoke of being abducted by a paedophile ring at the age of 12 and subsequently struggling with depression and addiction.
Hall joined The Specials, then called the Automatics, in 1977.
Their popularity peaked with “Ghost Town” in 1981, a prophetic hit about Britain’s unemployment, economic decline and urban violence that was released just ahead of summer riots over the police’s use of stop-and-search tactics.
After the success of “Ghost Town”, Hall and bandmates Neville Staple and Lynval Golding split off to form “Fun Boy Three”, a new wave pop group.
Hall went solo in 1984 and later rejoined The Specials for a 2008 reunion tour.
Over the course of his career, Hall collaborated with a motley crew of other musicians, including Bananarama, the Gorillaz, Dub Pistols and Lily Allen.