Terry Hall of The Specials Dies Aged 63 – American Blues Scene

Written by on December 20, 2022

Two-tone and ska revival band The Specials have announced that frontman Terry Hall has passed away following a brief illness. He was 63. Taking to social media, they honored their iconic singer as “a 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.’

The band had asked that “everyone respect the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”

The Specials established themselves in the late ’70s and early ’80s with their rocksteady beat, punk spirit, and socially conscious lyrics, and churned out a string of hit records including Rat Race; A Message To You; Too Much; Two Young; and Ghost Town, which hit number one. Their first lineup consisted of Terry Hall and Neville Staple on vocals, Lynval Golding and Roddy Radiation on guitars, Horace Panter on bass, Jerry Dammers on keyboards, John Bradbury on drums, and Dick Cuthell and Rico Rodriguez on horns. 

The band split in 1981, with bandmates Hall, Golding, and Staple forming the band Fun Boy Three. The Specials announced a reunion tour in 2008, and in that same year Hall and five other bandmates performed an unannounced slot at Bestival music festival under “Very Special Guests.” In 2009, they kicked off a 30th anniversary tour supporting none other than The Rolling Stones at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

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