Terry Hall, lead vocalist of Ska band The Specials, dies


Terry Hall, lead singer of English 2 Tone and ska revival band The Special, has died.

News of Hall’s passing was shared on the band’s verified social media accounts, which wrote on Facebook that he had passed away “after a short illness”.

Calling Hall “our beautiful friend, brother, and the most talented singer, songwriter and lyricist this country has ever produced,” the post said, “His music and his performances capture the essence of life…for joy, for joy. for pain, for humor, for justice. Fight, but mostly love.”

Hall was 63 at the time of his death and is survived by wife Lindy Heyman, a film producer, and sons Leo and Felix Hall.

Originating in Coventry, England in 1977, 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 singer Tim Strickland shortly after the special’s production, along with Jerry Dammers, Roddy “Radiation” Byers, Neville Staples, John Bradbury, Dick Kuthel, and Rico Rodriguez.

The Specials are known for tracks such as “Gangsters” and “Ghost Town”, the latter of which spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK in 1981 and spent 10 weeks in the Top 40.

Also known for their staunch opposition to racial injustice, the band frequently comment on politics and social reform in England and beyond. “Forty years ago Special embodied the state of the nation – seven voices as one of the most commonly displaced UK cities,” says the band’s official website description.

Hall formed the bands Fun Boy Three in 1981 and The Colorfield in 1984 – before going solo with the duo on an album in the ’90s – known for the hit song “Thinking of You”.

Eventually, he reformed The Specials in 2008 for a tour and new music (the band had reunited once before in the ’90s, but Hall was not part of that iteration). A more recent special lineup included Linval Goulding, Horace Panter, John Bradbury, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers and Nikolaj Torp Larsson.

In 2019, Special 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 that the singer “left the stage at the end of the often life-affirming Special … ‘Love Love Love.'”


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