Terry Hall, lead singer of English revival band The Specials 2, has died.
News of Hall’s death was shared by the band’s verified social media accounts, who wrote on Facebook that he had died “after a short illness”.
The post called Hall “our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and songwriters this country has ever produced,” adding that “his music and his performances capture the very essence of life… the joy, the pain, the humor, the justice. the fight for, but mostly love.”
Hall was reportedly 63 at the time of his death and is survived by his wife, filmmaker Lindy Heyman, and children Leo and Felix Haller.
Formed in 1977 in Coventry, England, the Specials found success in the late ’70s and early ’80s with their self-titled debut album.
The original lineup included Hall, who replaced vocalist Tim Strickland shortly after the formation of The Specials, along with Jerry Dammers, Roddy “Radiation” Byers, Neville Staples, John Bradbury, Dick Cattell, and Rico Rodriguez.
The Specials are best known for the songs “Gangsters” and “Ghost Town”, the latter of which stayed at No.1 in the UK for three weeks in 1981, going on to spend 10 weeks in the Top 40.
The group, also known for its fierce opposition to racial injustice, often commented on politics and social reform in England and beyond. “Forty years ago, The Specials epitomized the state of the nation, seven voices as one usually deprived of a UK city,” reads the band’s official website as a description.
Hall also formed the bands Fun Boy Three in 1981 and The Colourfield in 1984, famous for the hit song “Thinking of You”, before going solo with several albums in the 90s.
He eventually reformed The Specials for a tour and new music in 2008 (the band had reunited once before, in the ’90s, but Hall wasn’t part of that iteration). The final Specials line-up included Linval Golding, Horace Panter, John Bradbury, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers and Nikolaj Thorp 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.
Hall’s memorial Monday ended with social media posts sharing how the singer “often leaves the stage at the end of The Specials’ life-affirming shows with three words… ‘Love Love Love’.”