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RIP Terry Hall: Tributes pour in after lead singer of The Specials’ death

"His music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life," the band said in a statement

By Tomás Mier

Terry Hall of The Specials performs on stage at Alexandra Palace on November 3, 2011 in London, United Kingdom HAYLEY MADDEN/REDFERNS

Tributes have poured in for Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials, who has died at age 63. On Monday, the band released a statement on social media informing fans that the musician had died after a “brief illness,” though more details were not made available.

“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,” read the statement.

“Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls,” the note continued. “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.”

Along with his work with the band whose cover of “A Message to You Rudy” was a hit, Hall was a former member of the Colourfield and Fun Boy Three. He formed Fun Boy Three with Neville Staple of the Specials. He also wrote a hit song with the Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin.

“Gutted to hear of the passing of #terryhall. He was a lovely, sensitive, talented and unique person. Our extremely brief romance resulted in the song Our Lips Are Sealed, which will forever tie us together in music history,” Wiedlin wrote on Twitter. “Terrible news to hear this. ”

Among the Specials’ greatest hits are songs such as “Ghost Town,” “Gangsters,” and “Too Much Too Young.” The group had several revivals, for which Hall returned in 2008.

Liam Gallagher was also among those paying tribute, as well as Billy Bragg.

Asking for privacy for Hall’s family, the Specials wrote on Twitter: “He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him and leaves behind the gift of his remarkable music and profound humanity.”

The band added, “Terry often left the stage at the end of the Specials’ life-affirming shows with three words: ‘Love Love Love.’”

Hall formed the ska group in 1977, and served as lead vocalist until 1981. He later returned for a reunion in 2008 up until his death.

The group released album Encore in 2019, where they were deemed as “legends” by Rolling Stone‘s Will Hermes. “The Special’s third album — 38 years since the last one, More Specials — is well timed,” the review states. “As frontman Terry Hall puts it, the band remain ‘horribly relevant.’”