The music industry suffered a devastating loss this week with the passing of Terry Hall, the beloved singer of The Specials.
Hall was 63 years old and had been dealing with a brief illness prior to his death.
His bandmates posted a heartfelt statement on their official Twitter account on Monday to break the news: “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Terry Hall.”
Fans everywhere were left stunned and devastated by the suddenness of his untimely passing, yet warm tributes poured in from every corner to honor someone whose work greatly shaped two generations of popular music. He will be deeply missed.
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. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/qJHsI1oTwp— The Specials (@thespecials) December 19, 2022
Hall closes the message with the exact words he would use to end a live performance of the Specials: “Love, love, love.”
He was a member of the band, which helped establish the UK’s ska scene, and the singer-songwriter gained notoriety.
He earned great popularity all around the world. Everyone mourned after news of his death was revealed.
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Terry Hall’s story of abduction and abuse at 12 years old is nothing short of harrowing.
Taken from England to France, subject to four days of s*xual abuse, punched in the face afterward, and abandoned by the side of the road.
This kind of trauma would have lasting effects for years to come and Hall revealed to The Spectator in 2019 that these experiences had indeed left him with a lifetime of depression as well as a Valium addiction.
He attempted suicide in 2004, and as a result, he was identified as having bipolar disorder, which required antipsychotic medication to be managed.
At 14, he dropped out of school and worked a series of temporary jobs, including as a bricklayer and a trainee hairdresser, before becoming the lead vocalist of the punk band Squad.
Terry Hall and the Specials have shown themselves to be a band of great social and political importance.
Their 1979 release of Gangsters, a cover of Prince Buster’s Al Capone, peaked at No. 6 on the UK singles chart and gave them their first taste of success.
Following this, they dominated the UK Top 10 with a string of hits culminating in their big breakthrough single in 1981.
Ghost Town was released amidst riots between young Black people and police that were in protest of racism, becoming an unofficial anthem for this time period.
Held at No. 1 for three weeks straight, Ghost Town solidified the group’s position as a socially conscious band advocating for change and justice.
Twitter flooded with images of Terry Hall as fans remember “The Specials star Fans,” and musical superstar Terry Hall fans have filled Twitter with photos and videos as they pay tribute to his life in the wake of his passing.
‘I’ve lost one of my heroes, but I’ve lost one of my dearest friends.’— LBC (@LBC) December 20, 2022
Frontman of @dubpistols Barry Ashworth, shares the late Terry Hall’s last words: ‘Love, love, love.’@AndrewMarr9 pic.twitter.com/2uOCFmzR1m
Terry, you meant the world to me. I love you. pic.twitter.com/0JFpRZUEmb— Damon Albarn (@Damonalbarn) December 20, 2022
We are so saddened to hear of the death of the amazing Terry Hall.— Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@OfficialOMD) December 20, 2022
A truly iconic and individual frontman with The Specials. Our love and thoughts are with Terry’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/7qRZzvmaSU
The death of Terry Hall has left me feeling numb. When I was at school discovering music, he sang about things that mattered. And because of that, he mattered. More than most. We’ve been robbed of one of music’s most sensitive souls and biggest consciences 💔 #TerryHallRIP pic.twitter.com/fBHejRuzs5— Richard Balls (@RichardBalls) December 20, 2022