The Specials, an English 2-tone and ska revival band, recently lost their main singer Terry Hall. The band’s verified social media profiles on Facebook announced Hall’s passing and stated that he passed away “after a brief illness.”
Hall was referred to in the article as “our beautiful friend, brother, and one of the most gifted singers, songwriters, and lyricists this country has ever produced,” adding that
“his music and performances encapsulated the essence of life… the joy, the pain, the humor, the fight for justice, but mostly the love.” Hall’s wife, director Lindy Heymann, and sons Leo and Felix Hall survive him. He was reportedly 63 when he passed away.
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The Specials, born in Coventry, England, in 1977, achieved fame in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the help of their debut self-titled album. Hall joined The Specials immediately after they were founded, replacing vocalist Tim Strickland, Jerry Dammers, and Roddy “Radiation.”
Byers, Neville Staple, John Bradbury, Dick Cuthell, and Rico Rodriguez. The Specials are recognized for songs like “Gangsters” and “Ghost Town,” the latter of which spent 10 weeks in the Top 40 after three weeks at No. 1 in the UK in 1981.
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
The band frequently discussed politics and social reform in England and other countries. They were also noted for their strong opposition to racial injustice. According to the band’s official website, forty years ago, the Specials “embodied the state of the nation – seven voices as one from a typically dispossessed UK town.”
Before going solo with a pair of albums in the 1990s, Hall also formed bands Fun Boy Three in 1981 and The Colourfield in 1984, both known for the famous song “Thinking of You.”
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The Specials eventually reunited in 2008 for a tour and new music (the group had previously done so in the 1990s, but Hall was not a part of that version). Lynval Golding, Horace Panter, John Bradbury, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, and Nikolaj Torp Larsen were members of the more recent Specials lineup.
content warning for abuse, Terry Hall’s life had seem real nightmare stuff in it. he chose to make a positive difference early in life. among the people I danced with the in early 80s, the Specials were universally loved. https://t.co/ALKp7X5nCJ
— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) December 19, 2022
The Specials’ eighth album, “Encore,” released in 2019, included the group’s first brand-new songs with Hall on vocals since “Ghost Town” from 1981.
The final line of the social media tributes to Hall on Monday was, “[Hall] frequently exited the stage after The Specials’ life-affirming gigs with three words… ‘Love Love Love’.”
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