The Specials lead singer Terry Hall has died aged 63 after a brief illness, his bandmates have confirmed.
The former member of the Fun Boy Three and the Colourfields went through a horrific incident as a child, but went on to become one of the most defining voices of the 1970s and 1980s.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing, after a brief illness, of Terry, our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever known. products,” the group tweeted.
His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Who was Terry Hall?
Terry Hall was born in Coventry, Warwickshire in 1959 to a working-class family who worked in the then booming motor industry.
He nodded to his home county in the song Friday Night Saturday Morning, which describes a night out at the Locarno nightclub in Coventry.
His childhood took a dark turn at age 12, when a teacher took him to France, where he was kidnapped and sexually abused by a pedophile ring.
The ordeal affected Hall deeply: he became addicted to Valium and then dropped out of school at the age of 14.
The incident left him in a lifelong depression and Hall admitted, “I didn’t go to school, I didn’t do anything. I just sat on my bed rocking for eight months.
He then found solace in music and played in a local punk band called Squad before becoming the frontman of the Coventry Automatics later known as The Specials.
The success of the specials
The band built their reputation locally before gaining national prominence when Radio 1’s John Peel played their debut single, Gangsters, on his show.
Following the positive response Gangsters received, they released their studio album, The Specials.
It featured hits such as A Message to You Rudy and Too Much Too Young. The multiracial band’s musical inspiration came largely from Jamaican ska, popular among British West Indian communities.
They also became a prominent voice during the turbulent Thatcher years, with their hit Ghost Town spending three weeks at number one and 10 weeks in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.
Fun Boy Three and the Coverfield
Hall left the Specials and formed his own band alongside Specials bandmates Lynval Golding and Neville Staple. They produced hits such as The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum), It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It), Tunnel of Love and Our Lips Are Sealed.
Hall then formed Colourfield, whose hits included the single Thinking of You.
Neville Staple, Hall’s bandmate in the Specials and Fun Boy Three, said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of his death.
Staple wrote: ‘We knew Terry had been sick but didn’t realize how serious he was until recently. We had just confirmed together some 2023 common musical chords. This hit me hard and must be extremely difficult for Terry’s wife and family.
“Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest and most genuine souls. His music and performances encapsulate the very essence of life…the joy, the pain, the humor , the fight for justice, but above all love,” the group’s statement continued.