Terry Hall, the lead singer of The Specials who was described as "one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced," has died aged 63 after a brief illness.
The Coventry based band was formed by Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter while Hall joined a year later, along with Neville Staple, Roddy Byers and John Bradbury.
Their popularity rose with their ska style and socially conscious lyricism that reflected and economic recession under Margaret Thatcher as well as the social unrest and riots during the early 1980s.
The Specials'confirmed the news in a social media post where they paid tribute and wrote: "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."
"Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls."
"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.
\u201cIt 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)\u201d
"He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him and leaves behind the gift of his remarkable music and profound humanity."
"Terry often left the stage at the end of The Specials life-affirming shows with three words…'Love Love Love'."
They added: "We would ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this very sad time."
Tributes for Hall have been pouring in on social media, following the news of the singer's death.
Bandmate Neville Staples tweeted that he was "deeply saddened" to hear about Hall's death and the pair had "just confirmed some 2023 joint music agreements together."
"In the music world, people have many ups and downs, but I will hang onto the great memories of Terry and I, making history fronting The Specials and Fun Boy Three together. Rest easy Terry Hall."
Jane Weildan of The Go Go’s in her tribute recalled her brief romance with Hall in the 80s which led to them writing the song "‘Our Lips Are Sealed" together.
“Gutted to hear of the passing of #terryhall. He was a lovely, sensitive, talented and unique person,” she wrote.
“Our extremely brief romance resulted in the song ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’, which will forever tie us together in music history. Terrible news to hear this.”
Culture Club's Boy George tweeted: "Very sad to hear about Terry Hall! Absolutely loved him as an artist. Sad day!"
"We are very sad to hear of the passing of Terry Hall the lead singer of @thespecials Another one gone too soon! RIP Terry," UB40 wrote.
Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello described Hall's voice as "perfect instrument."
"Sad to receive the news of Terry Hall’s passing last night from Lynval Golding,” he tweeted.
“Terry’s voice was the perfect instrument for the true and necessary songs on The Specials. That honesty is heard in so many of his songs in joy and sorrow. My condolences to his family and friends.”
"Horrid news," DJ and presenter Jo Whiley wrote. "Have always been a fan. So many songs of Terry Hall that I’ve loved throughout my life. Specials. Fun Boy Three. Colourfield."
Matt Goss from eighties band Bros tweeted: "I’m in shock that one of my favourite singer songwriters, Terry Hall has passed away. The Specials represent my youth, they represent everything about my teenage years, they were THE BAND that got us out of our homes and into the school discos & clubs!"
Dexys Midnight Runners paid tribute: 'Very sorry and shocked, to hear the sad news about the lovely, and brilliant Terry Hall. Rest in peace Terry. All the best to Terry's family and The Specials. Love from Dexys.'
Comedian David Baddiel tweeted: "Terry Hall was great. That’s the tweet."
Some of The Specials biggest songs include their number-one hits, Ghost Town and Too Much Two Young in 1980 and 1981.
After the band split in 1981, Hall went on to form the band Fun Boy Three, which achieved four top 10 singles.
Two years later in 1984, Hall left to form The Colourfield and then also went on to do some solo and collaborative projects that included working with Lily Allen.
In 2009, The Specials reunited and toured for their 30th anniversary and 10 years later in 2019, the band released a new album Encore for the first time in 37 years which went to number one in the UK album chart.
Hall is survived by his second wife, director Lindy Heymann, and their son as well as his two sons from his previous marriage to Jeannette Hall.
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