Speed Reads


Terry Hall, lead singer of the Specials, dies at 63

Terry Hall, lead singer of the influential British ska band the Specials, has died. He was 63. 

The news was confirmed in a statement shared on the band's social media accounts, which said Hall died following a "brief illness." The band remembered him as "our beautiful friend, brother, and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters, and lyricists this country has ever produced."

Formed in 1977, the U.K. band released songs like "Ghost Town" and "Gangsters," and Hall joined soon after its inception to replace vocalist Tim Strickland. The band was also known for its "staunch opposition of racial injustice," CNN notes.

Hall later formed Fun Boy Three, and he also released several solo albums. He reunited with the Specials in 2008, and they released a new album, Encore, in 2019. 

"Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls," the Specials' statement said. "His music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life … the joy, the pain, the humor, the fight for justice, but mostly the love." 

Singer Elvis Costello, who produced the band's first album, also remembered Hall's voice as "the perfect instrument for" the band's "true and necessary songs," while the rock duo The Proclaimers paid tribute to him as a "quite brilliant, singer, songwriter and lyricist with profound humanity."