Lead singer of English ska band The Specials, Terry Hall has passed away at the age of 63 following an unspecified brief illness. The news of his demise was confirmed by the band on social media.
“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,” the band’s statement reads.
According to Variety, a US-based news outlet, The Automatics, which later became The Specials, was founded in 1977. Hall joined the group in 1979, taking Tim Strickland’s place as the vocalist. Following their live tour support of the Clash, the 2 Tone Band gained notoriety. Singles like “Gangsters” and “Ghost Town” helped the group reach its height of fame in the early 1980s.
The hit song “Ghost Town” notably achieved commercial popularity during the summer of 1981, when riots between young Black people and the police broke out all throughout the United Kingdom in protest of racial discrimination and criticism of stop-and-search procedures. The group performed at benefit shows for anti-racist organisations as part of the Rock Against Racism movement. Their other notable songs included the cover “A Message to You, Rudy” and “Doesn’t Make it Alright.”