The passing of Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials, has prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from the entire music community.
On Monday (19 December), Hall, a 63-year-old member of the Coventry two-tone band, passed away after a brief illness.
The band wrote on Twitter, “It is with tremendous regret that we announce the passing, after a brief illness, of Terry, our beloved friend, brother, and one of the most gifted singers, songwriters, and lyricists this country has ever produced.
“Terry was one of the sweetest, funniest, and most honest people you could ever hope to meet. He was also a fantastic husband and father. His music and performances captured the full gamut of human emotion, from laughter to tears to a desire for social justice and, above all, love.
He leaves us the gift of his extraordinary music and genuine humanity, and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. Terry would typically utter the three simple words “Love Love Love” as he walked off stage after The Specials’ upbeat performances.
Singer Frank Turner, who is best known for his song “Recovery,” was among the first to react to the news of Hall’s death on Twitter. I was just informed about Terry Hall’s death. What a tragic development. As a young person, The Specials were among my most beloved bands. Instructed me in numerous useful skills. Gutted. RIP.”
Similarly, longtime radio presenter Simon Mayo tweeted, “Very sad news indeed. Certainly a top performer. Absolutely adored watching his shows.
One can tell that Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer is an admirer of Terry Hall’s work, because he answered, “Terry Hall, also of Fun Boy Three, the Colourfield, and co-writer of ‘Our Lips Are Sealed,’ has died. This is an amazing collection of songs.
“I was devastated to learn about Terry Hall’s passing. A true legend in his field. Another musician, Badly Drawn Boy, called him “a musical hero” on Twitter.
Jo Whiley, a radio host and disc jockey, tweeted, “Horrible news. I’ve always admired your work. Terry Hall has produced an incredible body of work, most of which I have enjoyed throughout my existence. Specials. It’s the third and final member of the Fun Boy Gang. Colourfield.”
Boy George expressed his sorrow over the death of Terry Hall in a tweet: “Very sad to hear about Terry Hall! As a creative person, he was greatly admired. Oh, what a miserable day!
Hall, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, and John Bradbury all joined The Specials a year after they founded in 1977 in Hall’s hometown of Coventry. The original members were Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding, and Horace Panter.
All four of The Specials’ chart-topping singles—”A Message to You,” “Rudy,” and “Rat Race”—were recorded when the band was together.
Jeanette Hall and Hall had two sons, Theo and Felix.