Terry Hall, the lead singer of British Ska group “The Specials,” has died. He was 63 years old. The band reported this on Twitter describing him as “a great man and father” and “a very sincere soul”. “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Terry, our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists in this country,” the band wrote. Hall died after a short illness.
He began his musical career with the punk group “Squad” in his hometown of Coventry. He later continued with “The Specials,” founded in 1977. The band’s debut single, Gangsters (1979), was immediately well received by the general public and reached number 6 in the UK charts. The Specials’ biggest success came in 1981 with the number 1 hit Ghost Town, a song was about urban decay and unemployment. Ghost Town received a lot of attention during the many riots over racism that broke out between young black people and the police in the United Kingdom that year.
After Ghost Town was released Hall left the band to start a new group called “Fun Boy Three” with two of his Specials band mates. In 1992, Hall joined forces with “Dave Stewart,” most famous for his role as one half of “Eurythmics.” The duo took on the name “Vegas” and released Vegas, a slick electronic pop album which spawned the moderately successful single Possessed.
Earlier this year Hall was still performing with “The Specials” who had reformed in 2008.