Damon Albarn pays tribute to Terry Hall: “You meant the world to me”

The singer played a brief, emotional rendition of a 1980 Specials hit

Damon Albarn has shared a musical tribute to The Specials’ Terry Hall, whose death was confirmed yesterday (December 19).

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman posted a video of himself playing a melancholy piano rendition of The Specials‘ 1980 hit ‘Friday Night, Saturday Morning’, along with the caption: “Terry, you meant the world to me. I love you.”

The ska icons confirmed yesterday that the influential singer had passed away from a “brief illness” at the age of 63. They honoured him as “a beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced”.


Watch Albarn’s tribute below.

In a thread on Twitter, The Specials 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.

“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’.

The band added: “We would ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”


Terry Hall The Specials
The Specials’ Terry Hall. CREDIT: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

Albarn’s post is the latest of many to pay tribute to Hall, including former Specials bandmate Neville Staple, who wrote in a tweet yesterday: “I was deeply saddened to hear about Terry Hall’s passing on Sunday. [Christine ‘Sugary’ Staple] was called as we arrived in Egypt.

“We knew Terry had been unwell but didn’t realise how serious until recently. We had only just confirmed some 2023 joint music agreements together. This has hit me.”

Specials founder Jerry Dammers later added that “Terry’s death is very shocking, horrible and tragic news”.

“Terry was so young and I feel very sad,” he continued. “Contrary to some of what has been reported since, Terry and I got on well in the original Specials.

“Beyond our punky start on stage, it was in the studio with Elvis Costello producing, where Terry was able to sing quietly, that I think his hidden strength came out, a delivery which brought out the melancholy in some of The Specials’ songs, and which I think a lot of people could relate to. All my condolences and sympathies go out to his wife and family.”

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