Fans have been sharing footage of Terry Hall‘s last gig with The Specials after the sad news of the singer’s death this week.
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Last night (December 19), the Coventry 2 Tone band announced the death of their legendary frontman aged 63.
Taking to social media, the ska icons confirmed that the influential singer had passed away from a “brief illness,” honouring him as “a 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,” the band said, calling him “one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced.
“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 last gig with Hall took place as part of the Beautiful Days Festival in Ottery St. Mary in Devon on August 20 this year.
See footage from the show below, including renditions of iconic hits such as ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Too Much Too Young’, ‘A Message To You Rudy’ and ‘Do Nothing’.
Hall was born in Coventry on March 19, 1959, and prior to his musical breakout, endured a tumultuous childhood: as he detailed to NME in 2019, he was abducted by a paedophile ring in France at age 12 (in 1971), with the experience leading him to develop an addiction to Valium.
He’d dropped out of school by age 15, working odd jobs like bricklaying and hairdressing before he became involved in Coventry’s music scene towards the end of the ‘70s.
Hall remained active with The Specials into this year, with their last show together at Beautiful Days. The band’s last release with Hall was the compilation ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’, which arrived last September.
Among those paying tribute to Hall was former Specials bandmate Neville Staple, who wrote in a tweet: “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.”
Other notable figures to share tributes have thus far included Sleaford Mods, megafan comedian Phil Jupitus, iconic photographer Kevin Cummins, Cass Browne of Senseless Things, Billy Bragg, The Libertines (who he performed ‘Gangsters’ with last August) and many more. See a host of tributes to Terry Hall here.