Terry Hall, lead singer of the influential British band The Specials, has died, the band announced on social media. He was 63. In addition to his work with that band, he also co-wrote The Go-Go‘s debut single, “Our Lips Are Sealed,” with his then-girlfriend, Jane Wiedlin.
The band writes that Hall, “our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced,” has passed away “following a brief illness.”
The statement described Terry as “one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls,” adding, “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 Specials were part of the United Kingdom’s two-tone movement, which blended Jamaican ska — an early form of reggae — with punk and new wave. They’re best known for songs like “Gangsters,” “A Message to You, Rudy,” “Free Nelson Mandela” and, most famously, “Ghost Town,” which captured the mood of the civil unrest and riots experienced in the U.K. in the summer of 1981.
Hall was also a member of Fun Boy Three, which he formed with two other Specials members after they’d left the group. During that time, Hall and Wiedlin had a brief affair and co-wrote “Our Lips Are Sealed,” which was first recorded by the Go-Go’s in 1981 on their debut album, Beauty and the Beat. It was then recorded by Fun Boy Three in 1983.
On Twitter, Wiedlin writes, “Gutted to hear of the passing of #terryhall. He was a lovely, sensitive, talented and unique person. Our extremely brief romance resulted in the song Our Lips Are Sealed, which will forever tie us together in music history. Terrible news to hear this.”
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.