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Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials, died 12/19 at the age of 63. The band released a statement via Instagram confirming the news: "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 Specials formed in Coventry, England in 1977 with Hall and Neville Staples on vocals. The group's self-titled debut, produced by Elvis Costello and released through Jerry Dammers' 2 Tone Records in 1979, spawned the singles "A Message To You, Rudy" and "Monkey Man." Subsequent releases included "Ghost Town," "Gangsters" and "Much Too Young."

In 1981, Hall, Staples and The Specials' rhythm guitarist, Lynval Golding, formed Fun Boy Three. The trio released two albums via Chrysalis Records and earned seven Top 20 U.K. hits, including "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) and "Our Lips Are Sealed." (The latter was co-written by Hall's former fling, Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin, and wound up becoming the Go-Go's debut single that same year.)

Hall was active in several other groups throughout the '80s and '90s: The Colourfield, Terry, Blair & Anouchka and Vegas. He also released two solo studio albums and collaborated with a slew of notable artists, ranging from David Stewart, Lily Allen and Bananarama to Sinéad O'Connor, Gorillaz and Tricky.

After a significant hiatus, The Specials returned in 2019 with Encore (Island/Universal), their first studio album of original songs since 1998's Guilty 'til Proved Innocent! and first with Hall since 1981's "Ghost Town." The album also featured three covers of older songs: "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys" (originally by The Equals), "Blam Blam Fever" (The Valentines) and "The Lunatics" (Fun Boy Three). The album became the group's only effort to land at #1 on the U.K. charts. Invigorated by its success, The Special completed an expansive North American tour, which hit cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Boston and Montreal before concluding at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall.

Hall had a tumultuous childhood that resulted in serious bouts of depression. At age 12, he was kidnapped by a paedophile ring in France and sexually abused for days.

"That was a real eye-opener,” Hall told the Leicester Square Theatre podcast in 2019. “And I can laugh about it now, but it sort of switched something in my head and it’s like I don’t have to do that and that’s when I started like not listening to anyone. I was sort of drugged up then on valium for about a year and I didn’t go to school.

"I find it quite easy to forgive and forget. It’s like, you know, going back to my abduction, it’s like you can let that eat away at you but then well you know it’s paedophilia and it’s like part of life really. It’s unfortunate it happened to me but you can’t just let it destroy your life, it’s not good."

Hall admitted to being on medication to cope with his mental health. As he explained at the time, "I suffer from manic depression and avoided all sorts of medication for a long time, then 10 years ago I started taking Lithium and stuff and I’m still on these drugs. And it sort of helps, it sort of helps."

Hall had two sons with Jeanette Hall, Theo and Felix, and his family has asked for privacy at this "very sad time."