Terry Hall Cause Of Death: How Did The Specials’ Singer Terry Hall Die? Terry Hall, who shot to fame at the end of the 1970s with Coventry’s groundbreaking multi-racial band the Specials, died at the age of 63 after a short illness. He was famously deadpan, dour, and slightly menacing.
They emerged in the aftermath of punk with a fizzing, politically charged mix of ska and new wave, and achieved immediate success with their debut album, The Specials, which peaked at No. 4 on the UK chart.
For a time, the Specials’ 2 Tone Records label was the most successful in the UK, with releases from Madness, the Beat, and the Selecter in addition to the Specials’ own. More Specials, their second album, debuted at No. 5 and featured a broader and jazzier musical palette.
Gangsters, A Message to You Rudy, Rat Race, Stereotype, and Do Nothing were all Top 10 singles for the band, and their chart-topping classic Ghost Town was released in 1981.
“I don’t believe music can change anything,” Hall said, because “all you can do is put your point across,” but the Specials captured the fraught and dangerous atmosphere of the early 1980s with eerie intensity. Ghost Town, in particular, evoked the chilling sense of social collapse and economic decline that gripped a riot-torn Britain.
The Specials were caught in the crossfire, with neo-Nazis frequently targeting their performances. Hall and the band’s keyboardist, Jerry Dammers, were both arrested after intervening to break up a fight between fans and security guards at a Cambridge show. They were found guilty of “rioting incitement” and fined £400 each.