Gary DeCarlo, the lead singer of a band responsible for a song we guaranteed you’ve sang before, died this week after a battle with cancer.
He was 75 years old.
DeCarlo is best known for having been the frontman for Steam, the group that recorded and released “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” way back in 1969.
The track was a major hit at the time, but has only grown in popularity ever since.
The refrain/title has been used in endless arenas and across multiple decades; from teams playing it over the loud speaker when a basketball player fouls out …
… to Democrats in Congress taunting their Republican colleagues with it after the House passed a version of a new healthcare law in early May.
Pat Horgan, a close friend of the late artist’s, tells TMZ that DeCarlo was in hospice care in Connecticut at the time of his passing.
His lung cancer had spread to various parts of his body by this point and his wife was by Gary’s side when he died.
DeCarlo was performing as recently as April before his health took a turn for the much worse.
Along with their aforementioned smash hit, Steam released such songs as “I’ve Cried a Million Times” and “I’ve Gotta Make You Love Me.”
But it was “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye “that sold over eight million copies and which put DeCarlo on the music map.
The song has been recorded in German, Italian, Japanese and Portugese; it has been arranged in rap, reggae, Motown, disco and heavy metal versions.
It has featured in movies such as Remember the Titans and TV shows such as the Simpsons and Cheers. Heck it even played in a Kohler toilet commercial.
The musician thought he has overcome his initial cancer diagnosis in 2011, but it returned five years later, having invaded his lung, rib and back muscles.
“I love writing. I love being in the studio,” DeCarlo said shortly after the return. “I try to be up [in my home studio] everyday. Its like getting a B-12 shot.”
May Gary DeCarlo rest in peace.