Alan Smith, who won $260,000 on an episode of “Beat Shazam, died between the filming of the show and its airing on June 10. Jamie Foxx confirmed Smith’s passing. Smith had been a singer with the group, the Sensational Soul Cruisers. Foxx tweeted following the airing of the program, “For those of you who watched tonight’s episode, as you may have seen, Alan is no longer with us. We are thankful we met this wonderful spirit. He came to our show, shared his light and we are deeply saddened. Praying for Taheem, his family and sending our condolences. #BeatShazam.”
In response to Foxx’s tweet, the official Soul Cruisers’ wrote, “Alan was a beloved member of our band for 16 years. He was one of a kind and is truly missed every single day. R.I.P. Alan Smith.” Smith won the game by correctly identifying the song, “How to Save a Life.”
Smith appeared on the show with fellow bandmate, Taj Jay. Jay wrote on his Facebook page after the show aired, “First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who tuned in and showed their love last night . The episode was a success. I know most of you seen afterwards that my friend (big bro ) and partner on the show Alan C. Smith passed since the recording of the show . So today we’re dedicating the WIN to ALAN ???.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Smith Died on February 9 at the Age of 49
The Sensational Soul Cruisers wrote on their official Facebook page that Smith had died on February 9 at the age of 49. That tribute referred to Smith as being a “Gentle Giant of a Man.” His cause of death is not mentioned in the post but it is described as being “sudden.”
The Cherry Hill Courier Post reported in February that Smith had suffered a heart attack. The band had been due to perform on the night of Smith’s death in Warrington, Pennsylvania. The band held a memorial concert in his honor on April 7 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Smith’s funeral was held in Manhattan, where he hailed from.
2. Smith Performed With the Soul Cruisers the Day Before His Death
According to an online tribute to Smith, the singer performed with the Sensational Soul Cruisers on February 8, one day before his death. The gig was at the Hemingway Cafe in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. One article said that the band performed in front of “400 people” who were going “nuts.” That tribute referred to Smith as “one of the signature voices of the legendary” Soul Cruisers. That piece says that Smith had been a member of the group for 17 years before his death.
3. The Sensational Soul Cruisers ‘Was Smith’s Blood’
Speaking to the Cherry Hill Courier Post following Smith’s death, the Soul Cruisers’ founder and sax player, Steve Barlotta, said of the singer, “This band was (Smith’s) blood. We were all brothers together.” Barlotta went on to say that before joining the Soul Cruisers, Smith had performed in Japan and on cruise ships. In addition to being a vocalist, Smith was also a skilled drummer. Barlotta also said that Smith was a “gentle soul” and the unofficial “goodwill ambassador of the band.” The founder of the band added, “He was the one to go out there and talk to the crowd, talk to people. He had a definite understanding love. When we did shows with kids with autism or special needs, he would go out there, sing to them, and brought them on stage.”
4. The Sensational Soul Cruisers Perform Over 200 Concerts Per Year
According to the Sensational Soul Cruisers official bio, the band performs over 200 concerts per year, mainly in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The profile says that the group regularly covers The Temptations, Four Tops, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, The Trammps “and other such groups.” The band is described as being rooted in the Freehold Township in South Jersey. The group was at one point the “favorite house band” of the Copacabana night club in New York City. The band has also appeared on stage with luminaries such as Smokey Robinson, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi.
Keenan’s Irish Pub in Wildwood, New Jersey, was among the locations where the band has a residency.
5. The Circumstances Surrounding Smith’s Win Generated Huge Emotions on Social Media
As news spread amid the celebrations over Smith’s victory on “Beat Shazam” that he had, in fact, passed away, many took to social media to express their sadness. Here are some of the most poignant messages: