The band announced late Monday that Hall had died after a brief illness. It called him "our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced."
With Hall's deadpan vocals setting the tone, The Specials captured the uneasy mood of the times in songs including "A Message to You, Rudy," "Rat Race" and "Too Much Too Young."
The band's most iconic song is the melancholy, menacing "Ghost Town," which topped the U.K. music charts in the summer of 1981 as Britain's cities were erupting in riots.
The Specials had seven U.K. Top 10 hits before Hall and fellow band members Neville Staple and Lynval Golding left in 1981 to form Fun Boy Three.