And as if things couldn’t get worse, Jimmie Van Zant, cousin of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant and a musician in his own right, has died.
“We know you’re lookin’ down on us from rock ‘n’ roll heaven, Jimmie,” Lynyrd Skynyrd posted on Facebook Thursday.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we inform you that Jimmie Van Zant has passed away today holding his wife’s hand. His very close friends, Steve & Sue Prindel were alongside Jimmie & Zohra, as Jimmie transitioned. We ask that you keep Jimmie, Zohra and all of his loved ones in your thoughts & prayers. We also ask that you respect their need for privacy in this very sad and difficult time. Thank you. God bless you and let the Freebird Fly !!!” a post on Jimmie Van Zant’s Facebook page read.
Van Zant died in hospice care after battling liver cancer for several years, The Daily Banner reported.
The 59-year-old Van Zant had released three albums in his career, The Jimmie Van Zant Band (1996), Southern Comfort (2000) and Feels Like Freedom (2012)
That report continued: “Upon the release of Feels Like Freedom, he was the subject of a Billboard profile where he discussed the pros and cons of having the Van Zant name.
“First of all, it’s my family, so I am very glad to be a part of it,” he said. “I’ve been asked many times whether doors open or close because of it. In my day-to-day, the Van Zant carries weight no different than DuPont paint or Chevrolet or Ford.
“There’s a brand name, but there is to be expected quality, and we try to deliver that. It gets tough sometimes. I get messages on Facebook saying I’m riding off of coat tails, but it’s no different than if your dad had a restaurant or a car dealership. Before he passes on, he tells you to carry it on. Do you want to sell out? No, it’s priceless. That’s something you can’t buy.”
RIP Jimmy, another great loss for music.