Jimmie Van Zant, Rock Royalty Family Member, Dies At 59
Jimmie Van Zant, the cousin of Ronnie and Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynrd and Donnie Van Zant of 38 Special, died on Thursday night after a long battle with liver cancer. The news was brought to the public on Van Zant’s facebook:
Lyrnyrd Skynrd shared a post of their own:
Van spoke to Billboard about having the Van Zant name in 2012 after the release of his final album Feels like Freedom.
“First of all,” he said, it’s my family so I am very glad to be a part of it. 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 an 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 if your dad had a restaurant or car dealership. Before he passes on, he tells you to carry it on.”
Apart from his family, Van was a guitarist and songwriter in his own right, releasing three albums in his career.
Van Zant had been waiting for a liver transplant for many years. An online funding campaign and a few benefit concerts had been established to help raise money for Van Zant as well.