Jimmie Van Zant, Cousin To Lynyrd Skynyrd Great Ronnie, .38 Special's Donnie and Johnny, Passes At 59
April 7, 2016 at 1:42 PM (PT)
JIMMIE VAN ZANT, a singer/songwriter and guitarist who drew inspiration from his cousins DONNIE, JOHNNY and especially, RONNIE, who mentored him on guitar, passed away today at the age of 59, according to his FACEBOOK page.
VAN ZANT made a name for himself performing at summer festival shows and HARLEY-DAVIDSON rallies before recording his debut album, "Southern Comfort," which came out in 2000 on J-BIRD RECORDS. He released "Feels Like Freedom" in 2012. His live sets included not only his own material, but covers of SKYNYRD and .38 SPECIAL classics, a fact he was unapologetic about.
Discussing his legacy with BILLBOARD in 2012, he stated: "First of all, 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 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."
The FACEBOOK post today reads: 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 PRINDELL 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 !!!