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Jimmie Van Zant

(Gaelle Beri / Redferns via Getty Images) / FilmMagic / Michael Loccisano

Jimmie Van Zant

Rock musician Jimmie Van Zant, the cousin of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Van Zant brothers, including Ronnie and Johnny, died Thursday in hospice care, according to multiple news sources. He was 59.

The cause was liver cancer.

The band announced the death in a post on Facebook, where his name was trending early Friday.

“Jimmie Van Zant, Ronnie and Johnny's cousin, passed away this morning. His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

“We know you're lookin' down on us from rock 'n' roll heaven, Jimmie...”

“It is with a very heavy heart that we inform you that Jimmie Van Zant has passed away today holding his wife's hand,” states a post on the musician’s own Facebook page. It goes on to note that his wife, Zohra, and their close friends Steve and Sue Prindel were by his side when he died.

“We ask that you keep Jimmie, Zohra, and all of his loved ones in your thoughts & prayers,” the post continues. “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 !!!"

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Jimmie Van Zant, who was born in Jacksonville, Florida, grew up listening to his mother’s piano playing. He began playing the piano himself at age 6, according to his official website.

He released three albums during his career: “The Jimmie Van Zant Band” (1996), “Southern Comfort” (2000), and “Feels Like Freedom” (2012).

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