|Name:||Ronnie Van Zant|
|Height:||180 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||January 15, 1948|
|Death Date:||Oct 20, 1977 (age 29)|
|Birth Place:||Jacksonville, United States|
As per our current Database, Ronnie Van Zant died on Oct 20, 1977 (age 29).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|180 cm (5' 11'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He was very interested in sports and had aspirations to play baseball, be a boxer, and race stock cars.
Van Zant married Nadine Inscoe on January 2, 1967. Around this time, Van Zant also worked at his brother-in-law's auto parts store, Morris Auto Parts in Jacksonville. It was said that Van Zant was a virtual catalog of automotive parts, he had a near photographic memory for them. The couple had a daughter named Tammy, before divorcing in 1969; Tammy would become a musician. He married Judy Seymour in 1972 after meeting her at The Comic Book Club through Gary Rossington in 1969. (The club closed in 1975 and is now a parking garage.) They remained married up until his death in 1977. They had one daughter, Melody, born in 1976. Judy Van Zant-Jenness founded the Freebird Live in 1999, a music venue located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. It featured Lynyrd Skynyrd memorabilia and was co-owned by Melody Van Zant. Judy married Jim Jenness and founded and ran The Freebird Foundation until its dissolution in 2001.
The band's national exposure began in 1973 with the release of their debut album, (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), which had a string of hits that included "I Ain't the One", "Tuesday's Gone", "Gimme Three Steps", "Simple Man," and what became their signature, "Free Bird", later dedicated to the late Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band.
Van Zant was an avid fisherman. He enjoyed baseball, and was a fan of the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. As a child, he played American Legion baseball and aspired to play professional baseball, as he recalled in a 1975 interview.
Van Zant had several run-ins with the law, most notably in 1975, when he was arrested for hurling a table out of a second-story hotel room window.
On October 20, 1977, a plane carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ran out of fuel outside Gillsburg, Mississippi. The passengers had been informed about potential problems with the Convair CV-240 and were told to brace for a crash. Van Zant died on impact from head injuries suffered after the aircraft struck a tree. Bandmates Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines, along with assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray, were also killed. The rest of the band was seriously injured. Van Zant was 29 years old.
Ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King recalls the intense sadness of Van Zant's funeral, noting that people in attendance were so overcome with grief that they were literally falling down. Van Zant was buried in Orange Park, Florida, in 1977. His body was relocated after vandals broke into his tomb and that of bandmate Steve Gaines on June 29, 2000. Van Zant's casket was pulled out and dropped on the ground. The bag containing Gaines' remains was torn open and some scattered onto the grass. Their mausoleums at Orange Park remain as memorials for fans to visit.
In the 1978 song "Reflections" on the Charlie Daniels Band album Million Mile Reflections, the third verse talks about Van Zant saying "And Ronnie, my buddy above all the rest. I miss you the most and loved you the best.". With a dedication on the back of the original record sleeve with a poem the last line reading "Fly on proud bird, you're free at last." Signed Charlie Daniels 1978.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's biggest hit single was "Sweet Home Alabama" from their follow-up album Second Helping, an answer to Neil Young's "Alabama" and "Southern Man." Young's song "Powderfinger" on the 1979 album Rust Never Sleeps was reportedly written for Skynyrd, and Van Zant is pictured on the cover of Street Survivors wearing a T-shirt of Young's Tonight's the Night and in the 2 July 1977 Oakland Coliseum concert (excerpted in Freebird... The Movie).
Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, took over as the new lead singer when the band reunited in 1987.
Several members of his family have memorialized Ronnie in their music. His brothers Johnny and Donnie co-wrote the title track of John's 1990 album "Brickyard Road" with family friend and album producer Robert White Johnson. In the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd's music video for the posthumously-released track "What's Your Name" closes with a white hat similar to Ronnie's sitting atop a microphone. Ronnie's daughter Tammy, who was only 10 years old when he died, dedicated the album title track, "Freebird Child" as well as the music video to her father in 2009. Van Zant's cousin Jimmie Van Zant recorded the tribute track "Ronnie's Song" on the album Southern Comfort (2000).
Currently, Ronnie Van Zant is 74 years, 0 months and 5 days old. Ronnie Van Zant will celebrate 75th birthday on a Sunday 15th of January 2023.
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