Survivor singer Jimi Jamison has died at the age of 63. Although he was most well-known as the voice of Survivor, Jamison also fronted Cobra in the late 1970s and Target in the early 1980s. A representative confirmed the singer died in his Memphis home Sunday evening.
Jimi Jamison will be remembered as “One of the Top Ten Male Vocalists in the World.” A native of Memphis, Tennessee, the beloved musician was a self-taught singer, songwriter and guitar player. He joined his first band when he was in junior high school.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Jamison and several friends formed the heavy metal bands Target and Cobra. Although both bands were well-known locally in Memphis, Jamison did not get his big break until 1984.
The band Survivor was an instant success with their 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger.” However, the band’s second album was a major disappointment. To make matters worse, lead singer Dave Bickler was forced to leave the band when he developed polyps on his vocal chords.
The remaining members of Survivor eventually approached Jamison take Bickler’s place. Although he was initially reluctant to join what he considered to be a “pop” band, Jamison led the struggling band to new heights.
With numerous hits, including “I Can’t Hold Back,” “The Search is Over” and “High on You,” the 1984 album Vital Signs reached No. 16 on the Billboard Album Charts.
With Jimi Jamison at the helm, Survivor went on to record numerous hits, including “Is This Love” and “Burning Heart.” Although he left and returned to the band on several occasions, Jamison announced his final return in November 2011. The iconic arena band was on tour at the time of Jamison’s death.
As reported by Huffington Post, the beloved singer performed his last show Saturday August 30, in Morgan Hill, California. In an official statement, a Survivor representative expressed sympathy and sent “thoughts, love and prayers” to Jamison’s family.
Jimi Jamison’s family attorney, Jeff Ward, also released a statement about the iconic singer’s death:
“Jimi was a friend to everyone he met… He was a loving father and grandfather and was always a person who valued people more than anything else.”
As reported by Commercial Appeal, Ward asked Jamison’s fans to respect his family’s privacy as they mourn the deep loss. Although the cause of death was not confirmed, several sources are reporting that Jimi Jamison suffered a heart attack.
[Image via Screamer Magazine]