Rocker Jimmie Van Zant has lost his battle with liver cancer at the age of 59.
The cousin of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie and Johnny Van Zant was reportedly in hospice care awaiting a liver transplant in Florida before his death on Thursday (07Apr16).
"It is with a very heavy heart that we inform you that Jimmie Van Zant has passed away today holding his wife's hand," read a message on his Facebook.com page.
"We ask that you keep Jimmie, (wife) 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 !!!"
Van Zant released three albums during his career. The first one, The Jimmie Van Zant Band, came out in 1996, followed by Southern Comfort in 2000 and Feels Like Freedom in 2012.
Lynyrd Skynyrd also paid tribute to Jimmie on Facebook.com following the news of his death.
"Jimmie Van Zant, Ronnie and Johnny's cousin, passed away this morning," they wrote on Thursday. "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..."