Johnny Van Zant

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Johnny Van Zant
Van Zant in 2007
Van Zant in 2007
Background information
Birth nameJohn Roy Van Zant
Born (1960-02-27) February 27, 1960 (age 64)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
GenresSouthern rock, country
Years active1976–present
Member ofLynyrd Skynyrd
Formerly ofVan Zant

John Roy Van Zant (born February 27, 1960), also known as Johnny Van Zant, is an American singer and the current lead vocalist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is the younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder and former lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, and of the 38 Special founder Donnie Van Zant.


During the 1970s, Van Zant performed with his first band, the Austin Nickels Band. They later changed their name to The Johnny Van Zant Band releasing their debut solo album, No More Dirty Deals, in 1980. Early members of the Johnny Van Zant Band consisted of Van Zant on lead vocals, Robbie Gay on guitar, Danny Clausman, on bass, Erik Lundgren on lead guitar, Robbie Morris, drums and Joan Hecht (previously Joan Cusimano) and Nancy Henderson on background vocals. Van Zant released three more solo albums between 1981 and 1985, before taking a break from the music business.

He became lead vocalist and chief songwriter for the reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987 and continues to record and perform with them today. He released another solo album, Brickyard Road, in 1990, which featured the popular title track, which was a #1 hit on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for three weeks. He also records and performs with his brother, Donnie, as Van Zant since 1998. Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd performed in Arizona on April 9, 2022, during Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld of Scottsdale. He stated that original member Gary Rossington was recovering and still needed prayers.

In May 2006, less than one day before he was to perform at KSAN-FM 107.7 The Bone's Bone Bash 7, Van Zant underwent emergency surgery to have his appendix removed. Treated at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, after reporting pain to a doctor earlier in the day. The incident forced the band to cancel three U.S. shows.[1]

Van Zant is a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He recorded a video, along with remaining members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, that is played at every Jaguars home game on the TIAA Bank Field video board.[2]

According to Skynyrd's website, Van Zant was again hospitalized on August 6, 2011, at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, due to complications from a previous surgery. According to the website, Van Zant had a "surgical site" infected with cellulitus which required both hospitalization and IV/Antibiotic treatment. He began displaying signs of a staph infection and other symptoms related to the infection. His subsequent illness resulted in a number of scheduled performances being cancelled.[3]


Van Zant performing with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2012
Title Release Band
No More Dirty Deals 1980 The Johnny Van Zant Band
Round Two 1981
The Last of the Wild Ones 1982
Van Zant 1985
Brickyard Road 1990 Solo
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 1991 Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Last Rebel 1993
Endangered Species 1994
Twenty 1997
Edge of Forever 1998
Brother to Brother Van Zant
Van Zant II 2001
Vicious Cycle 2003 Lynyrd Skynyrd
Get Right with the Man 2005 Van Zant
My Kind of Country 2007
God & Guns 2009 Lynyrd Skynyrd
Last of a Dyin' Breed 2012 Lynyrd Skynyrd

Music videos[edit]

Year Video
1990 "Brickyard Road"

  1. ^ Notice of Johnny Van Zant surgery,; accessed August 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "Jaguars and Skynyrd a Natural Fit". Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris August 31, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  3. ^ Newton, Steve (August 11, 2011). "Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant hospitalized, numerous shows cancelled | Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly". The Georgia Straight. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2022.

External links[edit]