Southern rock figure Lacy Van Zant, the father of late Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant, died Tuesday at his home in Jacksonville, Fla., due to chronic pulmonary illness. He was 89.
Also the father of current Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant as well as 38 Special’s Donnie Van Zant, Lacy was known as the “Father of Southern Rock.” A retired truck driver, he frequently took to the road with his sons’ bands. He was a backstage fixture on Skynyrd’s reunion tour in 1987, which took place 10 years after a plane crash killed Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines.
Lynyrd Skynyrd will postpone or cancel shows scheduled for Aug. 6 in Louisville and Aug. 7 in Greenville, Wis. 38 Special will postpone or cancel shows Aug. 5 in Rama, Ontario; Aug. 6 in Rockland, Maine; and Aug. 7 in Hughesville, Penn.
He is also survived by daughters Darlene and Marlene. A memorial fund has been set up in Van Zant’s memory. In lieu of flowers, fans and friends are encouraged to make donations to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.