The frontwoman passed away following a battle with cancer
Those Darlins‘ frontwoman Jessi Zazu has died, aged 28.
The musician, who co-founded the Nashville band in 2006, passed away following a battle with cervical cancer.
She was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 and was open about her fight to defeat it, discussing it in interviews and designing t-shirts that read “Ain’t Afraid” to raise money for her medical bills, as The Tennessean reports.
Those Darlins released three studio albums – 2009’s self-titled debut, 2011’s ‘Screws Get Loose’ and their final record, ‘Blur The Line’ (2013). They announced their split in 2016. Following the break-up, Zazu concentrated on art.
Zazu’s friend Shelley DuBois told The Tennessean: “Jessi advocated for women. She thought women deserve more respect than they get. That’s why she was so open about her experience with cervical cancer. She wanted other women to know that they weren’t alone, that they should listen to their bodies and speak up for themselves without shame if they knew something was wrong.
“Jessi helped her loved ones through her music and art and story. But she also helped strangers. Teenage girls everywhere pick up guitars after listening to her songs. Cancer patients she’ll never know will be comforted by the art she made for the radiation room at Vanderbilt. She was so much bigger than herself. She’ll continue to help so many people.”
Zazu died at Nashville’s Centennial Hospital, surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her mother Kathy Wariner, father David Wariner and her brothers Emmett and Oakley Wariner.
Zazu’s former bandmate Linwood Regensburg has issued a statement on her friend’s passing. “Yesterday I said goodbye to my best friend, long time partner in crime and hero, Jessi Zazu Wariner,” she wrote.
“She maintained a sense of humor and a commanding presence up until and through her final moments. She was in the company of those who cared deeply about her and who she cared deeply about.
“Shout-out to your contagious spirit that inspired all who crossed it. Shout-out to the creative dynamo who continued to flourish even against insurmountable odds. Shout-out to all the little triumphs over the last 16 months. Shout-out to the ridiculous van rides and the fights and to the fact that we never turned our backs on one another over the last decade. Shout-out to the dreams we made and the ones left to come. And shout-out to all of you who have supported her until the end.”
Friends, fans and musicians have begun paying tribute to the musician online. One woman recalled how Zazu had affected her daughter, writing: “My daughter got to Southern Girl’s Rock Camp with @yeah_rocks_ because of @jessizazu. She was always pulling people in. If you are lost in life, be more like #jessizazu.”
Nashville musician Molly Rocket shared a note about Zazu, captioning her post: “Nashville lost one of the greats today, but her inspiration will live on in our hearts and our music.”
Jack White’s Third Man Records also shared their condolences, tweeting: “We will miss you terribly, @JessiZazu. Thank you for the music, the art, the smiles, the good will, and the inspiration you left behind.” See those and more tributes below.