Seventies rockers struck by illness

Lynyrd Skynyrd forced to axe shows

Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant has undergone emergency surgery to have his appendix removed.

The star, 46, received the treatment at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, yesterday (May 18).

Van Zant is expected to need a week to recover, forcing the postponement of three shows, reports the BBC.


The band, most famous for the Seventies hits ‘Freebird’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, have been through several changes over the years.

They were struck by tragedy when founder members Ronnie Van Zant (brother of Johnny), Steve Gaines and backing singer Cassie Gaines were killed in a plane crash in Mississippi in 1977.

Van Sant had complained of feeling unwell, and went in for surgery after a doctor discovered the singer’s appendix was inflamed and emergency surgery was needed.