RIP Jimi Jamison

Rock musician and singer of bands Survivor & Cobra Jimi Jamison has passed away at the age of 63. Jamison, who’s origins are from the Memphis, Tn. area, passed away from a heart attack. The singer/songwriter was about to embark on a tour with Survivor starting Sept. 12 in Parker, Colo., according to the band’s website.

In addition to honing his vocal abilities in his teens, Jamison taught himself how to play guitar and piano. After singing for bands while still he school, he would later provide background vocals for successful bands including ZZ Top, Joe Walsh and many others before joining well known band Cobra in the early 80s. However the band broke up in 1983/84 which led the AOR band Survivor, who were struggling to regain the chart topping Eye Of The Tiger, to ask him to replace their singer Dave Bickle. Although he was initially not thrilled about fronting what he considered more of a “pop rock” band, which would contrast significantly with the heavy metal stylings of Cobra to which he had become accustomed, Jamison ultimately joined and became Survivor’s new frontman. He recorded 3 albums with them – 1984’s Vital Signs, 1986’s When Seconds Count & 1988’s Too Hot To Sleep before the band went on a long hiatus as the sales were disappointing.

Jamison provided vocals for the band’s The Search is Over, Is This Love, Man Against The World, and The Moment of Truth and Burning Heart from The Karate Kid and Rocky IV, respectively. Jamison recorded a solo album When Loves Come Down in 1991 and was even asked to consider joining Deep Purple, a band he was a huge fan of, as singer to replace Ian Gillan. Jamison went on to co-write and sing “I’m Always Here,” the theme from the hit TV show Baywatch and later released another solo album, Empires under the name Jimi Jamison’s Survivor. Jamison would later reunite with Survivor in 2000, and he ended up remaining with the band up through the release of their new album, Reach, in 2006. In 2008, Jamison released Crossroads Moment in Europe, and the album was released in the United States in 2009. It was produced by his former Survivor bandmate Jim Peterik. In October 2011, he released an album with Bobby Kimball (former lead singer of Toto) titled Kimball/Jamison.

On November 15, 2011, Jamison announced his return to Survivor following a five-year absence from the group. A year later, Jamison released a new solo album, Never Too Late. He continued to tour with Survivor and had very recently played with Survivor on Aug. 30 for a show in Morgan Hill, Calif.

Jimmy Wayne “Jimi” Jamison (August 23, 1951 – August 31, 2014)

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