Jimi Jamison, the lead singer of bands Survivor and Cobra, died of a heart attack on Sunday, August 31. According to the report, Jamison died late Sunday night in his Memphis home and was found by his son early Monday morning. He was 63. He performed his last Survivor concert on Saturday, August 30, in California. “Survivor is very shocked and saddened by the passing for our brother Jimi Jamison,” read the band’s tweet. “Our thoughts, love and prayers go out to his friends and family.”
After singing heavy metal for seven years with Target and then with rock band Cobra until their dissolution, Jamison joined Survivor in 1984. He replaced Dave Bickler on vocals, who developed polyps on his vocal chords shortly after the band recorded Rocky III‘s “Eye of the Tiger.” The first track Jamison recorded with them was “The Moment of Truth,” a hit made famous by The Karate Kid. Subsequently they put out three albums: 1984’s Vital Signs, 1986’s When Seconds Count and 1988’s Too Hot to Sleep. Some of the featured hits were well-knowns like “American Heartbeat,” “Is This Love,” and Rocky IV‘s “Burning Heart.”
As a solo act, Jamison sang “I Can’t Hold Back,” “High on You” and “The Search is Over.” He also co-wrote and recorded the theme song for TV series Baywatch, “I’m Always Here.” Survivor broke up in 1989 and came back together in 93 with Bickler once more instead of Jamison on vocals. Jamison rejoined the band twice, once for six years starting in 2000, and again in 2011.
Jamison was about to embark with the band on a tour starting September 12th in Colorado. They were also set to play at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona on October 4th. The event is now removed from the venue’s website. Jamison’s family asked for privacy during this time. In addition, they requested that in place of sympathy demonstrations, donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Jimi’s favorite charity. “Jimi was a friend to everyone he met,” said family attorney Jeff Ward in a statement. “He was a loving father and grandfather and was always a person who valued people more than anything else.”