Jimi Jamison, former lead singer of Survivor, dead at 63


Jimi Jamison, the former lead singer for the rock bands Cobra and Survivor, died Sunday, his booking agent Sally Irwin confirmed to the Los Angeles Times.

Jamison died of a heart attack at his home in Memphis, Tenn., Irwin said. He was 63.

Jamison was the lead singer for Survivor from the mid-to-late 1980s, creating such hits as “Burning Heart” from “Rocky IV” and “The Moment of Truth” from “The Karate Kid.”

Jamison joined the group at the height of its popularity -- the band having just released “Eye of the Tiger” from “Rocky III” -- after former lead singer David Bickler left the group because of voice issues.


In a 1985 interview with The Times, Jamison said that following such a monster hit wasn’t easy.

“After ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ the fans wanted an album full of songs like ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ ” said Jamison, who was not with the band when its second album, “Caught in the Game,” was released in 1983 to little success. “An average or a good album wouldn’t be enough. The band needed a great album and some huge hit singles. But it didn’t happen.”

At the time, Jamison said he did not miss his days singing heavy metal, which also included seven years in the Memphis-based band Target.

“I did a lot of screaming in those other groups,” he said. “I got a little tired of it. I don’t lose my voice as much on this kind of singing.”

Jamison said even though he no longer got to go “crazy onstage,” he felt his voice was stronger on ballads.

“I like to sing them more than anything else, but I didn’t get much of a chance before,” he said. “Being in this group is just right for me.”


News of Jamison’s death was posted on his Facebook page shortly after 6 p.m. Monday.

“We are saddened and heartbroken to announce the passing of a great musician, loving father and grandfather, and overall extraordinary, giving, and kindhearted human being,” the post said. “He’s loved by so many, most of all his family, and he will be incredibly missed by all. Please keep his family in your prayers, and please give them the privacy they need during this extremely difficult time. Thank you all for your condolences and kind words.”

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