Donnie Van Zant is an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and founding member of the Southern rock band .38 Special. He was born on June 11, 1952, in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Donnie Van Zant comes from a musical family – his older brother is Ronnie Van Zant, the original lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and his younger brother Johnny Van Zant is the current lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In 1975, Donnie Van Zant formed .38 Special with his friend Don Barnes. The band achieved commercial success in the 1980s with hits such as “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” and “If I’d Been the One.” He also co-wrote the hit song “Back Where You Belong.”
Donnie Van Zant retired from .38 Special in 2013 due to health issues, but the band continues to tour and perform without him.
Table of Contents
Donnie Van Zant Bio/Wiki
|Full Name||Donald Newton Van Zant|
|Date of Birth||June 11, 1952|
|Age||70 years old|
|Place of Birth||Jacksonville, Florida, USA|
|Height||6 feet (183 cm)|
|Years Active||1975 – present|
|Spouse||Marion Van Zant|
|Children||Amanda Van Zant, Taylor Van Zant|
|Net Worth||$8 million|
Donnie Van Zant Young & Early Life
Donnie Van Zant was born on June 11, 1952, in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, to Lacy and Marion Van Zant. He was the middle child of three brothers, with Ronnie Van Zant being the oldest and Johnny Van Zant the youngest.
Donnie Van Zant grew up in a musical family, with his brothers also showing an interest in music at a young age. He started playing music himself when he was a teenager, learning to play guitar and sing.
In the early 1970s, Donnie Van Zant played in a few local bands in Jacksonville, including the Austin Nichols Band and the Johnny Van Zant Band. However, he did not find significant success until he formed .38 Special in 1975 with his friend Don Barnes. The band’s name was a reference to the .38 Special revolver, a popular gun at the time.
Donnie Van Zant and .38 Special initially played cover songs at local bars and clubs, but they soon began writing and performing their own original material. The band developed a following in the Southeastern United States and eventually signed a recording contract with A&M Records.
Donnie Van Zant Family, Brothers & Siblings
Donnie Van Zant grew up with two brothers, Ronnie Van Zant and Johnny Van Zant, both of whom are also musicians.
Ronnie Van Zant, Donnie’s older brother, was the founding member and lead vocalist of the iconic Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He tragically died in a plane crash in 1977, along with several other members of the band and crew.
Johnny Van Zant, Donnie’s younger brother, is the current lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He joined the band in 1987, following the death of his brother Ronnie. Johnny had previously been the lead vocalist of the bands the Johnny Van Zant Band and the Danny Joe Brown Band.
Donnie Van Zant has spoken about the impact that his brothers have had on his life and music. He has described Ronnie as a mentor and inspiration, and has said that his death was a devastating loss. He has also credited Johnny with helping him to continue making music after Ronnie’s death, and has expressed admiration for Johnny’s success with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Donnie Van Zant Age
He was born on June 11, 1952, which makes him 70 years old as of 2023.
Donnie Van Zant Height
He is approximately 6 feet (183 cm) tall.
Donnie Van Zant Career
Donnie Van Zant’s career as a musician began in the 1970s when he played in local bands in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. However, he achieved his greatest success as the lead vocalist and co-founder of the Southern rock band .38 Special.
Donnie Van Zant formed .38 Special with his friend Don Barnes in 1975. The band’s early music combined elements of Southern rock, country, and blues, and they built a following in the Southeastern United States. .38 Special signed with A&M Records in 1977 and released their self-titled debut album the following year. The album included the hit song “Rockin’ Into the Night.”
.38 Special achieved commercial success in the 1980s with a string of hit songs, including “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” and “If I’d Been the One.” Donnie Van Zant co-wrote many of the band’s songs and was known for his powerful, soulful voice.
In addition to his work with .38 Special, Donnie Van Zant has released several solo albums, including “Brother to Brother” and “The Long Road Home.”
He retired from .38 Special in 2013 due to health issues, but the band continues to tour and perform without him. He remains a respected figure in the Southern rock community and has influenced many musicians with his music and singing style.
Donnie Van Zant Wife & Children
He has been married to his wife Marion Van Zant for many years, although specific details about their marriage and relationship are relatively private. It’s not clear when the couple got married or how they met.
Donnie Van Zant and Marion Van Zant have two children together, a daughter named Amanda Van Zant and a son named Taylor Van Zant. Like their father, both Amanda and Taylor are involved in the music industry. Amanda is a singer and songwriter, while Taylor is a guitarist who has played with the band Blackfoot.
Donnie Van Zant has occasionally spoken publicly about his family and the role that they have played in his life and music. He has credited his wife and children with providing him with support and inspiration throughout his career, and has expressed pride in their own musical talents.
Donnie Van Zant’s net worth was estimated to be around $8 million. However, it’s important to note that net worth can fluctuate over time based on various factors such as music sales, touring, and investments.
Donnie Van Zant sang lead vocals on many of .38 Special’s biggest hits, including:
- “Rockin’ Into the Night”
- “Hold On Loosely”
- “Caught Up in You”
- “Fantasy Girl”
- “Back Where You Belong”
- “If I’d Been the One”
- “Teacher, Teacher”
- “Like No Other Night”
- “Somebody Like You”
Donnie Van Zant also contributed vocals to other .38 Special songs, as well as to his own solo material. He is known for his powerful, soulful voice and his ability to convey emotion in his singing.
Donnie Van Zant Health
Donnie Van Zant has experienced some health issues in recent years. In 2013, he announced his retirement from .38 Special due to health concerns, including tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and problems with his vocal cords.
While Donnie Van Zant’s health condition is not entirely clear, it’s known that he has taken steps to address his hearing issues. He has advocated for the use of ear protection for musicians and fans at concerts, and has spoken openly about his own struggles with tinnitus.
Despite his health challenges, Donnie Van Zant has continued to be involved in music and has remained a respected figure in the Southern rock community.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Donnie Van Zant:
Who are Donnie Van Zant’s brothers?
Donnie Van Zant’s brothers are Ronnie Van Zant, who was the founding member and lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Johnny Van Zant, who is the current lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
What band was Donnie Van Zant in?
Donnie Van Zant was the lead vocalist and co-founder of the Southern rock band .38 Special.
What are some of Donnie Van Zant’s hit songs?
Some of Donnie Van Zant’s hit songs with .38 Special include “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” and “If I’d Been the One.”
Is Donnie Van Zant married?
Yes, Donnie Van Zant is married to his wife Marion Van Zant.
Does Donnie Van Zant have children?
Yes, Donnie Van Zant has two children with his wife Marion:
- a daughter named Amanda Van Zant
- a son named Taylor Van Zant.
How old is Donnie Van Zant?
Donnie Van Zant was born on June 11, 1952, which makes him 70 years old as of 2023.
What is Donnie Van Zant’s net worth?
Donnie Van Zant’s net worth was estimated to be around $8 million.