Update: Those Darlins drummer Linwood Regensburg has written a statement that has been added below. Additionally, a memorial fund and public memorial are in the works, with more details to be shared at a later date.
Jessi Zazu, the Nashville musician and former lead singer of Those Darlins, has died after a long battle with cervical cancer, the Tennesseean reports. She was 28 years old.
Zazu formed Those Darlins with Nikki Kvarnes and Kelley Anderson after the three met at summer camp in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The group mixed classic country sounds and instrumentation with a punk-rock aesthetic, releasing their first single, “Wild One” in 2008 and going on to record three albums: 2009’s self-titled debut, 2011’s Screws Get Loose and 2013’s Blur the Line. They also launched their own label, Oh Wow Dang Records.
According to the Tennesseean, Zazu died Tuesday “surrounded by family, friends and fellow musicians who lined the waiting room inside Centennial Hospital’s intensive care unit.” She was diagnosed with Stage 2 cervical cancer in the spring of 2016. After the breakup of Those Darlins, she continued to work on art and music projects, including a solo album.
In a video released last December, Zazu elaborated on her experience with cancer and shared details of a new project.
Below, watch Zazu perform “Why Can’t I” with Those Darlins in 2013.
From the desk of Linwood and Those Darlins HQ:
Yesterday I said goodbye to my best friend, long time partner in crime and hero, Jessi Zazu Wariner.
She maintained a sense of humor and a commanding presence up until and through her final moments. She was in the company of those who cared deeply about her and who she cared deeply about.
Shout-out to your contagious spirit that inspired all who crossed it. Shout-out to the creative dynamo who continued to flourish even against insurmountable odds. Shout-out to all the little triumphs over the last 16 months. Shout-out to the ridiculous van rides and the fights and to the fact that we never turned our backs on one another over the last decade. Shout-out to the dreams we made and the ones left to come. And shout-out to all of you who have supported her until the end.