Jessi Zazu, Those Darlins Singer, Dead at 28

Jessi Zazu, Those Darlins Singer, Dead at 28

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017
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Jessi Zazu, the guitarist, singer and co-founder of Those Darlins who blended indie rock with country, died Tuesday following a lengthy and public battle with cervical cancer. Zazu was 28.

Zazu, born Jessi Zazu Wariner, died surrounded by friends and family at Centennial Hospital in the singer’s native Nashville, The Tennessean reports.

Over the course of three albums, Those Darlins won both critical acclaim and an ardent fanbase thanks to the group’s ability to blend elements of alt-country, Appalachia, garage rock and punk in their music.

On “Ain’t Afraid,” the last song on Those Darlins’ final LP Blur the Line, Zazu first hinted to fans about her illness, singing “There’s a tumor growing on my body and I don’t know what lays in store.”

Two years later, in December 2015, Those Darlins announced their breakup; it was during their farewell tour in February 2016 that Zazu began hemorrhaging, and a month later she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, the Nashville Scene writes

In December 2016, Zazu revealed that she was battling cervical cancer in a video that crowd-funded to help pay medical costs in her fight against the disease. A T-shirt that the singer designed, with the phrase “Ain’t Afraid” emblazoned it, helped raise $50,000.

“This is typically what they would call a ‘no cure scenario,'” Zazu said in a statement at the time, “but I refuse to believe that to be the case. I feel healthy, happy, hopeful, determined, positive, and full of sparks and nails. In a sense: there’s a tumor growing on my body, I don’t know what lays in store, but I ain’t afraid anymore. Yes, I guess I am a mystic mind after all.”

The singer also detailed her cancer battle in a Nashville Scene cover story in June.

“Before I felt defeated, because I had put so much energy into the band, and it was imploding. I didn’t think anybody heard what I had been trying to say all those years,” Zazu said in June. “But after the ‘Ain’t Afraid’ video, I realized people had heard me the whole time. They wrote me about how our music impacted their lives in a significant way. I don’t have words to say how much that meant to me.”

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