Jimi Jamison

Jimmy Wayne Jamison (born August 23, 1951 in Mississippi, United States) was an American vocalist, known predominantly as the lead singer of rock bands Target, Cobra and Survivor. Moving to Memphis, Tennessee as a young child, Jamison’s first foray into music was at twelve years old, teaching himself guitar and piano and joining in The Debuts, who later signed with Atlantic Records in 1968 and toured with Roy Orbison. In the mid 1970s, he formed southern rock band Target, who released their self-titled album Target in 1976 and Captured in 1977. In 1982, he joined Memphis-based band Cobra, releasing “Blood on Your Money” from their first and only album First Strike. After the band split in 1984, Jamison joined Survivor, replacing original vocalist Dave Bickler and reviving the band’s flagging success with instant hit “The Moment of Truth”, the theme song to 1984 film The Karate Kid (movie). Their album Vital Signs was released later in the year, featuring singles “High on You” and “I Can’t Hold Back”, reaching Number 16 on the Billboard Charts and certified platinum. In 1968, the band featured on Rocky IV (movie) with “Burning Heart”, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their follow up album When Seconds Count featured the hit song “Is This Love”, released on October 1, 1986 and certified gold. In 1986, Jamison began writing songs for the band including “Man Against the World”, featuring on the album Too Hot to Sleep in 1988 and attaining moderate success across Europe. In 1989, Jamison launched his solo career with a cover of Survivor’s “Ever Since the World Began”. In 1990 he collaborated with ZZ Top on their song “Doubleback”, featured on the soundtrack to Back to the Future III (movie). Jamison’s first solo album When Love Comes Down was released in July 1991 and included the singles “Rock Hard” and “Taste of Love” airing on Baywatch (series), after an earlier collaboration with Cory Lerios and John D’Andrea on the show’s popular theme song “I’m Always Here”. Jamison reunited with Survivor in 2000, releasing the album “Reach” in April 2006, their first album in eighteen years, and touring with ‘80s rock bands REO Speedwagon and Styx. Jamison returned to his solo career shortly after, collaborating with Toto vocalist Bobby Kimball, recording songs by well-known rock songwriters including John Waite and Steve Perry, reuniting with Survivor for the third and final time in 2011, performing the band’s 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger” (originally performed by the band’s first frontrunner Dave Bickler), for boxer Manny Pacquiao’s ring entrance at MGM Grand Las Vegas. Over the years he became heavily involved in charity work for the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Special Olympics and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. In 2013 he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, continuing to perform with Survivor until his death in August 2014 in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 63 from a stroke.

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