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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. Jessi Zazu of Those Darlins

Those Darlins’ Jessi Zazu, center, died Tuesday.
Those Darlins’ Jessi Zazu, center, died Tuesday.

Jessi Zazu, best known as a frontwoman for the twangy hell-raisers Those Darlins, has died from complications of cervical cancer, the Tennessean reports. She was 28.

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Zazu had been open about her struggle with the disease, for which she was diagnosed shortly after Those Darlins announced their impending breakup in December of 2015. She told the harrowing story of her diagnosis, and her fight against its bleak prognosis, in a lengthy profile in Nashville Scene this summer. That story coincided with a gallery show of Zazu’s paintings called Undefeated, as she had focused on her painting following the band’s breakup. She remained prolific throughout her treatment, and defiant as ever. When she learned last November that the cancer had metastasized to her lymphatic system, she had this to say:

This is typically what they would call a “no cure scenario”, 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.

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A memorial service has yet to be announced.

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Kyle Ryan is a writer/editor/producer who worked for The A.V. Club in various capacities from 2005-2018.

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