A country music favorite mourns the passing of his young, musical niece YouTube/Jessi Zazu
YouTube/Jessi Zazu

In a week that has been heavy with heartbreaking news, Rare Country has learned of another loss to the music community.

Musician Jessi Zazu Wariner, the 28-year-old niece of country icon Steve Wariner, has lost her battle with cervical cancer.

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Steve shared the heartbreaking news on his Instagram page on September 13. Accompanied by a sweet photo of Jessi, Steve wrote, “I’ve cried a river of tears and my heart is broken over the loss of my beautiful, talented little niece Jessi Zazu Wariner. Her long battle is now over but she will ALWAYS be here … inspiring us. Thank you all for your outpouring of love. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”

Jessi was considered a pioneer in Nashville’s explosive indie rock music scene. A member of the band Those Darlins, Jessi blended her love of all genres of music to help create the band’s signature sound, earning them a nationwide following.

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Those Darlins disbanded in 2015 after releasing three successful, full-length albums And, last December, Jessi shared the news of her cancer diagnosis. According to NPR, she continued to create. Much like her Uncle Steve, Jessi was also a gifted visual artist who was actively painting, drawing and sculpting, along with recording songs for an unreleased album.


Jessi passed away on September 12. She was the daughter of Kathy and David Wariner, Steve’s brother.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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