Lyricist, vocalist, and founding member of the southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, the group that released classic hits like "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird."
He was very interested in sports and had aspirations to play baseball, be a boxer, and race stock cars.
He was killed in a plane crash on October 20, 1977.
His younger brothers are Johnny and Donnie Van Zant, the former was another founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
He and Gary Rossington were bandmates in Lynyrd Skynyrd.