Deborah Jo White

Born: Memphis, TN

Lived in Vinemont, AL

Rock, Gospel Vocals Lynard Skynyrd

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Vocalist, who was in the original line-up of Lynyrd Skynyrd as a background singer. She was born May 28, 1952, moved to Heaven Thursday, June 24, 2010. White used the stage name Jo Jo Billingsley. She left Lynyrd Skynyrd after having had a dream of the band being involved in a plane crash (before it actually happened).

Source: Discog Discography:


Deborah Jo Billingsley White, ex-backup singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies at 58

By The Associated Press on June 24, 2010 at 4:22 PM, updated June 24, 2010 at 6:20 PM

deborah jo billingsley whiteCULLMAN -- Former Lynyrd Skynyrd backup singer Deborah Jo White, who performed under her maiden name “Jo Jo Billingsley,” has died at her Cullman home after a bout with cancer. She was 58.

A spokesman for Cullman Funeral Home confirmed her death Thursday and said arrangements are pending.

White toured with Lynyrd Skynyrd for three and one-half years before departing the Florida-based group in August 1977. She was invited to rejoin the group two months later when she warned the band about having a dream about its plane crashing. It did on Oct. 20, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and others.

She later left rock music, becoming a minister and Christian singer in Cullman.

The band’s current lead singer, Johnny Van Zant, said it was tough to hear about another member of the Skynyrd family dying.

In a 2007 interview with The Birmingham News for a story on the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Sweet Home Alabama, White said she had never even visited Alabama when she was singing the song onstage, much less did she ever expect to live there. ''It's like I was singing a prophecy to myself,'' she said.

White's husband, Tim, an Alabama native, moved the family back to his home state in late 1986 when he received a job offer in Cullman.

''I thought it was kind of funny. The Lord must be up in heaven laughing,'' White said. ''I love it here.''

She remained friends with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and sang with original members when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Because of her Christian ministry, drummer Artimus Pyle began calling her ''Rev. Jo Jo.''

(Greg Richter of The Birmingham News contributed to this report.)


More info:

From Southern rock to the Solid Rock The story of Jo Jo Billingsley White By James E.Cossey

Tribute to Jo Jo Billingsley, former Lynyrd Skynyrd Back-up Singer.


Video: Jo Jo Billingsley Interview on FOX 7 in Evansville, IN

Video: Jo Jo Billingsley - Sweet Home in Heaven

Video: The Jo Jo Billingsley Interview


jo jo billingsley

iTunes: Jo Jo Billingsley

Amazon: Skynyrd's First And...Last and Lynyrd Skynyrd: Remembering the Free Birds of Southern Rock and I Will Obey and I've Got a Right

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