Former Skid Row Singer Johnny Solinger Dead at 55
The singer's ex-bandmates memorialized him in a Facebook post on Saturday (June 26), the day he died. “We are saddened to hear the news of our brother Johnny Solinger,” they wrote. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans. Godspeed Singo. Say hello to Scrappy for us.” (“Scrappy” was the nickname for Solinger’s grandfather, Willard Jesse “Scrappy” Smith, after whom the singer named his 2014 solo country EP, Scrappy Smith.)
Skid Row guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo also honored the late Solinger with a tweet on Sunday morning. “A good man with a good soul taken way too soon,” he wrote. “Thank you Johnny for everything you gave us. God bless you and your family.”
Solinger revealed his liver failure diagnosis on social media last month. He said he had been “hospitalized for over the last month” due to the diagnosis, and his prognosis was “not so good.” “As with most musicians I do not have health insurance and it’s very difficult to get proper care without it,” he wrote.
The rocker further explained that he was taking at least seven different medications, getting his abdomen drained of fluid every few days and undergoing physical therapy. At the time, he said he was looking into setting up a fundraiser to help pay for his mounting medical bills and upcoming palliative care.
Solinger joined the newly reformed Skid Row in 1999, taking the place of Bach, who left the group in 1996, the same year they broke up. With Solinger at the helm, Skid Row released two full-length albums, 2003’s Thickskin and 2006’s Revolutions per Minute, and two EPs, 2013’s United World Rebellion: Chapter One and 2014's Rise of the Damnation Army — United World Rebellion: Chapter Two. (Seemingly intent on reinventing themselves for a new generation of listeners, Skid Row recorded "I Remember You Two," a punky remake of their 1989 smash hit, with Solinger for Thickskin.)
Solinger left Skid Row in 2015; his position was filled briefly by TNT singer Tony Harnell and then by ex-DragonForce frontman ZP Theart, who currently fronts the group. Solinger’s 16-year tenure with Skid Row made him the band’s longest-serving lead singer.