Austin has lost a local music legend. Jimmy LaFave passed away Sunday, May 21, at the age of 61. His family shared the news via a statement from LaFave's label, Music Road Records.
"The LaFave Family regrets to inform Jimmy's friends and fans across the world that the Austin-based singer/songwriter passed from this world, surrounded by loved ones in his home on May 21, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer," reads the announcement.
LaFave was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, he told the Austin Chronicle in April. The prolific performer refused to quit playing music; he hosted the sold-out Songwriter Rendezvous at the Paramount Theater on Thursday, May 18.
The Texas-born musician grew up in Oklahoma, but called Austin home for nearly three decades. LaFave is credited with spearheading the "red dirt" music movement and furthering the legacy of folk icon Woody Guthrie.
Accolades include recognition from the Texas Music Office and several Austin Music Awards, from Best Singer-Songwriter to a place in the Hall of Fame. LaFave will also be posthumously inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on June 14.
"At the time of his death, Jimmy had recorded numerous new songs at his studio in South Austin and had also begun work on a book featuring a collection of his photography," the statement continues. "In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the pet charity of your choice or perform an act of unsolicited kindness."
LaFave is survived by his son, Jackson LaFave; ex-wife, Barbara Fox; father, G.G. "Frenchy" LaFave; and several siblings.