Tributes Paid to Johnny Solinger, Former Skid Row Singer, Following His Death

Johnny Solinger, Skid Row's longest-tenured singer, has died. He was 55.

The Arkansas-born rocker has been remembered by friends as "a big, bold flash of life."

He joined Skid Row, the multiplatinum metal band, when it reformed in 1999, following a three-year hiatus, replacing the group's earlier singer, Sebastian Bach.

Solinger was soon on stage performing when the band opened for Kiss' original farewell tour the following year. His vocals featured on the band's fourth studio album Thickskin, released in 2003, and 2006's follow-up Revolutions per Minute.

His time with the band came to an end in 2015, and he said at the time that he had "decided to leave SKID ROW to pursue [his] solo career."

Skid Row members later revealed that Solinger had been fired in an amicable split. He was replaced by TNT singer Tony Harnell, who quit only eight months later.

Solinger released solo country EP Scrappy Smith shortly before leaving the band.

Johnny Solinger onstage in Manchester
Johnny Solinger of Skid Row performs at Manchester Academy, United Kingdom, on October 24, 2013. Getty Images/Shirlaine Forrest/WireImag

The album's title was a tribute to his grandfather. Speaking to Billboard in October 2014, he said "My grandfather's name is Willard Jesse 'Scrappy' Smith, and he turns 100 in April. Scrappy Smith is such a unique name.

"He still drives down the mountain for coffee everyday, and he's still kicking. He also goes to the rec center to flirt with all the 80-year-old 'girls.'

Solinger announced in May that he was suffering from liver failure. In a social media post at the time, he asked fans for their support, explaining "as with most musicians I do not have health insurance."

Tributes have been paid to the vocalist following his death.

A statement from Skid Row read: "We are saddened to hear the news of our brother Johnny Solinger. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans. Godspeed Singo. Say hello to Scrappy for us."

Bassist Rachel Bolan, who was among the signatories of the statement, also wrote on his personal Instagram: "RIP Singo. Get yourself a piece of pie with Scrappy."

Todd Kerns, bassist in Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, Toque, shared to Twitter photographs of him with Solinger.

"Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my brother in music Johnny Solinger," he wrote. "He was a big, bold flash of life. He will be dearly missed. Keep the mic warm for me when I get up there so we can rock together once more."

Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my brother in music Johnny Solinger. He was a big, bold flash of life. He will be dearly missed. Keep the mic warm for me when I get up there so we can rock together once more 💔💔💔

— Todd Dammit Kerns (@todddammitkerns) June 27, 2021

Michael Sweet, guitarist with Christian rock band Stryper, sent prayers to Solinger's family, friends and fans, writing on Instagram: "God Bless you Johnny and May God hold you in His hands for all eternity."

Influential bass guitarist Tony Franklin also shared pictures, writing: "So sad to hear of the passing of former Skid Row vocalist Johnny Solinger. A sweet guy, a bundle of laughs, and some vocal pipes. Rest peacefully Johnny!"

He reportedly married actress Paula Marcenaro in 2011. "The reality is, you will grieve forever," she wrote on Instagram following his death.

"You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered."

Solinger told fans of his health troubles last month.

He wrote on social media: "It is with a heavy heart I must let everyone know what's going on with me and my health. I have been hospitalised for over the last month.

"I have been diagnosed with liver failure. And prognosis is not so good.

"As with most musicians I do not have health insurance and it's very difficult to get proper care without it."

At the end of the message, he signed off: "Love you all."

SKid Rock's Johnny Solinger onstage in London
Johnny Solinger, then of Skid Row, performs on stage at Electric Ballroom in London on November 5, 2013. Neil H Kitson/Redferns/Getty Images