Big Daddy Weave mourns loss of co-founder
Friends say bassist and vocalist Jason “Jay” Weaver “pointed to Jesus.”
Jason “Jay” Weaver, a bassist, vocalist, and co-founder of the five-member Christian music band Big Daddy Weave, died Jan. 2 at age 42. His brother, vocalist Mike Weaver, with whom he started the band in 1998, announced his death in a video posted to social media the same day and said the cause was complications from COVID-19.
Big Daddy Weave has sold more than 1 million albums in its 22-year run and is widely known for its No. 1 hit song “Redeemed,” nominated for a Dove Award and named Song of the Year at the first annual K-Love Fan Awards.
Jay Weaver battled health problems from diabetes over the years and played bass guitar from a wheelchair onstage during the band’s more recent concerts. Friends remembered him for what they described as his integrity and love.
“Everyone who met Jay and was connected with him experienced the same thing, and that was consistency, that was that he loved on people, and he always pointed to Jesus,” said Jeff Jones, drummer for the band until 2013.
Jones told me he was drumming for a band called Dog Named David in the late 1990s before joining Big Daddy Weave. When Big Daddy Weave came to open for a concert that Dog Named David was playing at the University of Mobile in Alabama, Jones heard them play and thought, “Man, I want to be in that band.” They recorded their first record together in 2000 and were signed to Fervent Records a year later.
Jones called Jay Weaver the backbone of the group and noted that he would willingly perform any tasks that needed to be done, whether managing merchandise, talking to promoters, loading equipment, or handling finances and production management. “He would just do it, and he did it, you know, as unto the Lord with a great attitude,” Jones said.
That was in spite of health problems Weaver had battled since he was 18. In a TBN reality TV series, When the Light Comes With Big Daddy Weave, Weaver spoke about an infection that forced doctors to amputate both of his feet in 2016. In the series, Weaver shared his struggle with feelings of isolation after his amputations.
“The biggest lie that the devil loves to tell all of us is like, You gotta keep this under wraps,” he said. “You’re the only one to struggle with this.”
In 2016, the Christian Music Broadcasters awarded the band the Rich Mullins Impact Award, given for “long-time contributions to the music and ministry of Christian Radio,” according to CMB.
In spite of ongoing health problems and dialysis, Weaver continued to perform with the band. The band’s longtime signing agent, GOA Music President Greg Oliver, told me that Weaver maintained his sense of humor, laughed a lot, and loved others.
“He was always looking out for the underdog or person who wasn’t the one getting attention, and would focus on them,” added Fervent founder Susan Riley in an email. “He would always make any situation calmer, which is really helpful in the music business.”
Weaver was survived by his wife, Emily, and three children, Makenzie, Madison, and Nathan, reported The Tennessean.
On the day of Jay’s death, Mike shared a tearful video to update fans who had been praying for Jay: “I know that he’s seeing things now that, man, I long to see.”
He continued, “Prayers for healing can turn into prayers of thanksgiving now that Jay is in God’s presence.”
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