Jimmy Buffett, the renowned US singer-songwriter best known for his iconic 1970’s hit “Margaritaville,” has passed away at the age of 76. His death was confirmed in a statement on his website, which described his peaceful passing on the night of September 1, surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs. He was remembered as someone who lived his life like a song until the very end and would be deeply missed by many.
Born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama, Buffett later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he initially worked for the music and entertainment magazine Billboard while nurturing his aspirations of becoming a country singer. Eventually, he made his way to Florida, where he played a pivotal role in shaping the tropical rock genre, which would later gain widespread popularity through artists like Jack Johnson.
Buffett achieved musical acclaim with his 1977 album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” featuring the chart-topping hit “Margaritaville,” which spent an impressive 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His repertoire included other notable songs such as “Fins,” “Come Monday,” and “Son of a Son of a Sailor.”
Throughout his career, Buffett received two Grammy nominations and released over 20 albums. Earlier in the year, he revealed that he had recorded a new work. His songs also inspired a musical, “Escape to Margaritaville,” which debuted on Broadway in 2018.
Buffett’s music, as well as the laid-back “beach bum” lifestyle he championed, garnered him a devoted fanbase known as Parrotheads.
Fellow musicians paid tribute to him, with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys sharing his condolences on Twitter, and rapper LL Cool J describing Buffett as a “truly inspiring human.”
Despite health challenges in recent months that led to hospitalization and show cancellations, Buffett continued to perform with his Coral Reefer Band. He expressed his intention to make it up to his fans, emphasizing the therapeutic nature of playing music for both himself and his devoted audience.
Beyond his music career, Buffett was a bestselling author and entrepreneur, known for establishing a range of popular resorts, clubs, restaurants, merchandise shops, and retirement communities under the Margaritaville brand. His estimated net worth was $1 billion according to recent figures.
Jimmy Buffett is survived by his wife Jane and their three children. His passing marks the end of an era for a beloved figure in the world of music and entertainment.