Jimmy Buffett, the enduring singer celebrated for his ‘Margaritaville’ anthem and revered as both an artist and a business magnate, has passed away at the age of 76, as confirmed by his official website and various media sources.
He peacefully departed on the night of September 1st, surrounded by loved ones, music, and his faithful canine companions, according to an official statement shared on his social media.
Jimmy lived his life akin to the lyrics of his songs, and his absence will be keenly felt by countless admirers, the statement expressed. Although the cause of his passing was not disclosed, the singer-songwriter had experienced a brief hospitalization in May following a trip to the Bahamas.
At that time, he had informed his followers of the need for medical attention in Boston without revealing the specifics of his ailment. However, he assured them of his imminent return home and plans for a rejuvenating fishing excursion with old friends.
Born on Christmas Day in 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Jimmy Buffett grew up in the coastal town of Mobile, Alabama, before eventually finding his artistic voice in Key West, Florida.
One of his earliest songs to gain recognition was “Come Monday,” featured on his 1974 album “Living & Dying in ¾ Time.” He once recounted on a talk show how this particular song had a profound impact on his life, helping him overcome a difficult period.
Characterized by his amiable melodies and witty lyrics, Buffett consistently bucked popular music trends, never aiming for chart-topping hits or MTV stardom. Instead, he crafted a unique “Gulf & Western” style that fused elements of country and Caribbean music.
In 1977, he achieved iconic status with “Margaritaville,” his sole Top 10 hit and enduring signature song. Its opening lines, “Nibbling on spongecake, watching the sun bake, all of the tourists covered with oil…,” are instantly recognizable, and the chorus remains a staple of sing-alongs. His dedicated following, affectionately known as “Parrotheads,” embraced his vision of a life filled with flip-flops, beachfronts, boats, libations, and leisure.
Buffett masterfully leveraged the ‘Margaritaville’ brand, embarking on lucrative concert tours, establishing restaurants, casinos, retirement communities, penning best-selling books, and even creating a musical. Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion.
Honored by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006, Buffett also secured two Country Music Association awards and received two Grammy nominations during his illustrious career. Despite a rare misstep with the 2018 Broadway production “Escape to Margaritaville,” he continued to thrive, drawing attention to the contrast between his carefree image and his remarkable achievements.
Before his passing, Jimmy Buffett was preparing to release a new album, with songs teased weekly on Radio Margaritaville, his official website disclosed. In keeping with his party spirit, one of the forthcoming songs was titled “My Gummy Just Kicked In.”
Jimmy Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol, and their three children.