Jimmy Buffett, the tropical itinerant poet whose popular tunes celebrated his laid-back lifestyle, inspired legions of loyal fans and created a lucrative business empire, has died, according to his statements. Official Website And multiple media.
He was 76 years old.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a statement on his social page read.
The statement continued: “He lived his life as a song until his last breath and will be missed beyond measure by many.”
The cause of death was not revealed.
The singer-songwriter was briefly hospitalized in May after a trip to the Bahamas. “I had to stop in Boston for a checkup, but ended up back in the hospital to address some issues that needed immediate attention,” he told his followers in a social media post.
Buffett posted a day later that he was soon back home from the hospital, and thanked his followers for the “outpouring of support and well wishes.” He did not share what he was going through, but said he would go on a “fishing trip with old friends, canoeing, sailing and getting back into shape” when he returned home from hospital.
Nice grooves and clever wordplay
Buffett was born on Christmas Day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and grew up in the coastal city of Mobile, Alabama. He moved to Key West, Florida, where he found his voice, his website says.
One of his first songs to attract attention was “Come Monday” from his 1974 album “Living & Dying in ¾ Time”.
Years later he told David Letterman, “This song kept me from killing myself at Howard Johnson’s in Marin County. It happened, I paid the rent, I got my dog out of the pound. …And the rest is history.”
It notably included the line “I’ve got my hush puppy, I guess I never meant to be a glossy rock ‘n’ roll”, underscoring his claim to go his own comfortable way.
In pictures: Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett
An affable singer-songwriter with a penchant for clever wordplay, Buffett largely ignored pop music trends and was never a hitmaker or MTV darling. His “Khaleeji and Western” style combines country and Caribbean music.
He is best known for putting “Margaritaville” on the map in 1977. It was his only Top 10 hit and became his signature.
Its opening lines become instantly recognizable: “Eating sponge cake, watching the sun bake all the oil-covered tourists…”
The chorus has been part of countless lyrics: “I’m wasted back in Margaritaville, looking for my missing salt shaker… Some people claim there’s a woman to blame, but I know it’s my damn fault.”
Buffett built a huge cult of fans, known as “Parrotheads,” after the legendary deadhead fans of the Grateful Dead.
“The audience is very interesting for me to look at,” he said. “I mean, they’re as entertaining to me as I hope I’m to them.”
Other must-play party tunes include “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Fins,” “Volcano” and “When Don’t We Get Drunk.”
His followers lovingly embraced his vision of a life spent in flip flops filled with beaches, boats, booze and weed.
“From New Orleans to the Gulf Coast all the way to St. Barts and elsewhere, I can still find magic in most of those places where people think there isn’t any anymore,” he said.
A savvy marketer, Buffett later exploited the “Margaritaville” legend to advance his career through decades of lucrative concert tours – branding for restaurants, casinos, retirement communities, best-selling books and even musicals.
His fortune was estimated at one billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine.
Buffett, who was introduced in Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame In 2006, he won two Country Music Association Awards during his career and was nominated twice for Grammy Awards.
A rare misstep came with the 2018 Broadway show, Escape to Margaritaville, which was made up of his most famous songs.
Even a scathing New York Times review noted the irony of Buffett’s slack image versus his astonishing success: “Mr. Buffett, the prototype and mastermind of Margaritaville, has a wife, a family, and 5,000 employees; he works nonstop.”
Before his death, Buffett was preparing to release a new record, with songs previewed weekly on Margaritaville Radio, according to his website.
Loyal to his party’s creed to the end, he left a forthcoming song called “My Gummy Just Kicked In.”
Buffett left behind his wife, Jane Slagsvoll, and three children.
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”