Sat. May 25th, 2024

Jimmy Buffett dead aged 76: Legendary ‘Margaritaville’ singer ‘passed away peacefully surrounded by family, friends, music and dogs’

An announcement was made on his official Twitter account late Friday night confirming that Jimmy had passed away that night surrounded by his loved ones.

The statement read: ‘Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs.

‘He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many’.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a statement posted to Buffett’s official website and social media pages said late Friday. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

 

The statement did not say where Buffett died or give a cause of death.

The two-time Grammy nominee who is best known for his song Margaritaville had revealed in May that he had been hospitalized ‘to address some issues that needed immediate attention’.

RIP: Legendary singer Jimmy Buffett best known for his song Margaritaville died on Friday night aged 76 (pictured March 7)

So sad: An announcement was made on his official Twitter account late Friday night confirming that Jimmy had passed away that night surrounded by his loved ones (pictured in 2019)

Buffett leaves behind his wife, Jane Slagsvol, whom he’s been married to since 1977, and three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron.

Following the heartbreaking Twitter announcement of his death, tributes began pouring in for Jimmy from fans and showbiz pals who expressed their sorrow over his passing.

One person wrote: ‘I’m absolutely gutted and crying right now over your death. Rest In Peace, Paradise and Love. Jimmy Buffet you are a legend to admire.’

While another shared: ‘Enjoy your cheeseburger in paradise my friend, see you in margaritiville RIP.’

‘Nooooooo. Truly heartbreaking. RIP to a legend like no other’ tweeted a third.

‘His memory will be a blessing to the millions who loved him’, commented a fourth fan.

With another adding: ‘May your soul rest in peace, Jimmy. Thank you for the many years of music that you have blessed this world with. May your memory live on forever.’

Heartbreaking: The statement read: 'Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs'

Heartbreaking: The statement read: ‘Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs’

Music legend: 'He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many' (pictured in March 2019)

Music legend: ‘He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many’ (pictured in March 2019)

His love: Buffett leaves behind his wife, Jane Slagsvol, whom he's been married to since 1977, and three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron (pictured with Jane in March)

His love: Buffett leaves behind his wife, Jane Slagsvol, whom he’s been married to since 1977, and three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron (pictured with Jane in March)

Back in May, Jimmy was forced to cancel his Second Wind Tour stop in Charleston, South Carolina following a health scare that landed him in the hospital.

Buffett later reported he would be returning home the following day and recuperating with friends before scheduling more shows.

‘Thank you for the outpouring of support and well wishes. I head home tomorrow for a while, and then will go for a fishing trip with old friends, along with paddling and sailing and get myself back in good shape,’ he said in a statement posted to his Facebook page.

‘Looking forward to announcing a new date for Charleston as well as some new shows! Fins up!’

Buffett revealed previously that he had to be hospitalized following a routine check-up in Boston, prompting the cancellation of his band’s stop in Charleston, South Carolina.

‘I had a sudden change of plans this week that affected us all. Two days ago, I was just back from a trip to the Bahamas, thawing out from the California “winter tour”, and chomping at the bit to get to Charleston. I had to stop in Boston for a check-up but wound up back in the hospital to address some issues that needed immediate attention,’ he said in a statement.

‘Growing old is not for sissies, I promise you. I also will promise you, that when I am well enough to perform, that is what I’ll be doing in the land of She-Crab soup.

‘You all make my life more meaningful and fulfilled than I would have ever imagined as a toe headed little boy sitting on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts, your amazing years of loyalty, and just remember, “NOT YET!” Love to all!’

Tributes: Following the heartbreaking Twitter announcement of his death, tributes began pouring in for Jimmy from fans and showbiz pals who expressed their sorrow over his passing

Tributes: Following the heartbreaking Twitter announcement of his death, tributes began pouring in for Jimmy from fans and showbiz pals who expressed their sorrow over his passing

Music legend: ‘He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many’ (pictured in March 2019)

His love: Buffett leaves behind his wife, Jane Slagsvol, whom he’s been married to since 1977, and three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron (pictured with Jane in March)

Back in May, Jimmy was forced to cancel his Second Wind Tour stop in Charleston, South Carolina following a health scare that landed him in the hospital.

Buffett later reported he would be returning home the following day and recuperating with friends before scheduling more shows.

‘Thank you for the outpouring of support and well wishes. I head home tomorrow for a while, and then will go for a fishing trip with old friends, along with paddling and sailing and get myself back in good shape,’ he said in a statement posted to his Facebook page.

‘Looking forward to announcing a new date for Charleston as well as some new shows! Fins up!’

Buffett revealed previously that he had to be hospitalized following a routine check-up in Boston, prompting the cancellation of his band’s stop in Charleston, South Carolina.

‘I had a sudden change of plans this week that affected us all. Two days ago, I was just back from a trip to the Bahamas, thawing out from the California “winter tour”, and chomping at the bit to get to Charleston. I had to stop in Boston for a check-up but wound up back in the hospital to address some issues that needed immediate attention,’ he said in a statement.

‘Growing old is not for sissies, I promise you. I also will promise you, that when I am well enough to perform, that is what I’ll be doing in the land of She-Crab soup.

‘You all make my life more meaningful and fulfilled than I would have ever imagined as a toe headed little boy sitting on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts, your amazing years of loyalty, and just remember, “NOT YET!” Love to all!’

Tributes: Following the heartbreaking Twitter announcement of his death, tributes began pouring in for Jimmy from fans and showbiz pals who expressed their sorrow over his passing

 

Tributes: Following the heartbreaking Twitter announcement of his death, tributes began pouring in for Jimmy from fans and showbiz pals who expressed their sorrow over his passing

source


‘Margaritaville’ singer Jimmy Buffett, who turned beach-bum life into an empire, dies at 76

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who popularized beach bum soft rock with the escapist Caribbean-flavored song “Margaritaville” and turned that celebration of loafing into an empire of restaurants, resorts and frozen concoctions, has died. He was 76.

What You Need To Know

    • “Margaritaville” singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett has died at age 76. A statement on Buffett’s official website and social media pages says the singer died Friday “surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs”
    •  Buffett created beach bum soft rock with an escapist Caribbean flavor song and turned that celebration of loafing into an empire of restaurants, resorts and frozen concoctions
    •  The song ”Margaritaville,” by far his biggest hit, was released in 1977 and spent 22 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100
    •  It became a seaside standard and inspired generations of fans — known as Parrotheads — to celebrate easy living

The statement did not say where Buffett died or give a cause of death. Illness had forced him to reschedule concerts in May and Buffett acknowledged in social media posts that he had been hospitalized, but provided no specifics.

“Margaritaville,” released on Feb. 14, 1977, quickly took on a life of its own, becoming a state of mind for those ”wastin’ away,” an excuse for a life of low-key fun and escapism for those “growing older, but not up.”

The song is the unhurried portrait of a loafer on his front porch, watching tourists sunbathe while a pot of shrimp is beginning to boil. The signer has a new tattoo, a likely hangover and regrets over a lost love. Somewhere there is a misplaced salt shaker.

“What seems like a simple ditty about getting blotto and mending a broken heart turns out to be a profound meditation on the often painful inertia of beach dwelling,” Spin magazine wrote in 2021. “The tourists come and go, one group indistinguishable from the other. Waves crest and break whether somebody is there to witness it or not. Everything that means anything has already happened and you’re not even sure when.”

The song — from the album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” — spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 8. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016 for its cultural and historic significance, became a karaoke standard and helped brand Key West, Florida, as a distinct sound of music and a destination known the world over.

“There was no such place as Margaritaville,” Buffett told the Arizona Republic in 2021. “It was a made-up place in my mind, basically made up about my experiences in Key West and having to leave Key West and go on the road to work and then come back and spend time by the beach.”

The song soon inspired restaurants and resorts, turning Buffett’s alleged desire for the simplicity of island life into a multimillion brand. He landed at No. 13 in Forbes’ America’s Richest Celebrities in 2016 with a net worth of $550 million.

Music critics were never very kind to Buffett or his catalogue, including the sandy beach-side snack bar songs like “Fins,” “Come Monday” and “Cheeseburgers in Paradise.” But his legions of fans, called “Parrotheads,” regularly turned up for his concerts wearing toy parrots, cheeseburgers, sharks and flamingos on their heads, leis around their necks and loud Hawaiian shirts.

“It’s pure escapism is all it is,” he told the Republic. “I’m not the first one to do it, nor shall I probably be the last. But I think it’s really a part of the human condition that you’ve got to have some fun. You’ve got to get away from whatever you do to make a living or other parts of life that stress you out. I try to make it at least 50/50 fun to work and so far it’s worked out.”

His special Gulf Coast mix of country, pop, folk and rock added instruments and tonalities more commonly found in the Caribbean, like steel drums. It was a stew of steelpans, trombones and pedal steel guitar. Buffett’s incredible ear for hooks and light grooves were often overshadowed by his lyrics about fish tacos and sunsets.

Rolling Stone, in a review of Buffett’s 2020 album “Life on the Flip Side,” gave grudging props. “He continues mapping out his surfy, sandy corner of pop music utopia with the chill, friendly warmth of a multi-millionaire you wouldn’t mind sharing a tropically-themed 3 p.m. IPA with, especially if his gold card was on the bar when the last round came.”

Buffett’s evolving brand began in 1985 with the opening of a string of Margaritaville-themed stores and restaurants in Key West, followed in 1987 with the first Margaritaville Café nearby. Over the course of the next two decades, several more of each opened throughout Florida, New Orleans and California.

The brand has since expanded to dozens of categories, including resorts, apparel and footwear for men and women, a radio station, a beer brand, ice tea, tequila and rum, home décor, food items like salad dressing, Margaritaville Crunchy Pimento Cheese & Shrimp Bites and Margaritaville Cantina Style Medium Chunky Salsa, the Margaritaville at Sea cruise line and restaurants, including Margaritaville Restaurant, JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill.

There also was a Broadway-bound jukebox musical, “Escape to Margaritaville,” a romantic comedy in which a singer-bartender called Sully falls for the far more career-minded Rachel, who is vacationing with friends and hanging out at Margaritaville, the hotel bar where Sully works.

James William Buffett was born on Christmas day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and raised in the port town of Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and went from busking the streets of New Orleans to playing six nights a week at Bourbon Street clubs.

He released his first record, “Down To Earth,” in 1970 and issued seven more on a regular yearly clip, with his 1974 song “Come Monday” from his fourth studio album “Living and Dying in ¾ Time,” peaking at No. 30. Then came “Margaritaville.”

He performed on more than 50 studio and live albums, often accompanied by his Coral Reefer Band, and was constantly on tour. He earned two Grammy Award nominations, two Academy of Country Music Awards and a Country Music Association Award.

Buffett was actually in Austin, Texas, when the inspiration struck for “Margaritaville.” He and a friend had stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant before she dropped him at the airport for a flight home to Key West, so they got to drinking margaritas.

“And I kind of came up with that idea of this is just like Margarita-ville,” Buffett told the Republic. “She kind of laughed at that and put me on the plane. And I started working on it.”

He wrote some on the plane and finished it while driving down the Keys. “There was a wreck on the bridge,” he said. “And we got stopped for about an hour so I finished the song on the Seven Mile Bridge, which I thought was apropos.”

Buffett also was the author of numerous books including “Where Is Joe Merchant?” and “A Pirate Looks At Fifty” and added movies to his resume as co-producer and co-star of an adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s novel “Hoot.”

Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane; daughters, Savannah and Sarah; and son, Cameron. source


Jimmy Buffett, legendary ‘Margaritaville’ singer, dies at 76

He passed away peacefully Friday night “surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a statement posted to his website said.

Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter who drew millions of fans with his folksy tales of living and loving on tropical sandy beaches, frozen concoction in hand, died Friday night. He was 76.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” the statement on his website said. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

“Margaritaville,” Buffett’s most recognized song, inspired restaurants and resorts, and helped make him a billionaire. This month, Forbes placed his real-time net worth at $1 billion.

He was also nominated for two Grammy Awards, for “Hey Good Lookin’” — a cover of the Hank Williams classic — and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” a duet with country superstar Alan Jackson. Buffett dubbed his brand of music “drunken Caribbean rock ‘n’ roll.”

Fans, affectionately dubbed “Parrotheads,” were quick to pay tribute to the singer, who was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Christmas Day 1946.

Some fans quoted “Margaritaville,” which was released in 1977 and launched him into national fame and into the history of American music.

Many also cited “One Particular Harbor” when remembering the singer: “But there’s one particular harbor/ So far yet so near/ Where I see the days as they fade away/ And finally disappear.”

After learning guitar at college he began playing on the streets of New Orleans before going on to form his first band, the biography on his website says.

He later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work for Billboard Magazine and try his luck as a singer, the biography says. But it was in Key West in the 1970s that Buffett “found his true voice,” the biography adds.

Fellow country singer Jerry Jeff Walker first let him stay at his Coconut Grove home, and then they drove in a 1947 Packard to Key West, he told graduating students at the University of Miami, where he received an honorary doctorate in music in May 2015.

“Needless to say, my life took a big and wonderful change towards South Florida, which has a lot to do with why I’m standing here today,” he said, while wearing flip-flops under the academic robes.

He would go on to make 27 studio albums — with four platinum and eight gold albums — in a career that spanned over five decades

As time went on, Buffett also appeared on TV, movies and his work became a musical.

Buffett popped up in the film “Jurassic World” as “running park visitor with margarita drinks,” as IMDB put it. He carried two, one in each hand.

And he guest-starred in the Tom Selleck show “Blue Bloods,” playing both himself and a virtual double who posed as the singer and scammed people.

There was also a Broadway show based on Buffett’s music, “ Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville,” which debuted in 2017.

He also dedicated some of his time to charity, starting the“Save he Manatee Club,” a non-profit that seeks to protect the large, docile marine mammals from boating injuries and harm by the actions of people.

In a 2017 interview with Men’s Journal, Buffett was asked what remained on his bucket list before he died. “I have four things: Learn to hang ten. Go to space. Go to Pitcairn Island, where my Buffett ancestors are from. And go to Antartica,” he said.

The singer is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol, two daughters, Savannah and Sarah, and son, Cameron. source


‘Margaritaville’ singer Jimmy Buffett dies at 76

Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter best-known for breezy, tropical-themed hits like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” has died at 76.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” read the announcement on his website and social media. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

Born in Pascagoula, Mississippi on Christmas Day in 1946, James William Buffett didn’t pick up a guitar until his freshman year of college, where he earned a degree in history. He recorded his first album, 1970’s “Down to Earth,” in Nashville, Tennessee while working for “Billboard” magazine as a correspondent. Five other albums followed, each of which enjoyed modest sales and radio airplay. The exception was the 1974 “Billboard” Hot 100 top-40 single “Come Monday,” from Buffett’s third album, “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time.”

But it was Buffett’s breakthrough seventh album, 1977’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” that made him a star, on the strength of the album’s hit single, “Margaritaville.” Sung from the perspective of a man “wasting away” the summer season at a beach resort while questioning his life and romantic choices, “Margaritaville” was a top-10 “Billboard” hit and became Buffett’s signature song.

“Margaritaville’s” enduring popularity was affirmed in 2023 when the song was inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, selected for inclusion for its “cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”

“You’re lucky enough at some point to put your thumb on the pulse of something that people can connect with,” Buffett told the Registry at the time. “It’s an amazing and lucky thing to happen to you, and that happened with ‘Margaritaville.’”

MORE: By the Numbers: Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’

In addition to “Margaritaville” and “Come Monday,” Buffett’s hits – all displaying the signature musical style he early on described as “drunken Caribbean rock and roll” – included playful favorites like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Fins,” as well as introspective ruminations like “A Pirate Looks at 40,” “He Went to Paris” and “Son of a Son of a Sailor.”

Buffett’s 1985 greatest hits album, “Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s),” remains his most commercially successful release, selling more than 5.6 million copies. The parenthetical ‘s’ at the end of “Hit” in the title is a winking acknowledgement that for some, “Margaritaville” is the only song for which they know him.

Over a performing career that spanned five decades, Buffett released more than 30 records, 17 of which were RIAA-certified gold or platinum for sales of 500,000 units or more. He was known for his near-constant touring schedule with his Coral Reefer Band, drawing a devoted fan base affectionately known as Parrotheads.

PHOTO: Jimmy Buffett performs during 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, May 8, 2022 in New Orleans.
Jimmy Buffett performs during 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, May 8, 2022 in New Orleans.
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

An avid sailor and private pilot, Buffett lived the lifestyle about which he sang and wrote. But he also was a savvy businessman, parlaying his persona and musical success into Margaritaville Holdings, a business empire formed in 1985 that encompassed music, lifestyle brands and more, including restaurants, resorts, clothing, home décor, foods, beer, tequila, and even a retirement community. “Forbes” estimated Buffett’s net worth at $1 billion as of June 2023.

Jimmy Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane, two daughters and a son. source


Jimmy Buffett, Roguish Bard of Island Escapism, Is Dead at 76

With songs like “Margaritaville” and “Fins,” he became a folk hero to fans known as Parrot Heads. He also became a millionaire hundreds of times over.

A black and white photo of Jimmy Buffett playing guitar and standing in front of a microphone.
Jimmy Buffett in 1977. He found a way of life in the Caribbean and Key West, Fla., making music peopled with beach bums and barflies.Credit…Chris Walter/WireImage, via Getty Images

Jimmy Buffett, the singer, songwriter, author, sailor and entrepreneur whose roguish brand of island escapism on hits like “Margaritaville” and “Fins” made him something of a latter-day folk hero, especially among his devoted following of so-called Parrot Heads, died Saturday at 76.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a statement on Mr. Buffett’s website and social media said. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

Peopled with pirates, smugglers, beach bums and barflies, Mr. Buffett’s genial, self-deprecating songs conjured a world of sun, saltwater and nonstop parties animated by the calypso country-rock of his limber Coral Reefer Band. His live shows abounded with singalong anthems and festive tropical iconography, making him a perennial draw on the summer concert circuit, where he built an ardent fan base akin to the Grateful Dead’s Dead HeadsMr. Buffett found success primarily with albums. He enjoyed only a few years on the pop singles chart, with “Margaritaville,” his 1977 breakthrough hit and only single to reach the pop Top 10.

“I blew out my flip-flop/Stepped on a pop-top/Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home,” he sang woozily to the song’s lilting Caribbean rhythms. “But there’s booze in the blender/And soon it will render/That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.”

Mr. Buffett’s music was often described as “Gulf and western,” a nod to his fusion of laid-back twang and island-themed lyrics, as well as a play on the conglomerate name Gulf and Western, the former parent of Paramount Pictures, among other companies.

His songs tended to be of two main types: wistful ballads like “Come Monday” and “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” and clever up-tempo numbers like “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Some were both, like “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” a 1978 homage to Mr. Buffett’s seafaring grandfather, written with the producer Norbert Putnam.

“I’m just a son of a son, son of a son/
Son of a son of a sailor,” he sang. “The sea’s in my veins, my tradition remains/I’m just glad I don’t live in a trailer.”

The Caribbean and the Gulf Coast were Mr. Buffett’s muses, and nowhere more so than Key West in Florida. He first visited the island at the urging of Jerry Jeff Walker, his sometime songwriting and drinking partner, after a gig fell through in Miami in the early ’70s.

“When I found Key West and the Caribbean, I wasn’t really successful yet,” Mr. Buffett said in a 1989 interview with The Washington Post. “But I found a lifestyle, and I knew that whatever I did would have to work around my lifestyle.”

 

A black and white photo of Mr. Buffett on a boat in nothing but a pair of shorts.
Mr. Buffett had an affinity for sailing, and his songwriting was greatly influenced by his laid-back life in Key West.Credit…Gems/Redferns, via Getty Images

The locales provided Mr. Buffett with more than just a breezy, sailing life and grist for his songwriting. They were also the impetus for the creation of a tropical-themed business empire that included a restaurant franchise, a hotel chain and boutique tequila, T-shirt and footwear lines, all of which made him a millionaire hundreds of times over.

“I’ve done a bit of smugglin’, and I’ve run my share of grass,” Mr. Buffett sang of his early days trafficking marijuana in the Florida Keys in “A Pirate Looks at Forty.”

“I made enough money to buy Miami,” he went on, alluding to his subsequent entrepreneurial pursuits. “But I pissed it away so fast/Never meant to last/Never meant to last.”

His claim to squandering his wealth notwithstanding, Mr. Buffett proved to be a shrewd manager of his considerable fortune; in 2023, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion.

“If Mr. Buffett is a pirate, to borrow one of his favorite images, it is hardly because of his days palling around with dope smugglers in the Caribbean,” the critic Anthony DeCurtis wrote in a 1999 essay for The New York Times. “He is a pirate in the way that Bill Gates and Donald Trump have styled themselves, as plundering rebels, visionary artists of the deal, not bound by the societal restrictions meant for smaller, more careful men.”

(The comparison to Mr. Trump here is strictly economic; Mr. Buffett was a Democrat.)

Mr. Buffett was also an accomplished author, one of only six writers, along with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and William Styron, to top both The Times’s fiction and nonfiction best-seller lists. By the time he wrote “Tales from Margaritaville” (1989), the first of his three No. 1 best sellers, he had abandoned the hedonistic lifestyle he had previously embraced.

“I could wind up like a lot of my friends did, burned out or dead, or redirect the energy,” he told The Washington Post in 1989. “I’m not old, but I’m getting older. That period of my life is over. It was fun — all that hard drinking, hard drugging. No apologies.”

“I still have a very happy life,” he went on. “I just don’t do the things I used to do.”

Jimmy Buffett performing on a baby blue electric guitar.
Mr. Buffett in 1991. “Margaritaville,” his blockbuster hit, rocketed him to fame in 1977.Credit…Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect, via Getty Images

James William Buffett was born on Dec. 25, 1946, in Pascagoula, Miss., one of three children of Mary Loraine (Peets) and James Delaney Buffett Jr. Both of his parents were longtime employees of the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company. His father was a manager of government contracts, and his mother, known simply as Peets, was an assistant director of industrial relations.

Jimmy was raised Roman Catholic in Mobile, Ala., where he took up the trombone in elementary school, at St. Ignatius Catholic School. He went to high school at another Catholic institution in Mobile, the McGill Institute.

In 1964 he enrolled in classes at Auburn University. He flunked out and later attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Biloxi, where he began performing in clubs. He graduated with a degree in history in 1969, before moving to the French Quarter and playing in a cover band on Bourbon Street.

In 1970 he moved to Nashville, hoping to make it as a country singer while working as a journalist for Billboard. (Mr. Buffett was credited with having broken the story about the disbanding of the pioneering bluegrass duo Flatt and Scruggs.) “Down to Earth,” his debut album, was released on Andy Williams’s Barnaby label that year. It sold 324 copies.

Mr. Buffett’s second album for Barnaby, “High Cumberland Jubilee,” went unreleased until 1976, long after he had signed with ABC-Dunhill and recorded “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean,” released in 1973 and featuring the debauched party anthem “Why Don’t We Get Drunk.”

Mr. Buffett had a fondness for puns, as witnessed by “A White Sport Coat,” an album title inspired by the song “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation),” a 1957 pop-crossover hit for the country singer Marty Robbins. Another album was called “Last Mango in Paris.”

A boy in midair, leaping onto a bodyboard in an outdoor surfing simulator. Palm trees and a sign reading “Margaritaville Beach Resort” can be seen behind him.

The “Margaritaville” restaurant and hotel chains are part of the tropical-themed business empire that Mr. Buffett built.Credit…Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

Mr. Buffett’s 1974 release “Living and Dying in ¾ Time” included a version of the comedian Lord Buckley’s “God’s Own Drunk.” “Come Monday,” a lovelorn track from the record, became his first Top 40 hit.

“A1A” (also from 1974) was named for the oceanfront highway that runs along Florida’s Atlantic coastline. The album was Mr. Buffett’s first to contain references to Key West and maritime life, but it was 1977’s platinum-selling “Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes,” with the blockbuster hit “Margaritaville,” that finally catapulted him to stardom. “Fins,” another major single, was released in 1979.

 

A series of popular releases followed, culminating in 1985 with “Songs You Know By Heart,” a compilation of Mr. Buffett’s most beloved songs to date. The record became the best-selling album of his career.

Mr. Buffett also opened the first of his many “Margaritaville” stores in 1985. That was the year that the former Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit, then a member of the Coral Reefer Band, coined the term Parrot Heads to describe Mr. Buffett’s staunch legion of fans, the bulk of whom were baby boomers.

A supporter of conservationist causes, Mr. Buffett moved away from the Keys in the late ’70s because of the area’s increasing commercialization. He initially relocated to Aspen, Colo., before making his home on St. Barts in the Caribbean. He also had houses in Palm Beach, Fla., and Sag Harbor, on eastern Long Island.

In addition to touring and recording, activities he pursued into the 2020s, Mr. Buffett wrote music for movies like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Urban Cowboy.” He also appeared in movies and television shows, including “Rancho Deluxe,” “Jurassic World” and the “Hawaii Five-O” revival in the 2010s, where he starred as the helicopter pilot Frank Bama, a character from his best-selling 1992 novel, “Where Is Joe Merchant?”

Mr. Buffett favored wordplay in the names of his songs and albums, like “Last Mango in Paris” and “Jamaica Mistaica,” a sendup song about an incident that involved Jamaican authorities mistakenly shooting at one of his planes.Credit…Aaron Richter for The New York Times

An avid pilot, Mr. Buffett owned several aircraft and often flew himself to his shows. In 1994 he crashed one of his airplanes in waters near Nantucket, Mass., while taking off. He survived the accident, after swimming to safety, with only minor injuries.

In 1996 another of Mr. Buffett’s planes, Hemisphere Dancer, was shot at by the Jamaican police, who suspected the craft was being used to smuggle marijuana. On board the airplane, which sustained little damage, were U2’s Bono; Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records; and Mr. Buffett’s wife and two daughters. The Jamaican authorities later admitted the incident was a case of mistaken identity, inspiring Mr. Buffett to write “Jamaica Mistaica,” a droll sendup of the affair.

Mr. Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane (Slagsvol) Buffett, two daughters, Savanah Jane Buffett and Sarah “Delaney” Buffett; a son, Cameron Marley Buffett; and two grandsons. Two sisters, Lucy “Lulu” Buffett and Laurie Buffett, also survive him.

In a 1979 interview with Rolling Stone, Mr. Buffett was asked about a previous remark in which he somewhat incongruously cited the wholesome choral director Mitch Miller and the marauding Gulf Coast pirate Jean Lafitte as two of his greatest inspirations.

“Mitch Miller, for sure,” Mr. Buffett said, doubtless in acknowledgment of the way his own fans sang along with him at concerts. “In the old days: “Sing Along with Mitch?” Who didn’t?”

“But Jean Lafitte was my hero as a romantic character,” he continued. “I’m not sure he was a musical influence. His lifestyle influenced me, most definitely, ’cause I’m the very opposite of Mitch Miller.” source


Legendary musician Jimmy Buffett dead at 76: ‘Lived his life like a song til the very last breath’

Jimmy Buffett leaves behind his wife Jane Slagsvol and his three children: Savannah, Sarah and Cameron

Legendary singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett died on Friday at the age of 76 after struggling with an undisclosed health issue since 2022.

The “Margaritaville” icon died peacefully Friday surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs, according to a statement posted to his website and social media accounts.

“He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many,” the statement read. Buffett’s cause and place of death were not provided.

Buffett leaves behind his wife Jane Slagsvol and his three children: Savannah, Sarah and Cameron.

Jimmy Buffett

Singer Jimmy Buffett performs on NBC’s “Today” show in New York, August 15, 2013. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

The musician began struggling with a health issue starting last year, when he was hospitalized and forced to cancel several shows, according to USA Today. In May and June 2023, he canceled additional concerts after disclosing that he returned to the hospital to address medical issues that required “immediate attention.”

In addition to the 1977 hit “Margaritaville,” Buffett released several pop culture staples in the 1970s and 1980s, including “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and “Pencil Thin Mustache.”

Buffett was born on Christmas Day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and grew up in Mobile, Alabama. He began playing guitar during his first year at Auburn University before continuing his college years at Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1969.

Musician Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band performs during the 2022 New Orleans & Jazz festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 08, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. ((Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage))

The entertainer then moved to Nashville and released his first country album in 1970 called “Down to Earth.” But in a 1971 trip to Key West with fellow country music singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, Buffett’s musical focus changed from outlaw country to Calypso folk-pop.

On top of his musical pursuits, Buffett was involved in business as well, opening his first Margaritaville store in Key West in 1985. Two years later, he opened a Margaritaville Café nearby.

Singer Jimmy Buffett

Legendary singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett died on Friday at the age of 76. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Buffett’s business empire built eventually featured apparel, resorts, restaurants, beer, casinos, a radio station and retirement communities. Forbes estimated in 2017 that the Margaritaville global lifestyle brand had more than $4.8 billion in the development pipeline and $1.5 billion in annual sales. Buffett’s net worth was listed at $1 billion in June 2023.

The musician has 30 albums, launched Margaritaville Records in the early 1990s, wrote several fiction books and was involved in film and TV through musical contributions and cameos. source