The iconic figure known for “Margaritaville” passed away on Friday, as announced through his official website and social media platforms. He was 76 years old. The statement shares that he departed “peacefully, surrounded by family, friends, music, and his dogs.” He lived his life as if it were a song, and his absence will be deeply felt by many.
Over a recording career spanning more than 50 years, Jimmy Buffett garnered an unparalleled following and created a multifaceted empire that included restaurants, books, beer, resorts, a Broadway show, and a cruise line, solidifying his status as a true mogul. With his trademark crinkled smile, breezy melodies, and laid-back stage presence, Jimmy Buffett personified the essence of a beach enthusiast.
The statement did not disclose the location or cause of Jimmy Buffett’s passing. Earlier in the year, he had to reschedule concerts due to illness, and he had mentioned his hospitalization on social media without providing specific details. Released on February 14, 1977, “Margaritaville” quickly became a cultural phenomenon, embodying a carefree lifestyle for those “wasting away” and serving as an anthem for those “growing older, but not up.” This song gave rise to restaurants and resorts, transforming Jimmy Buffett’s longing for the simplicity of island life into a multimillion-dollar brand. His net worth of $1 billion ranked him 18th on Forbes’ list of the Richest Celebrities of All Time.
Although music critics weren’t always favorable towards Buffett and his repertoire, which included laid-back beach songs like “Fins,” “Come Monday,” and “Cheeseburgers in Paradise,” his devoted fans, known as “Parrotheads,” consistently attended his concerts decked out in toy parrots, cheeseburgers, sharks, flamingo accessories, leis, and loud Hawaiian shirts.
Tributes poured in from fellow musicians upon hearing the news of his passing. Toby Keith remembered him as a “tremendous influence.” Elton John described him as a “unique and treasured entertainer” who was adored by his fans. Paul McCartney reflected on Buffett’s kindness and generosity.
Buffett had been in the process of releasing a new album, with songs previewed weekly on Radio Margaritaville, according to his website. He is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol, and three children.