Last Updated on 2023-09-06 , 4:58 pm
Remember the hit song “Margaritaville”?
Not everyone is familiar with music from the 1970s, but “Margaritaville” is one that many have come across before.
The singer of the legendary song, Jimmy Buffett, has passed away at the age of 76.
Jimmy Buffett Dies at 76
A statement on his official website informed the world of the sad news.
It read, “Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of 1 September 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.”
The statement did not specify the cause of death.
In 2022, Buffett had postponed tour dates due to “health issues and brief hospitalisation”.
His health issues remain unspecified.
In addition, more shows were postponed this year as he was hospitalised again “to address some issues that needed immediate attention”.
The Life and Times of Jimmy Buffett
Buffett was born on Christmas day in 1946.
He grew up in Mobile, Alabama, but left the area as soon as possible.
However, the city’s celebration of Mardi Gras inspired him for the rest of his life.
For those who aren’t in the know, Mardi Gras is the oldest Carnival holiday in the USA.
Funnily enough, he didn’t pick up a guitar one day because he was drawn to music.
He actually learnt to play the guitar in university because he wanted to impress girls.
Spoiler alert: This did not work.
However, he realised he genuinely enjoyed the instrument and began picking up gigs in New Orleans by his senior year.
After graduating, he moved to Nashville to pursue his music career.
Allegedly, 26 labels in Nashville rejected Buffett.
Yet, he continued to dream big.
He released his first record, “Down to Earth”, in 1970.
In 1971, he would travel to Key West, Florida, a place that would become the main aesthetic of Buffett’s laid-back lifestyle brands and chill-out music.
He released a few more albums before finally hitting the jackpot with “Margaritaville” in 1977, which many fondly remember as the quintessential chill-out anthem.
The song depicts the chill nature of living by the beach, which is as relaxing as it sounds.
This was the song that kickstarted a lifelong music career.
Besides writing a few bestselling books, Buffett has also appeared in movies and television.
He also had a brief Broadway run with a musical titled “Escape to Margaritaville”.
He released nearly 30 music albums, all with distinct country, folk and tropical tunes.
He also used his laid-back image to venture into the business world, launching a line of resorts, restaurants and retail stores.
His signature song spent 22 weeks on the Billboard chart.
There are 52 weeks in a year, so this was an incredible achievement.
According to Forbes, Buffett hit billionaire status earlier this year.
Many have expressed their condolences.
US President Joe Biden paid tribute to the singer’s memory on X, calling Buffett “a poet of paradise”.
A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffett was an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another.
We had the honor to meet and get to know Jimmy over the years, and he was in life as he was performing on stage – full of goodwill and…
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 2, 2023
He wrote, “We had the honour to meet and get to know Jimmy over the years, and he was in life as he was performing on stage – full of goodwill and joy, using his gift to bring people together.”
Bill Clinton, one of the former presidents of the United States, tweeted, “Jimmy Buffett’s music brought happiness to millions of people.
Jimmy Buffett’s music brought happiness to millions of people. I’ll always be grateful for his kindness, generosity, and great performances through the years, including at the White House in 2000. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and legion of devoted fans.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) September 2, 2023
“I’ll always be grateful for his kindness, generosity, and great performances through the years, including the White House in 2000.”
Other big shots in the music industry have shared their fond memories of Buffett.
Singer Sammy Hagar labelled Buffett “the Godfather of lifestyle”.
1/2 The Godfather of lifestyle. Jimmy started it all and took it farther than anyone. He taught us all how to live. Jimmy taught us all how to wear shorts, flip-flops and a worn out T-shirt, walk on stage, as well as your favorite restaurant, and be comfortable. pic.twitter.com/ekmVW6VDed
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) September 2, 2023
He tweeted, “He taught us all how to live. Jimmy taught us all how to wear shorts, flip-flops and a worn-out T-shirt, walk on stage, as well as your favourite restaurant, and be comfortable.
“Jimmy turned us onto Corona beer, tequila, and margaritas. The first time I met Jimmy he said, ‘Oh you’re the guy that’s trying to get my job.’ And I said, ‘Of course, we all want to be you.’
“Rest in paradise, Mr Buffett.”
Netizens have also sent their condolences through the comments on Buffett’s social media pages.
Many reminisced about how his songs shaped their lives, with some quoting song lyrics in his memory.
The iconic “mayor of Margaritaville” will be dearly missed.
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