Renowned singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, best known for his iconic hit “Margaritaville,” has passed away at the age of 76. The beloved musician had been facing undisclosed health issues since 2022 and peacefully departed on a Friday, surrounded by his family, close friends, and cherished music, as well as his beloved dogs, according to a statement released on his official website and social media accounts.
Buffett, who lived his life like a lyrical journey, will be sorely missed by countless fans and admirers around the world. The statement did not provide specific details regarding the cause or location of his passing.
Buffett leaves behind his wife, Jane Slagsvol, and their three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron. His struggle with health concerns became evident last year when he was hospitalized, resulting in the cancellation of several scheduled performances. In May and June of 2023, he was forced to cancel additional concerts due to pressing medical issues that required immediate attention.
Throughout his illustrious career, Jimmy Buffett crafted numerous pop culture classics in the 1970s and 1980s, including hits like “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” and “Pencil Thin Mustache.”
Born on Christmas Day in 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Buffett spent his formative years in Mobile, Alabama. He discovered his passion for music while at Auburn University, subsequently continuing his education at Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1969.
Buffett initially ventured into the world of country music, releasing his debut country album, “Down to Earth,” in 1970. However, during a transformative trip to Key West in 1971 with fellow country musician Jerry Jeff Walker, Buffett’s musical focus shifted towards the enchanting realm of Calypso folk-pop.
In addition to his music, Buffett diversified his interests into the world of business. He opened his first Margaritaville store in Key West in 1985, followed by a Margaritaville Café two years later. This marked the beginning of a thriving business empire encompassing apparel, resorts, restaurants, beer, casinos, a radio station, and retirement communities. In 2017, Forbes estimated the Margaritaville global lifestyle brand’s development pipeline at over $4.8 billion, with annual sales exceeding $1.5 billion. Buffett’s net worth was estimated at $1 billion as of June 2023.
Beyond his musical career, Buffett ventured into various creative endeavors, including launching Margaritaville Records in the early 1990s, penning several fiction books, and making contributions to film and television through musical compositions and cameos.