NEW YORK — Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, best known for the hIt song “Margaritaville” in 1977 has died. He was 76.
According to a statement posted to Buffett's official website and social media pages late Friday September 1:
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” the statement said. “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. 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 spent 22 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100.
According to the Associated Press, 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 singer has a new tattoo, a likely hangover and regrets over a lost love. Somewhere there is a misplaced salt shaker.
In 2021 Spin magazine wrote "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,” and that “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.”
Buffet told the Arizona Republic in 2021 that “There was no such place as Margaritaville," he said “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.
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.