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Legendary singer Jimmy Buffett passed away Friday, September 1. He was 76.
Buffett, known for his hits such as “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger In Paradise,” “Come Monday,” and countless other songs over a 50-year career, was beloved by millions.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs,” his social media accounts stated Friday evening. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
— Jimmy Buffett (@jimmybuffett) September 2, 2023
Buffett’s first major hit, “Margaritaville,” helped launch him into stardom in 1977. A devoted fanbase known as “Parrotheads” soon developed, admiring his laid-back, beach bum aesthetic and fun-loving music.
The song spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached number 8 on that chart. The inspiration for the song, and much of Buffett’s music, came from the Florida Keys.
“There was no such place as Margaritaville,” Buffett said in 2021, according to The Associated Press.“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.”
Buffett first visited the Florida Keys in 1971 with fellow singer and friend Jerry Jeff Walker. The bartender gave Buffett a beer on the house at the first bar the friends stopped at and”Jimmy saw the freebie and the bar’s ambiance as omens of great things to come,” according to his company’s website.
“When I found Key West and the Caribbean, I wasn’t really successful yet,” Buffett told The Washington Post in 1989. “But I found a lifestyle, and I knew that whatever I did would have to work around my lifestyle.”
Buffett’s success was not limited to music alone. He was able to parlay his music into a lucrative career in restaurants, bars, merchandise, and more. His net worth at the time of his death was reportedly roughly $1 billion.
The “Volcano” singer once described his music as “pure escapism.”
“I’m not the first one to do it, nor shall I probably be the last,” he told The Republic in an interview. “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.”
He was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Christmas Day in 1946. He is survived by his wife, Jane, and three children, Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron.
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