Jimmy Buffett, known for his beach bum soft rock music, has died. He was 76.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of Sept. 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” read a statement posted to the singer’s social media pages late Friday. “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. Buffett had rescheduled concerts in May due to illness and noted on social media that he had been hospitalized. No other specifics were given.
Buffett released “Margaritaville” on Feb. 14, 1977, and the song quickly became a cultural phenomena, encouraging fans to live a low-key lifestyle of “growing older, but not up.”
“Margaritaville” was off his album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, and spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 8. It was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 2016 for its cultural and historic significance.
“There was no such place as Margaritaville,” Buffett told the Arizona Republic in 2021. “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 would go on to inspire restaurants and resorts, giving Buffett a multimillion brand. With a net worth of $1 billion, he landed at No. 18 on Forbes’ list of the Richest Celebrities of All Time.
In addition to his music, Buffett was the author of a few books including Where Is Joe Merchant? and A Pirate Looks At Fifty. He was also a co-producer and co-star of an adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s novel, Hoot, and worked on the Broadway jukebox musical, Escape to Margaritaville.
Buffett, born James William Buffett, was born on Christmas day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He is survived by his wife, Jane, his daughters, Savannah and Sarah, and son, Cameron.