The man who took a 1977 hit song and turned it into a hugely successful empire, Jimmy Buffett is dead at the age of 76.
The singer-songwriter best known for his iconic hit "Margaritaville" consistently performed 40 to 50 concerts a year over the past five decades, but was forced to cancel his most recent tour after being hospitalized for an undisclosed illness this past May.
A posting to his social media sites said Buffett passed away Friday night surrounded by his friends, family, music and dogs. A statement said, “he lived his life like a song till the very last breath.” No cause of death was given.
Although Buffett became a billionaire through various business ventures, he always considered himself a road performer and said his greatest joy was performing before his millions of faithful fans known as Parrotheads.
In a 2017 interview with Men’s Journal, Buffett was asked what remained on his bucket list before he died. “I have four things: Learn to hang ten. Go to space. Go to Pitcairn Island, where my Buffett ancestors are from. And go to Antartica,” he said.
I remember seeing him back around 1989 in a performance at the then-incomplete Hilton Head High School football stadium. The rumor was that he hated Hilton Head and would never play there, but he did. He actually stayed on Daufuskie Island and they flew him to the site by helicopter. To see the place was packed would be a huge understatement leading to incredible traffic delays after the show.
The singer is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol, two daughters, Savannah and Sarah, and son, Cameron.
REMEMBERING JIMMY BUFFETT is a tribute to his lifetime in music and can be found on the iHeartRadio app.