“Margaritaville” Singer Jimmy Buffett Dies At Age 76

Jimmy Buffett

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Jimmy Buffett, The Singer Beloved For His Songs About Life On The Beach, Dies “Peacefully” At 76 Years Old

The music world is mourning the death of Jimmy Buffett, who is most well-known for taking his song “Margaritaville” and turning it into his legacy.

The song inspired the creation of everything from kitchen blenders to full-on resorts. This made Buffett a beloved household name to people around the world.

Jimmy Buffett
Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty Images

Buffett was born on Christmas Day in 1946. He began his music career in the 1960s, starting out as a country artist. While country music was always home to Buffett, his songs were described as everything from folk rock to calypso in style.

How “Margaritaville” Came To Be Jimmy’s Signature Song

Buffett released “Margaritaville” in 1977. He wrote the entire song on his own. It was inspired by a drink he discovered at the Lung’s Cocina del Sur restaurant in Austin, Texas.

It was apparently a good drink, because it led Buffett to write almost all of “Margaritaville” in one night at his friend’s house in Austin. Fittingly, Buffett finished the rest of the song while he was in Key West. At that time, Key West was experiencing its first tourist surge, and was just waiting for a tune like “Margaritaville.”

“Margaritaville” went on to claim the eighth spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also a #1 hit on the Easy Listening chart. It reached the 13th position on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Even after all this time, it’s Buffett’s highest-charting solo single.

As mentioned previously, Buffett adopted the “Margaritaville” brand and made it his empire. Just a few of the things with the “Margaritaville” branding include:

  • A radio station on SiriusXM
  • A casual dining restaurant
  • Margarita mix
  • Chicken wings
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Beach furniture
  • Key lime pie filling mixes
  • Beach cruiser bikes
  • Over 30 resorts, including locations in Nashville, Pigeon Forge, Key West, and more

Jimmy Buffett’s Long-Lasting Country Music Connection

Over the years, Buffett released many other hits, including “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Trip Around the Sun,” and “Son of a Sailor.” Many know him for his feature on Alan Jackson‘s 2003 single “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”

The song has Jackson singing about wanting to have a good time at the end of a long day, since in theory, “it’s five o’clock somewhere.” He gets to a point where he asks, “At a moment like this, I can’t help but wonder, what would Jimmy Buffett do?


That’s when Buffett chimes in, going “Funny you should ask Alan,” before singing the song’s iconic chorus.

“Five O’Clock Somewhere” reached the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. It also peaked at the 17th position on the Billboard Hot 100.

How Did Jimmy Buffett Die?

Buffett remained active as a performer, though health issues interfered with his plans to tour in recent years.

In September 2022, Buffett canceled and postponed multiple shows due to health issues and a hospitalization. Then in May 2023, he announced the postponement of a show in Charleston, citing a recent hospitalization as the reason.

He shared an update on May 19, saying:

“Thank you for the outpouring of support and well wishes,” Buffett said. “I head home tomorrow for a while, and then will go for a fishing trip with old friends, along with paddling and sailing and get myself back in good shape. Once I am in shape, we will look at the when’s and where’s of shows.” 

Sadly, Buffett passed away on September 1, 2023 at the age of 76. The news was shared in a statement on his social media pages, which read:

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs. He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”


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There is no doubt how much Buffett will be missed.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all of Buffett’s loved ones during this sad time. May he rest in peace…

Jimmy Buffett was devoted to philanthropy. He founded two charitable organizations, Singing for Change and Save the Manatee Club. He also had a company called Last Mango Boatworks that sells apparel and accessories. Items sold from Last Mango benefit Singing for Change and Freedom Fighter Outdoors. Learn more about Jimmy’s philanthropic efforts or donate to one of the above-mentioned organizations here.