Jimmy Buffett has passed away at the age of 76. According to an Instagram post, the "Margaritaville" icon was surrounded by friends and family at the time of his death.
"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.” A cause of death was not revealed, but it is known that the artist was in and out of the hospital just a few months ago.
"I had to stop in Boston for a check-up but wound up back in the hospital to address some issues that needed immediate attention. Growing old is not for sissies, I promise you," he shared with parrotheads on May 18th.
Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi on Christmas Day in 1946 and grew up in the port town of Mobile, Alabama. According to the artist's official biography, his father and grandfather traveled to India and Africa on a steamship and would often spin stories of interesting characters that they encountered beyond the Gulf of Mexico. These tales fascinated Buffett, and when he found his first guitar, there was no turning back. While attending college at the University of Southern Mississippi, he learned a few basic guitar chords and formed a band with whom he "busked" on the streets of New Orleans before headlining Bourbon Street clubs six nights a week.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree in history in 1969 and traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to work for Billboard Magazine and "try his luck" at becoming a country-folk singer. Buffett released his first record, "Down To Earth" in 1970, and headed to Key West a year later where he found his true musical calling; "telling the stories of the wanderers, the adventurers, and the forlorn" that filled the streets of the island city.
"Come Monday" hit the charts in 1974 and Buffett began a solo acoustic tour that "never ended." The lively legend would travel from city to city, coast to coast, sharing tropical tales of island life with the world in only a way that Jimmy Buffett could. After 22 weeks on the Billboard Charts in 1977, everyone wanted to be in "Margaritaville" searching for that lost shaker of salt. The single was such an achievement that the artist became a businessman 10 years later with the creation of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Despite decades of success in music and an expansive hospitality franchise, his legacy certainly does not end there.
"After 27 studio albums, New York Times bestselling books, a Broadway play, numerous movie and television appearances, Grammy nominations, and Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards, it was still the music that inspired Jimmy. He was just as likely to pop up and play an impromptu set alone at a Caribbean beach bar as he was to be on stage in front of 30,000 loyal ‘Parrothead' fans."
Enjoy a few "Boat Drinks" and a "Cheeseburger in Paradise" up there for the rest of us!
Rest in peace, Jimmy Buffett.