Jimmy Buffett death: ‘Margaritaville’ singer dies aged 76

Jimmy Buffet  (Getty Images)
Jimmy Buffet (Getty Images)

Jimmy Buffett, the country pop singer-songwriter best known for his 1977 hit “Margaritaville”, has died at the age of 76.

A statement posted to his website and social media channels on Saturday (2 September) said: “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.”

Mississippi-born Buffet first started playing guitar on the streets of New Orleans, before moving to Nashville where he got a job at Billboard Magazine and tried to make it as a singer.

In 1977, he made it when his song “Margaritaville”, a homage to beach life, catapulted him to fame. It spawned various business endeavours for him over the years, including a resort, retirement communities, a restaurant chain and a beer brand, all businesses that helped make him a billionaire.

The song also inspired his 1989 bestseller Tales from Margaritaville and other novels.

Buffet was a regular on late-night TV over the decades, and also had a stint as an actor, appearing in 2015’s Jurassic World and TV shows such as Blue Bloods and Hawaii Five-O.

The ever-touring musician was loved by fans for his laid back attitude and good-time energy. His hardcore fans are known as Parrot Heads, because they would wear parrot-themed headwear at his shows.

Buffet’s other hits over his 50-year career included “Come Monday” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise”.

He was treated in hospital earlier this year for an unspecified illness, prompting him to cancel concerts.

Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol, and three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron.