CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – Legendary singer-songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, known for his iconic song, “Margaritaville”, has passed away.
A statement was posted to his website and social media channels Saturday morning saying, “Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs.” The statement went on to say, “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
Jimmy Buffett was 76 years old. The statement on the website did not say where Buffett died or the cause of his death.
According to the Associated Press, illness had forced him to reschedule concerts in May and Buffett acknowledged in social media posts that he had been hospitalized, but provided no specifics as to why.
“Margaritaville” was released on February 14, 1977, and quickly took on a life of its own, becoming a state of mind for those ”wastin’ away,” which is an excuse for a life of low-key fun and escapism for those “growing older, but not up.”
The song is the portrait of a loafer on his front porch, watching tourists sunbathe while a pot of shrimp is boiling. The signer has a new tattoo, a likely hangover, and regrets over a lost love, and somewhere there is a misplaced salt shaker.
The song spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at Number eight. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016 for its cultural and historic significance, and became a karaoke standard, helped brand Key West, Florida, as a distinct sound of music, and a destination known the world over.
James Buffett was born on Christmas day in 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and was raised in the port town of Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and then went from busking the streets of New Orleans to playing six nights a week at Bourbon Street clubs.
Buffett was in Austin, Texas, when the inspiration struck for “Margaritaville.” He and a friend had stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant before she dropped him at the airport for a flight home to Key West, so they drank margaritas. He wrote some on the plane and finished it while he was driving down the Keys.
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