Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who popularized seashore bum mushy rock with the escapist Caribbean-flavored music “Margaritaville” and turned that celebration of loafing into an empire of eating places, resorts and frozen concoctions, has died. He was 76.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” a press release posted to Buffett’s official web site and social media pages mentioned late Friday. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
The assertion didn’t say the place Buffett died or give a explanation for loss of life. Illness had pressured him to reschedule live shows in May and Buffett acknowledged in social media posts that he had been hospitalized, however offered no specifics.
“Margaritaville,” launched on Feb. 14, 1977, rapidly took on a lifetime of its personal, changing into a way of thinking for these ”wastin’ away,” an excuse for a lifetime of low-key enjoyable and escapism for these “growing older, but not up.”
The music is the unhurried portrait of a idler on his entrance porch, watching vacationers sunbathe whereas a pot of shrimp is starting to boil. The signer has a brand new tattoo, a probable hangover and regrets over a misplaced love. Somewhere there’s a misplaced salt shaker.
“What seems like a simple ditty about getting blotto and mending a broken heart turns out to be a profound meditation on the often painful inertia of beach dwelling,” Spin journal wrote in 2021. “The tourists come and go, one group indistinguishable from the other. Waves crest and break whether somebody is there to witness it or not. Everything that means anything has already happened and you’re not even sure when.”
The music — from the album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” — spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 8. The music was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016 for its cultural and historic significance, grew to become a karaoke customary and helped model Key West, Florida, as a definite sound of music and a vacation spot identified the world over.
“There was no such place as Margaritaville,” Buffett told the Arizona Republic in 2021. “It was a made-up place in my mind, basically made up about my experiences in Key West and having to leave Key West and go on the road to work and then come back and spend time by the beach.”
The music quickly impressed eating places and resorts, turning Buffett’s alleged need for the simplicity of island life right into a multimillion model. He landed at No. 13 in Forbes’ America’s Richest Celebrities in 2016 with a internet price of $550 million.
Music critics have been by no means very type to Buffett or his catalogue, together with the sandy beach-side snack bar songs like “Fins,” “Come Monday” and “Cheeseburgers in Paradise.” But his legions of followers, known as “Parrotheads,” frequently turned up for his live shows carrying toy parrots, cheeseburgers, sharks and flamingos on their heads, leis round their necks and loud Hawaiian shirts.
“It’s pure escapism is all it is,” he advised the Republic. “I’m not the first one to do it, nor shall I probably be the last. But I think it’s really a part of the human condition that you’ve got to have some fun. You’ve got to get away from whatever you do to make a living or other parts of life that stress you out. I try to make it at least 50/50 fun to work and so far it’s worked out.”
His particular Gulf Coast mixture of nation, pop, people and rock added devices and tonalities extra generally discovered within the Caribbean, like metal drums. It was a stew of steelpans, trombones and pedal metal guitar. Buffett’s unbelievable ear for hooks and lightweight grooves have been usually overshadowed by his lyrics about fish tacos and sunsets.
Rolling Stone, in a evaluate of Buffett’s 2020 album “Life on the Flip Side,” gave grudging props. “He continues mapping out his surfy, sandy corner of pop music utopia with the chill, friendly warmth of a multi-millionaire you wouldn’t mind sharing a tropically-themed 3 p.m. IPA with, especially if his gold card was on the bar when the last round came.”
Buffett’s evolving model started in 1985 with the opening of a string of Margaritaville-themed shops and eating places in Key West, adopted in 1987 with the primary Margaritaville Café close by. Over the course of the following 20 years, a number of extra of every opened all through Florida, New Orleans and California.
The model has since expanded to dozens of classes, together with resorts, attire and footwear for women and men, a radio station, a beer model, ice tea, tequila and rum, house décor, meals gadgets like salad dressing, Margaritaville Crunchy Pimento Cheese & Shrimp Bites and Margaritaville Cantina Style Medium Chunky Salsa, the Margaritaville at Sea cruise line and eating places, together with Margaritaville Restaurant, JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill.
There additionally was a Broadway-bound jukebox musical, “Escape to Margaritaville,” a romantic comedy during which a singer-bartender known as Sully falls for the much more career-minded Rachel, who’s vacationing with buddies and hanging out at Margaritaville, the resort bar the place Sully works.
James William Buffett was born on Christmas day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and raised within the port city of Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and went from busking the streets of New Orleans to enjoying six nights per week at Bourbon Street golf equipment.
He launched his first file, “Down To Earth,” in 1970 and issued seven extra on a daily yearly clip, along with his 1974 music “Come Monday” from his fourth studio album “Living and Dying in ¾ Time,” peaking at No. 30. Then got here “Margaritaville.”
He carried out on greater than 50 studio and dwell albums, usually accompanied by his Coral Reefer Band, and was continuously on tour. He earned two Grammy Award nominations, two Academy of Country Music Awards and a Country Music Association Award.
Buffett was truly in Austin, Texas, when the inspiration struck for “Margaritaville.” He and a good friend had stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant earlier than she dropped him on the airport for a flight house to Key West, in order that they obtained to consuming margaritas.
“And I kind of came up with that idea of this is just like Margarita-ville,” Buffett advised the Republic. “She kind of laughed at that and put me on the plane. And I started working on it.”
He wrote some on the airplane and completed it whereas driving down the Keys. “There was a wreck on the bridge,” he mentioned. “And we obtained stopped for about an hour so I completed the music on the Seven Mile Bridge, which I believed was apropos.”
Buffett additionally was the writer of quite a few books together with “Where Is Joe Merchant?” and “A Pirate Looks At Fifty” and added motion pictures to his resume as co-producer and co-star of an adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s novel “Hoot.”
Buffett is survived by his spouse, Jane; daughters, Savannah and Sarah; and son, Cameron.
AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton contributed from Los Angeles.
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