US singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett has died at the age of 76.
The news of his death was confirmed in a statement on his website. “Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1 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.”
The cause of Buffett’s death hasn’t been officially confirmed, but reports have emerged suggesting he had skin cancer and lymphoma. He had spent time in hospital in recent months.
Tributes were paid across the entertainment world, including by Elton John, who said Buffett was “a unique and treasured entertainer” who had “gone way too soon”.
Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett pic.twitter.com/9DUqbe8Hmf
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) September 2, 2023
“Rest in power @jimmybuffett I’m glad we had time to vibe,” wrote the rapper LL Cool J.
“You were and always will be a Truly inspiring human.”
Rest in power @jimmybuffett I’m glad we had time to vibe. You were and always will be a Truly inspiring human. 🙏🏾❤️🕊️
— LLCOOLJ (@llcoolj) September 2, 2023
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden also paid tribute. In an official White House statement, he wrote: “A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffett was an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another.”
He continued, “His witty, wistful songs celebrate a uniquely American cast of characters and seaside folkways, weaving together an unforgettable musical mix of country, folk, rock, pop, and calypso into something uniquely his own.”
Buffett was best known for his ’70s hit ‘Margaritaville’, which appeared on his 1977 album ‘Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes’ and spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Prior to his music career, he worked for music publication Billboard.
He was also known for the hits ‘Fins’, ‘Come Monday’ and ‘Son Of A Son Of A Sailor’ and released 20 albums throughout his career and confirmed earlier this year that he had recorded new music. He was still performing regularly with his Coral Reefer band up until earlier this year, when he was forced to cancel shows back in May following his hospitalisation.
In a post on Facebook, he promised to make it up to fans once he was “in shape”.
“I think playing is as therapeutic for me as it is for fans to listen and sing along,” he said.
Some of his songs appeared in a musical, Escape To Margaritaville, which debuted on Broadway in 2018.
He is survived by his wife Jane and their three children.