News of the ‘Margaritaville’ singer-songwriter’s death was confirmed with a statement on his website, which read: “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.”
An officially obituary on his website confirmed that the cause of death was Merkel cell carcinoma, which he had been battling for four years.
Tributes quickly poured in from across the entertainment world from figures like Elton John, Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson and LL Cool J. President Joe Biden also paid tribute in an official White House statement which described Buffet as an “American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another”.
McCartney has now paid tribute in his own statement, reflecting on one memory which demonstrated his late friend’s kindness and generosity.
“It seems that so many wonderful people are leaving this world, and now Jimmy Buffett is one of them,” the Beatles legend began a social media post shared yesterday (September 2). “I’ve known Jimmy for some time and found him to be one of the kindest and most generous people.”
He continued: “I remember once on holiday when I had forgotten to bring my guitar and was itching to play. He said he would get me one of his, but I said, ‘I’m left-handed’. So, Jimmy had his roadie restring one of his guitars which he loaned me for the duration of the holiday. He then followed this act of generosity by giving me my own beautiful left-handed guitar that had been made by one of his guitar-making pals. It’s a beautiful instrument, and every time I play it now it’ll remind me of what a great man Jimmy was.
“He had a most amazing lust for life and a beautiful sense of humour. When we swapped tales about the past his were so exotic and lush and involved sailing trips and surfing and so many exciting stories that it was hard for me to keep up with him.
“Right up to the last minute his eyes still twinkled with a humour that said, ‘I love this world and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it’.
McCartney added that “so many of us” will “miss Jimmy and his tremendous personality”, and his “love for us all, and for mankind as a whole”.
He went on to celebrate his “songwriting and vocal ability”, sharing: “If someone made an interesting remark he repeated it in his gorgeous Louisiana drawl and said, ‘That’s a good idea for a song’. Most times it didn’t take too long for that song to appear. I was very happy to have played on one of his latest songs called ‘My Gummy Just Kicked In’. We had a real fun session and he played me some of his new songs. One, in particular, I loved was the song, ‘Bubbles Up’. And I told him that not only was the song great but the vocal was probably the best I’ve heard him sing ever.
“He turned a diving phrase that is used to train people underwater into a metaphor for life when you’re confused and don’t know where you are just follow the bubbles – they’ll take you up to the surface and straighten you out right away.”
The artist concluded by sharing that Buffet was a “very special man and friend”, and that it was a “great privilege to get to know you and love you. Bubbles up, my friend”.
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.