Jimmy Buffett, a singer-songwriter best known for his hit song “Margaritaville,” which was released in 1977, has died. He was 76.
A statement shared on his website and social media late Friday, read, “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.”
A cause of death is not yet known.
Born on Dec. 25, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Buffett went on to pursue a career as a country singer after graduating from college. He started out by working with the cover band The Now Generation before focusing on his solo music.
It wasn’t until the early ’70s that Buffett scored his first record contract and later released his debut album called Down to Earth, though, it didn’t catch many people’s attention.
Soon after, when he moved to Key West, Florida, he adopted the laid-back beach bum persona that he was most recognized for today. Around that time, he signed with ABC-Dunhill Records and released White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean in 1973 – the album that started to put him on the map.
But it wasn’t until he released his sixth album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, in 1977 that he started to attract a mainstream audience. Especially since it included his hit track “Margaritaville.” The following year, he dropped Son of a Son of a Sailor, which included another one of his most successful songs, “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”
In total, Buffett has released dozens of albums over his more than 50-year career, as well as headlined 40-plus concert tours. He had 13 songs reach the Billboard Hot 100 list, including “Margaritaville” making it to the Top 10 Hits.
After seeing what a success his beach-bum image was, Buffett decided to expand his brand, becoming not only a performer but a businessman. He came out with several books, beach-themed clothing, a Margaritaville restaurant chain, hotels and more.
More to come.