The Associated Press reports:
Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who popularized beach bum soft rock with the escapist Caribbean-flavored song “Margaritaville” and turned that celebration of loafing into an empire of restaurants, 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 statement posted to Buffett’s official website and social media pages said late Friday. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
The statement did not say where Buffett died or give a cause of death. 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.
The New York Times reports:
Peopled with pirates, smugglers, beach bums and barflies, Mr. Buffett’s genial, self-deprecating songs conjured a world of sun, saltwater and nonstop parties animated by the calypso country-rock of his limber Coral Reefer Band. His live shows abounded with singalong anthems and festive tropical iconography, making him a perennial draw on the summer concert circuit, where he built an ardent fan base akin to the Grateful Dead’s Dead Heads.
Mr. Buffett proved to be a shrewd manager of his considerable fortune; in 2023, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion. Mr. Buffett was also an accomplished author, one of only six writers, along with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and William Styron, to top both The Times’s fiction and nonfiction best-seller lists. By the time he wrote “Tales from Margaritaville” (1989), the first of his three No. 1 best sellers, he had abandoned the hedonistic lifestyle he had previously embraced.
— Jimmy Buffett (@jimmybuffett) September 2, 2023