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Jimmy Buffett, ‘Margaritaville’ icon, dies at 76 after illness

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  • Staff Report 

Jimmy Buffett, the famed singer-songwriter best known for his Caribbean-flavored hit “Margaritaville,” passed away at 76.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The song, released in 1977, became a signature for Buffett and inspired an empire of Margaritaville-themed restaurants, resorts, and other ventures.

Beyond its commercial success, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spending 22 weeks on the chart, “Margaritaville” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016. It epitomized a lifestyle of relaxation and escapism, endearing Buffett to legions of fans, fondly referred to as Parrotheads.

A statement from Buffett’s official channels shared that he “passed away peacefully… surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs” but did not specify a cause of death.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Buffett’s influence on music and culture was vast, as he turned a simple song about beach dwelling into a brand worth millions. The “Margaritaville” empire, which started with themed stores and cafes in the mid-1980s, has since expanded to include a wide range of ventures from apparel to beverages.

Buffett’s unique blend of country, pop, folk, and rock incorporated Caribbean sounds, making him a distinctive figure in the music industry. Despite critics often being split on his work, Buffett’s concerts were massive attractions, drawing fans adorned in vibrant Hawaiian shirts and quirky accessories. He leaves behind a legacy of easy living and a vast brand that encapsulates the spirit of “Margaritaville.”

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