Tropical rock music legend Jimmy Buffett passes away at age 76

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Jimmy Buffett performs for the "Jurassic World" premiere in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/Associated Press.

On Sept. 1, 2023, many woke up to the saddening news of Jimmy Buffett’s passing. According to Jimmy Buffett’s website, he was reported to die of a rare skin cancer called merkel cell carcinoma. He passed in his home in Long Island and was surrounded by many of his loved ones. 

He was born in Mississippi and was raised in Alabama. What got him into music was seeing a fraternity brother in college with a guitar and how many women were drawn to him. After graduation he moved to Nashville and released his first record titled “Down To Earth” in 1970. He is passing as a legend who had a Broadway musical named after him, many television and movie appearances, and a total of 27 studio albums. 

Most people know Buffett for his most popular hit song, “Margaritaville,” which he built an entire business off of. Other more known songs are “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Along with this, he was also an author with a multitude of published works. He wrote things like children’s books, how to play music on ukuleles, and simply about what Margaritaville meant to him.

His lifestyle brand business included the Margaritaville restaurants and resorts. He also created the famous Landshark Beer. Closest to UNLV is the Margaritaville Restaurant located at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, with great food and properly themed cocktails to Buffett. He also created a multitude of retirement communities.

People of all ages have been influenced by Buffett’s music and his fans are known as “Parrotheads.” UNLV senior Jake Gruelle went to one of Buffett’s last concerts in San Diego, California and says that his favorite thing about Jimmy Buffett was that, “Even though he’d sing the same setlist of songs over and over again at his concerts, he would always enjoy himself and perform them like it was his first time ever getting on stage.”

Buffett enjoyed  sailing and relaxing in tropical environments. He also, fittingly, always loved a margarita in his hand. He left behind his wife Jane and his three kids, Savannah, Sarah and Cameron. The family also had two dogs which were both cavalier king charles spaniels. Buffett loved his dogs so much and even wrote a song about them.

He made an impact on both his regular fans and many celebrity colleagues as well. After his passing, many celebrities took to social media to post tributes for him. President Joe Biden tweeted, “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.” Other celebrities who posted were Pitbull, Elton John, Nancy Sinatra, and Alan Jackson. 

The Buffett family requests donations to be made in Jimmy’s honor to the Foundation Singing for Change, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, or the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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