Jimmy Buffett Dies at 76

He had Merkel cell carcinoma

Photo: MCCS Spike Call

BY Alex HudsonPublished Sep 2, 2023

Jimmy Buffett, the escapist musician responsible for hits like "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Margaritaville," has died. He was 76.

UPDATE (9/5, 9:45 a.m. ET): Buffett's cause of death was cancer. He had been fighting Merkel cell carcinoma for four years, according to a statement on his website. TMZ reports that this progressed to lymphoma, which was his cause of death. Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare form of cancer that's often caused by sun exposure.

A message posted on his social media accounts reads, "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."

Back in May, he cancelled a show after being hospitalized. At the time, he said in a statement, "Growing old is not for sissies, I promise you."

Buffett was born in Mississippi and grew up in Alabama. He initially began his career as a folk and country artist in the late '60s, but by the mid-'70s, he had found his escapist style incorporating tropical influences and beach-friendly lyrics. His breakthrough hit, "Margaritaville," came out in 1977.

Buffett was also a businessman, launching restaurants, food companies and other ventures with tropical themes.

He was married to his second wife, Jane, from 1977 until his death. They had two daughters, one of whom is radio personality Savannah Buffett.

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