Jimmy Buffett dead at 76 | Entertainment


Jimmy Buffet dead at 76

Jimmy Buffett, beloved musician and part-time beach bum, died at 76 on Friday.  

Details on the cause of death have not been released. The star rescheduled shows in May due to illness and acknowledged that he had been hospitalized but did not specify the reason. 

His official website said Buffett passed away peacefully, “surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs.” 

Buffett’s “Margaritaville” is easily one of the most iconic pieces of music of all time and has become more than just a song but a mindset. His resorts span from Oregon to Mexico to Florida and see thousands of “Parrotheads” a year. 

His other hits include “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” with Alan Jackson, and “Cheeseburger in Paradise. “Margaritaville” spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 8. 

The idea of Margaritaville came from a “made-up place” in Buffett’s mind and his experiences in Key West, Florida, and having to leave for work, Buffett told the Arizona Republic in 2021. 

“For me, Jimmy’s music brought me through hard times in my life,” Kyla Shoemaker said. Shoemaker is an English/Language Arts teacher at Key West High School and taught me in my sophomore year there. I spoke with her over the phone when the news dropped because I remember her being an avid fan. “Jimmy’s music and storytelling brought people to a place of fun and paradise, regardless of where you were actually listening to him play.”

Shoemaker got the chance to see Buffett perform live multiple times, sometimes traveling to different states. The last show she saw of him was in February 2023 in Key West. The singer/songwriter is who originally influenced Shoemaker to visit the island and eventually move there. 

“My favorite song is ‘Breathe in, breathe out, move on,’” she said, “I keep those lyrics written on my bathroom mirror to read at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. It reminds me that ‘the time is now,’ and to let go of all the negative things and things out of my control.” 

“It’s Five O’Clock in Key West” will be hosted on September 3rd to honor the late artist who branded the island and brought it so much light. Funds will go to the Bahama Village Music Program, a youth program with the intention of providing quality music education to those who wouldn’t receive it otherwise. It is what Buffett would have wanted. 

Buffett influenced people of all ages, including myself. Growing up in Key West made it so that the singer was always somewhere in the back of my mind. I didn’t have to be listening to his music for him to be there, I could look across the street and see the Margaritaville hotel sign. 

When I got the “Jimmy Buffett died” text at two a.m., I was pretty upset. 

I vividly remember listening to his feature on Zac Brown Band’s ”Knee Deep“ when I was around eight or nine. Many might view the song as a corny beach song, but now, at almost 20 years old, I think about it a lot as I live so far away from the place that they are singing about. 

Staple items at almost all of my friends’ houses were signs and posters that said, “It‘s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” On a hot day, I knew I could walk into the Margaritaville Resort lobby and grab myself a water without a question being asked. My best friend Caroline’s favorite shirt is a white Margaritaville one with parrots flying across the front. 

I might be living 17 hours away from Key West now, but Buffett had an influence on more than just the Florida Keys. Buffett loved New Orleans, especially the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In December 2006, he was invited by the New Orleans Saints to sing the national anthem. 

“Jimmy Buffett loved New Orleans; we loved him back,” Nola.com said. 

Jimmy Buffet is the only thing on my mind today. With whatever you are doing today, ask yourself: What would Jimmy Buffet do? 

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