Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, whose laid-back, good-humored, often tropically-themed brand of country-laced pop spawned a lucrative one-man business empire, died on Friday.
Meanwhile, he was aged 76 but his cause of death was not immediately released.
Buffett’s death was confirmed through a statement on his official website: “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.”
Over the course of a 50-year professional career, Buffett collected just one top-10 pop hit: “Margaritaville,” a marimba-laced, tequila-soaked paean to kicking back on the beach in the aftermath of a breakup, which rose to No. 8 on the national charts.
But Buffett’s boozy, punny, often marijuana-scented variety of tropical good-time music struck an abiding chord with an army of enthusiastic fans, who dubbed themselves “parrotheads” in reference to the colorful avian headgear they sported at the musician’s sold-out concerts.
That faithful audience made Buffett a consistent record seller, even absent major radio hits. Active in the studio for five decades, he released four platinum and eight gold studio albums; his 1985 hits compilation “Songs You Know by Heart” was certified for sales of 7 million copies, while the 1992 boxed set “Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads” rang up 4 million units.
From the early ‘90s on, after establishing himself on ABC and MCA Records, Buffett released his music entrepreneurially via his Margaritaville and Mailboat imprints.