Jimmy Buffett mourned by Elton John, Paul McCartney, Kenny Chesney – USA TODAY

The death of singer-songwriter – and captain of “Margaritaville” industry – Jimmy Buffett, at age 76, has many musicians, celebrities and others singing his praises.
Buffett, who released more than 30 albums and wrote 7 books, died Sept. 1, according to a statement on his official website and social media pages.
Kenny Chesney, who had Buffett join him on a remake of Buffett’s “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” on Chesney’s 2018 album “Songs for the Saints,” posted a video Saturday morning from the beach in Key West, Florida, singing Buffett’s song “A Pirate Looks at Forty” on Instagram.
“So goodbye Jimmy. Thanks for your friendship and the songs I will carry in my heart forever. Sail On Sailor 🦜🌴🌊,” posted Chesney who had appeared on the title track of Buffett’s 2004 release “License to Chill.” Chesney, Clint Black, Alan Jackson and Toby Keith also joined Buffett on “Hey Good Lookin’,” which is the first track on that album.
Jimmy Buffett:‘Margaritaville’ musician, mogul who lived life ‘like a song,’ dies at 76
President Biden called Buffett “a poet of paradise” and “an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another,” in a post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter. “We had the honor to meet and get to know Jimmy over the years, and he was in life as he was performing on stage – full of goodwill and joy, using his gift to bring people together.”
Hillary Clinton reposted on X, the statement from Buffett’s family posted on social media adding, “Fair winds and following seas, dear Jimmy.”
Former president Bill Clinton recalled Buffett’s performance at the White House in 2000 in his post. “Jimmy Buffett’s music brought happiness to millions of people. I’ll always be grateful for his kindness, generosity, and great performances through the years,” he said. “My thoughts are with his family, friends, and legion of devoted fans.”
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Gwen Graham, a former U.S. representative from Florida, reminded that Buffett helped create the “Save the Manatee” club with her father former senator and Florida governor Bob Graham. “Jimmy cared. And did so much good work,” she posted. “He lives on not only through his music but through the manatees.”
Elton John remembered “Jimmy Buffett was a unique and treasured entertainer. His fans adored him and he never let them down,” he said in an Instagram story. “This is the saddest of news. A lovely man gone way too soon. Condolences to (his wife) Jane and the family from (my husband) David (Furnish) and me.”
Paul McCartney recalled, in a post, how Buffett loaned him a guitar and then gave him one as a gift. He also said he had collaborated on one of Buffett’s last songs, “My Gummy Just Kicked In.”
“He had a most amazing lust for life and a beautiful sense of humour,” McCartney posted. “When we swapped tales about the past his were so exotic and lush and involved sailing trips and surfing and so many exciting stories that it was hard for me to keep up with him. … So many of us will miss Jimmy and his tremendous personality. His love for us all, and for mankind as a whole.”
Alan Jackson, who teamed up with Buffett on the Grammy-winning song, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” posted some lyrics from “Boats to Build,” a duet he appeared on from Buffett’s 2004 “License to Chill” album.
Brian Wilson, who co-founded the Beach Boys in 1961, evoked one of Wilson’s songs in a remembrance post: “Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett.”
Photographer Danny Clinch posted a photo of Buffett and told about its origin. “Jimmy wandered backstage near my portrait spot at Bonnaroo and was kind enough to sit for portrait,” he posted on X. “Many people gathered around so we invited them to join him – he loved it and so did we! Nothing like spontaneity and going with the flow! What a memory!.”
Political journalist and media personality Ed Krassenstein recalled how “It’s impossible to have lived in America over the past 50 years and not have heard Jimmy Buffett’s music, whether it be ‘Margarittaville,’ ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’, ‘Come Monday’ or any of his other 13 hits that made the Billboard Hot 100.”
After misspelling “Margaritaville,” he went on to note that it is “the most lucrative song ever written,” likely referring to the brand that spawned a restaurant chain, tequila, clothing and food.
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David Letterman’s official Facebook account posted a clip of Buffett’s appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman” of him performing “Distantly In Love” and “Come Monday.” Buffett told Letterman he was down and out and depressed, living in a Howard Johnson’s when he wrote the song, which became his first Top 40 single when it released in 1974. “It hit and I paid the rent and got my dog out of the pound … and the rest is history,” Buffett said.
Melanie Young of the magazine Living Blues, posted a video of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan singing “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” and, in a separate post, an exchange in which Bob Dylan mentioned his respect for Buffett, naming him as among his favorite songwriters. He evoked the songs “Death of an Unpopular Poet,” and “He Went to Paris,” both of which appeared on Buffett’s 1973 album, “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean.”
The quote is legit, according to American Songwriter magazine.
Author Don Winslow (“City of Dreams”) …. posted a clip of Buffett singing “Margaritaville,” and stated, “RIP LEGEND.”
Author Alan Paul (“One Way Out”) posted a picture of Jimmy Buffett with Warren Buffett, taken by George Lange, in which the two changed clothes. “Sail on Jimmy, and thanks for all you did for music and musicians (and Jose Cuervo, who should have given you a cut of the brand),” he said.
By the way, the two Buffetts were not related, but they were friends and the singer-songwriter owned Berkshire Hathaway stock, too, The Wall Street Journal reported. The “Margaritaville’ songwriter was also a billionaire – though far below Warren Buffett’s status ($121.1 billion, according to Forbes).
Forbes also listed Buffett “among the world’s highest-earning musicians this year, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion, including $570 million from touring and recording, a music catalog valued around $50 million and $140 million in planes, homes and (Berkshire Hathaway) shares,” the Journal reported. “He once wrote a song about buying Berkshire Hathaway stock, ‘when it was cheap’.”
Rolling Stone senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern posted a clip from the film “Jurassic World,” in which Buffett has a cameo, grabbing cocktails while others flee a flock of swooping pterodactyls.
Musician Sammy Hagar, who’s created his own lifestyle brands à la Buffett, recalled in an Instagram post how “Jimmy turned us onto Corona beer, tequila, and margaritas. The first time I met Jimmy he said ‘Oh you’re the guy that’s trying to get my job’ and I said, ‘Of course, we all want to be you.’ Rest in paradise, Mr. Buffett.”
Blake Shelton posted he was “heart broken” about Buffett’s passing. “What an incredible talent and man. His songs will live on forever. I’ll bet most of y’all don’t know that he wrote the theme song for @BarmageddonUSA for me about 2 years ago.”
“The pirate has passed. RIP Jimmy Buffett. Tremendous influence on so many of us,” posted Toby Keith, who included a pair of pictures of himself with Buffett. He had joined in on duets “Too Drunk to Karaoke” on Buffett’s 2013 “Songs from St. Somewhere” album and “Piece of Work” from 2004’s “License to Chill.”
Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers on Instagram recalled a request for tickets to a show from Buffett. “I called him back and hooked up tickets and backstage passes. I could see him (slightly incognito) in the balcony during the show. He didn’t come backstage. Hope he enjoyed the show,” he said. “That was the closest I came to meeting him but he was such a ubiquitous figure where I grew up, I felt like I almost knew him.”
Hood’s father David Hood, a bass player and co-founder of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio played on two of Buffet’s albums, he continued. “When they recorded Coconut Telegraph in 1980, he had an entire tiki bar set up in studio w bartender making drinks for the band as they recorded. Guess you could say he was the real deal. (Method actor).”
ABC News senior national affairs correspondent Deborah Roberts shared she was “So saddened by the loss of a sunny and happy voice in the music world. Jimmy Buffett is dead at 76. You can’t drink a margarita without thinking of him and his hit song “Margaritaville”. He brought joy and a beach vibe to so many of us. RIP.”
Historian Michael Beschloss posted a portrait of Buffett.
Vanity Fair magazine reposed a 1998 column featuring Buffett in which he said his life motto was “Never forget to duck.”
Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor venue in Columbia, Maryland, noted Buffett’s passing by remembering how “for 45 years, Jimmy Buffett turned Merriweather Post Pavilion into Maryland’s own personal slice of Margaritaville,” the venue posted. “With 48 shows on our stage, Jimmy played Merriweather more than any other artist. For many fans his shows were an annual pilgrimage, and we’re honored to be indelibly linked in their memories.”
Entertainment giant Live Nation recalled how “No one did music, or life, quite like Jimmy Buffett. His laid-back, island vibes brought his fans endless joy through his music and live performances. Sending a heartfelt farewell to the music legend.”
Follow Mike Snider on X and Threads: @mikesnider & mikegsnider.
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