Jimmy Buffett, the famed musician and billionaire, has died at age 76. Here are 10 photos of the 'Margaritaville' crooner throughout his life.

Jimmy Buffett performs at a festival in 1982.
Jimmy Buffett performs at a festival in 1982.Bettman/Getty Images
  • Jimmy Buffett died Friday surrounded by his family, friends, and dogs, his website announced.

  • The "Margaritaville" singer, who co-owned the synonymous chain, reached billionaire status in 2023.

  • Buffett, 76, was adored by his fans, known as Parrotheads, for singing the glory of a laidback lifestyle.

Jimmy Buffett, the singer behind "Margaritaville" and the eponymous restaurant chain, died Friday at age 76.

His official website confirmed his death in a statement: "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."

Buffett was a musician and businessman whose decades-long career spanned several industries. In addition to music, Buffett was a restaurateur, novelist, and worked on two musicals.

Here are 10 photos of his life.

Jimmy Buffett was born James William Buffett on Christmas day 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Jimmy Buffett photographed circa 1970.
Jimmy Buffett photographed circa 1970.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Though he was born in Mississippi, Buffett was raised by his parents, James Delaney Buffett and Mary Loriane, mainly in the port city of Mobile, Alabama, on the Gulf Coast.

According to his biography on his website, Buffett was heavily influenced by the tales of travels of his grandfather, a steamship captain, and his father, who was a member of the Army Corps of Engineers.

"For young Jimmy, the Gulf of Mexico was the doorway to a world of adventure where the characters he heard about in his grandfather's stories were waiting to be discovered," his biography on the website reads. "It only took a guitar to take him off course from the life his parents had imagined for him."

While studying at the University of Southern Mississippi, Buffett picked up the guitar after his college fraternity brother got attention from women for playing the instrument, Billboard reported. The outlet added he began busking on New Orleans streets and playing six nights a week at Bourbon Street clubs.

After graduation, he spent a year working as a correspondent for Billboard Magazine in Nashville before trying his luck as a country folk singer.

His first debut album "Down To Earth," was released in 1970. Buffett went on to put out seven more records before striking gold with "Margaritaville."

Jimmy Buffett poses for a photo in his sailboat circa 1975 in Key West, Florida.
Jimmy Buffett poses for a photo in his sailboat circa 1975 in Key West, Florida.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Buffett released seven more records after "Down To Earth" on an annual basis, The Associated Press reports.

Before "Margaritaville," his most successful track was the 1974 song "Come Monday," from his fourth studio album "Living and Dying in ¾ Time," which peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1977, Buffett came up with the idea for "Margaritaville" while drinking margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in Austin, Texas.

Jimmy Buffett photographed in New York in August 1977.
Jimmy Buffett photographed in New York in August 1977.Michael Putland/Getty Images

Buffett's breakthrough success came in 1977 with his album, "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," featuring his signature song "Margaritaville." It remains his best-selling album.

According to the AP, Buffett told the Republic he came up with the idea for "Margaritaville" while sipping on margaritas with a friend at a Mexican restaurant in Austin, Texas, waiting to board a flight to Key West, Florida.

"I kind of came up with that idea of this is just like Margarita-ville," Buffett said. "She kind of laughed at that and put me on the plane. And I started working on it."

He added that he finished the track on the drive down to the Keys after landing.

"There was a wreck on the bridge," Buffett said. "And we got stopped for about an hour so I finished the song on the Seven Mile Bridge, which I thought was apropos."

"Margaritaville" catapulted Buffett to national success.

Jimmy Buffett performing on "Saturday Night Life" on May 13, 1978.
Jimmy Buffett performing on "Saturday Night Life" on May 13, 1978.NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The track, which Buffett's website describes as a "laid-back anthem about escapism and life in the tropics," spent 22 weeks on the Billboard chart and peaked at number eight.

In 2023, "Margaritaville" was inducted into the Library of Congress.


That same year, he married Jane Slagsvol after the pair met during Spring Break.

Jimmy Buffet and his wife Jane Slagsvol in 2001.
Jimmy Buffett and his wife Jane in 2001.George De Sota/Getty Images

Buffett told Time Magazine in August 1998 that he met Jane Slagsvol in Key West more than two decades earlier when she was a University of South Carolina student on Spring Break. Buffett said Slagsvol "made a lasting impression" on him, and Slagsvol later left school and moved in with Buffett.

The pair tied the knot in 1977 but separated in the early 1980s when Slagsvol got overwhelmed by the party lifestyle. She and Buffett reunited in 1991.

"I'd been with Jimmy since I was child, through the craziest times, and I didn't have a clue who I was. So I left. I got sober," Slagsvol told Time Magazine.

Before Slagsvol, Buffett was married to Margie Washichek from 1969 to 1972 before the two divorced, according to "Today."

Buffett and Slagsvol went on to have three children: Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron.

People reported the couple's oldest daughter, Savannah, was born in June 1979 before welcoming their second daughter, Sarah, in April 1992. They adopted their son Cameron, who was born in 1994.

In 1985, Buffett took the success of "Margaritaville" and used it to launch a business empire.

Jimmy Buffett performing in Mountain View, California on June 15, 1991.
Jimmy Buffett performing in Mountain View, California on June 15, 1991.Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect

Buffett opened his first Margaritaville store in Key West, Florida, in 1985. Soon after, he launched several other stores and restaurants before opening his first Margaritaville Café in 1987.

The company became a successful restaurant chain with locations across the US and the Caribbean, including Atlantic City, New Orleans, Nashville, Turks and Caicos, Las Vegas, Jamaica, Orlando, and the Cayman Islands.

Buffett has written a number of books, including a children's book with his eldest daughter.

Jimmy Buffett and his daughter, Savannah, in June 2015.
Jimmy Buffett and his daughter, Savannah, in June 2015.Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

In addition to being a musician and businessman, Buffett is also a writer with seven books under his name. He co-authored his first book, "The Jolly Mon," with his daughter Savannah in 1988, and the pair later wrote "Trouble Dolls" in 1991. He's also written solo stories, including "Tales from Margaritaville" in 1989 and 2008's "Swine Not?"

The New York Times reported that Buffett is one of six writers — alongside Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck — to top the Times' fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists.


He also participated in two musicals during his career.

Jimmy Buffett's "Escape To Margaritaville" at the Marquis Theatre on December 8, 2017.
Jimmy Buffett's "Escape To Margaritaville" at the Marquis Theatre on December 8, 2017.Walter McBride/Getty Images

Buffett's website said he collaborated with Herman Wouk to create a musical adaptation of the novel, "Don't Stop the Carnival," which had a brief stint in 1997 in Miami. His 2017 musical, "Escape to Margaritaville, made it to Broadway.

Buffett was committed to philanthropy as well.

Jimmy Buffett performs at Sprint Center on April 30, 2011.
Jimmy Buffett performs at Sprint Center on April 30, 2011.Jason Squires/Getty Images

Buffett co-founded the Save the Manatee Club with former US Senator Bob Graham in 1981 and later launched Singing for Change in 1995, which "helps people living in reduced circumstances become more self-sufficient and create positive change in their lives and communities," according to the organization's website.

He was also involved with Our Last Mango, the charity associated with his boating gear and apparel business, Last Mango Boatworks. All proceeds from purchased apparel go to charity, according to the company's website.

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