Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett, one of the most financially successful musical artists of his generation, established an easy-going, laid-back vibe and turned it into an empire. Born December 25, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Jimmy Buffett acquired a knowledge of sailing in his childhood thanks to his grandfather and would use that knowledge to make a living while he worked on his musical career. His debut album, 1970’s Down to Earth, was country, but after relocating to Key West, Florida from Nashville, Tennessee, he started adopting Caribbean influences into his work. His story -songwriting style began to detail characters escaping from the world, often through alcohol. He cracked the Top 40 for the first time in 1974 with the bittersweet “Come Monday,” but his giant breakthrough came in 1977 with the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, which went Top 10 on both the Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200. It also contained “Margaritaville,” which topped the Adult Contemporary chart, reached number 8 on the pop chart, and 13 on the country chart, and became his signature tune, eventually providing the name for a successful restraint chain, Margaritaville Café. He became a road warrior, touring every summer, dependably playing his biggest hits (“Margaritaville”, “Fins”, “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, “Why Don’t We Get Drunk”), and amassing an ever growing and loyal fanbase that became known as ‘Parrotheads’. In addition to regularly releasing new albums through the 1990s, Jimmy Buffet parlayed his brand into other ventures including book writing, real estate, legal marijuana, writing stage musicals, and beer. He also made numerous appearances in films and on television. Though his recording output started to lessen in the 21st century, he remained a huge draw as a live performer. In 2018, a jukebox musical utilizing his songs, Escape to Margaritaville, opened on Broadway. He released Life on the Flip Side in 2020, which was followed by Songs You Don’t Know By Heart that same year. Diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma (skin cancer), he continued to tour and began recording what was to be his final album in 2022 and 2023. The sessions for the album included musical assistance from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Paul McCartney, Angelique Kidjo, Emmylou Harris, and Will Kimbrough. Jimmy Buffett announced the release of the album Equal Strain on All Parts and began previewing songs from it on social media. However, two months before the album's proposed official release, Jimmy Buffett died on September 1, 2023, at the age of 76.

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Stations Featuring Jimmy Buffett

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