Jimmy Buffett death: Elton John and Miles Teller lead tributes to legendary ‘Margaritaville’ singer

A host of famous figures are paying tribute to Jimmy Buffett, the “Margaritaville” singer who died on Friday at the age of 76.

A statement posted on his social media pages and website late on Friday night read: “Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1, 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.”

The statement did not say where Buffett died or give a cause of death.

Tributes to Mr Buffett flooded social media. Sir Elton John remembered him as a “unique and treasured entertainer” in a heartfelt statement posted on his Instagram stories.

“Jimmy Buffett was a unique and treasured entertainer. His fans adored him and he never let them down,” Sir Elton wrote.

“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.”

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys tweeted a picture of the singer and wrote: “Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett.”

Hollywood actor Miles Teller posted photos of himself with Mr Buffett, and captioned them with famous quotes by the legendary singer such as, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”.

Writing on X, former Alabama senator Doug Jones recalled how Mr Buffett serenaded him and his wife Louise in Key West, Florida with his song “Stars Fell on Alabama”.

“He lived life to the fullest and the world will miss him #RIPJimmy,” Mr Jones added.

“Paradise was wherever Jimmy Buffett was,” TV presenter Andy Cohen wrote in an homage on X to “the king of cool”.

The New Orleans Saints also shared a tribute to “an iconic perfomer, a true Saints fan, a dear friend of New Orleans, and the life of the party Jimmy”.

A message posted on the NFL team’s Twitter page read: “Jimmy will be dearly missed but celebrated forever”.

Former Democratic congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell tweet that Key West, which is where the late singer’s musical journey began, “will always be Buffett country”.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy expressed his grief over Mr Buffett’s death, explaining it felt “like a member of my family died”.

Mr Buffett’s best-known song “Margaritaville” was released on Valentine’s Day in 1977 and quickly took on a life of its own. It evolved into a state of mind for those “wastin’ away,” an excuse for a life of low-key fun and escapism for those “growing older, but not up”.

“There was no such place as Margaritaville,” its creator told the Arizona Republic in 2021.

“It was a made-up place in my mind, basically made up about my experiences in Key West and having to leave Key West and go on the road to work and then come back and spend time by the beach.”

In addition to “Margaritaville”, other popular songs by Mr Buffett – all on a similar sun- and cocktail-drenched theme – include “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.”

Buffett was nominated for two Grammy awards and won numerous Country Music Awards.

He released over two dozen albums and played countless concerts over six decades, while the “Margaritaville” concept exploded into a lucrative lifestyle brand that eventually included everything from hotels and restaurants to pool floats and frozen shrimp dishes.

Music critics were never very kind to the singer or his catalogue, but his legions of fans – called “Parrotheads” – regularly turned up for his concerts wearing toy parrots, cheeseburgers, sharks and flamingos on their heads, leis around their necks and loud Hawaiian shirts.

Mr Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane, his daughters, Savannah and Sarah, and son, Cameron.

Additional reporting on wires

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