Jimmy Buffett, ‘Margaritaville’ Singer, Passes Away at 76

Jimmy Buffett has died. The “Margaritaville” singer was 76 years old when he passed away in his sleep. The news was announced on his social media pages.

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” the statement reads. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

Buffett released his first album, Down to Earth, in 1970. Although the record was not a commercial success, it was the beginning of a career that lasted more than 50 years, with Buffett still performing in recent months. Although he had other hits and singles, it was “Margaritaville,” released in 1977, which became his biggest and most iconic hit.

“It happened in Austin,” Buffett recalled on the Bobby Bones Show. “I was staying at a club at that time called the Castle Creek … I had done a show the night before, and I was a little bit hungover, so we went and had some burritos and a margarita. It was hot and I said, ‘Man, that was a good margarita,’ and I started it there, like ‘Wastin’ away da da da,’ and then got on a plane from Austin.

“Went back to Miami, was driving down to the Keys going home, and there was a wreck on the Seven Mile Bridge,” he continued. “In the stopped traffic, I wrote the end of it on the Seven Mile Bridge, and then got to Key West and finished it, and did it on stage in the bar I was working in the next night. People seemed to like it.”

Buffett also famously joined Alan Jackson on “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” which became a multi-platinum, No. 1 hit in 2003. More recently, he sang with the  Eli Young Band, for the  “Fins Up” version of their song, “Saltwater Gospel,”

““We have all partied by the ocean. Let’s just start there,” Buffett shared with Big Machine Label Group. “But I think in these times it’s becoming more and more aware that the ocean is in trouble and we’re responsible for it. And I think that that was what I loved about this song too, that it held the ocean up as a deity almost that needed to be respected and needed to be, in a sense, protected and thought of as more than a place to party.

“That’s what I liked about it,” he added. “It was put up as something that you needed to cherish and watch out for. So, I felt that in that song.”

Buffett did have some undisclosed health problems recently, forcing him to reschedule a concert in May.

“Growing old is not for sissies, I promise you,” he said at the time (via People). ” I also will promise you, that when I am well enough to perform, that is what I’ll be doing in the land of She-Crab soup. You all make my life more meaningful and fulfilled than I would have ever imagined as a [tow] headed little boy sitting on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.”

Buffett is survived by his wife Jane, and children Savannah, Sarah and Cameron. Funeral services have yet to be announced.