American country singer and successful entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett, who rose to fame in 1977 with his song “Margaritaville,” died Saturday evening at the age of 76, according to a press release posted on his website.
“Jimmy left us peacefully on the night of September 1st, surrounded by his family, his friends, his music and his dogs,” it reads, “he will be missed by many.”
However, no information was given about the causes of death.
“This is very sad news, a charming man has gone far too soon,” reacted British singer Elton John on Instagram, “Jimmy Buffett was a unique and valuable artist.”
His title song, “Margaritaville,” stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for 22 weeks and served as a launching pad for a successful career in music and business.
The singer nicknamed the “Mayor of Margaritaville” produced around thirty albums over the course of his career, mixing country, folk and Caribbean sounds and successfully building hotel, restaurant and store chains, benefiting from his relaxed image.
Mr. Buffett was born on December 25, 1946 in the state of Mississippi but grew up in the neighboring state of Alabama. He began playing guitar in college, initially playing on the streets and at small stages in New Orleans, according to his website.
In 1970 he released his first album, the beginning of a rich career that also led him to the publication of successful books as well as appearances in films and television and even on the Broadway stage in his musical comedy “Escape to Margaritaville”.
The singer was expected to release a new album by the end of the year.
Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson paid tribute to Jimmy Buffett
“Love and mercy, Jimmy Buffett,” he added in the caption.