'Island escapism' rockstar Jimmy Buffett dies at 76 from skin cancer

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Los Angeles, September 3 (IANS): Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, whose music was often called ‘island escapism’, has died at the age of 76 due to skin cancer.

Buffett died on September 1, due to skin cancer, which came to be known later.

The rockstar's death was confirmed through a statement on his official website www.jimmybuffett.com: “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.”

The musician combined elements of folk rock, country, reggae, rock’n roll and world music to create a somewhat happy-go-lucky sound, which became his signature style.

Over the course of a 50-year career, Buffett collected just one top-10 pop hit: ‘Margaritaville’, an escapist tropical island vacation themed song, which inscribed visions of drinking tequila on the hot sands of a beach, somewhere in the tropics. The song at the time of its release hit No. 8.

Buffett’s boozy, punny, booze and weed scented brand of tropical good-time music struck a chord with an army of enthusiastic fans, who dubbed themselves “parrotheads” in reference to the colourful avian headgear they sported at the musician’s many concerts.

The singer gained a very devoted fanbase, which made Buffett a consistent record seller, even after he did not write any such major radio hits.

Active in the studio for five decades, he released four platinum and eight gold studio albums; his 1985 hits compilation ‘Songs You Know by Heart’ was certified for sales of 7 million copies, while the 1992 boxed set ‘Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads’ rang up 4 million units.

Writing about ‘Margaritaville’ on the 40th anniversary of the song’s release in 2017, Forbes stated that it “morphed into a global lifestyle brand that currently has more than $4.8 billion in the development pipeline and sees $1.5 billion in annual system-wide sales", as reported by Variety.