The beloved musician Jimmy Buffett, renowned for his beach-inspired anthems, passed away from a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer, as confirmed by a statement on his official website.
At 76, Buffett was diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, as mentioned in the announcement released following the news of his passing on Saturday. The iconic “Margaritaville” artist breathed his last in his Sag Harbor residence, located near the Hamptons.
Even amidst his battle with the disease over the past four years, Buffett continued to grace the stage. His final performance was an unexpected appearance in Rhode Island this past July, as detailed in the statement.
Merkel cell carcinoma is an uncommon skin cancer, known to metastasize rapidly, affecting not just the skin but other body parts as well. As per resources like the National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic, prolonged sun exposure, a compromised immune system, previous cancer diagnoses, and being fair-skinned and over the age of 50 are amongst its risk factors.
Through his music, with hits like “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” and of course, “Margaritaville,” Buffett immortalized a carefree, beachy way of life. Moreover, “Margaritaville” became more than just a song, growing into a brand that featured restaurants, apparel, casinos, and more.
You might not be familiar with these two tracks penned by Jimmy Buffett:
“Railroad Lady” – Originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell in 1973, this song was co-written by Buffett and the iconic Jerry Jeff Walker. After Frizzell’s initial recording, Buffett released his own rendition of the track shortly after. This paved the way for musical giants like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard to create their own interpretations of the song.
“Sugar Trade” – This 1981 track is a collaborative effort between Buffett, lyricist Timothy Mayer and James Taylor. With a somber tone, it provides a concise history lesson about colonial America, shedding light on the violence and cruelty that occurred in the pursuit of advancement.