Jimmy Buffett Dead at 76: Stars Honor "Margaritaville" Singer

Originally appeared on E! Online

The music world is mourning the loss of a legend.

On Sept. 1, Jimmy Buffett, best known for his 1977 hit "Margaritaville," died at age 76. A statement shared on his social media accounts said the singer passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs. "He lived his life like a song till the very last breath," the message said, "and will be missed beyond measure by so many."

Buffett's cause of death was not made public. Two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that the singer had cancer when he died.

The music legend is survived by his wife, Jane Buffett, daughters Savanah Jane and Sarah, son Cameron, two grandsons and two sisters, The New York Times reported.

Several fellow musicians paid tribute to Buffett online following news of his death.

Jon Bon Jovi shared a pic of the two on his Instagram Sept. 2, writing, "Jimmy. Sail on my good friend. Luv u. JBJ."

Paul McCartney shared a photo of himself and Buffett at a party on Instagram and shared several fond memories of his longtime friend, who he called "one of the kindest and most generous people" and praised for is songwriting and vocal ability.

"If someone made an interesting remark he repeated it in his gorgeous Louisiana drawl and said, 'That's a good idea for a song,'" the former Beatles musician recalled. "Most times it didn't take too long for that song to appear. I was very happy to have played on one of his latest songs called 'My Gummy Just Kicked In.'"

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He added, "So long, Jim. You are a very special man and friend and it was a great privilege to get to know you and love you. Bubbles up, my friend. Love, Paul."

Blake Shelton wrote on his Instagram Stories, "Heart broken this morning hearing of Jimmy Buffett's passing. What an incredible talent and man. His songs will live on forever."

Jon Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Instagram
Instagram / Jon Bon Jovi

The two had worked together. Buffett wrote the theme song to Shelton's USA Network game show Barmageddon.

"I'll bet most of y'all don't know that he wrote the theme song for @barmageddonusa for me about 2 years ago," Shelton said. "Raising a glass today to the Son of a son of a Sailer."

On X, formerly known as Twitter, The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson wrote, "Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett."

Elton John wrote on his Instagram Stories, "Jimmy Buffett was a unique and treasured entertainer. His fans adored him and he never let them down. This is the saddest of news. A lovely man gone way too soon."

On his Instagram, Kenny Chesney shared a video of himself sitting on a beach and performing Buffett's song "A Pirate Looks at 40."

"So goodbye Jimmy," he wrote. "Thanks for your friendship and the songs I will carry in my heart forever. Sail On Sailor."

On his Instagram, Van Halen rocker Sammy Hagar dubbed Buffett the "Godfather of Lifestyle," adding, "Jimmy started it all and took it farther than anyone. He taught us all how to live. Jimmy taught us all how to wear shorts, flip-flops and a worn out T-shirt, walk on stage or to your favorite restaurant, and be comfortable."

Jane Buffet, Jimmy Buffet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, 2013 Oscars Party, Vanity Fair
Jeff Vespa/VF13/WireImage

In addition to his music career, Buffett was also known for his Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant chain, which was launched in 1985. Five years later, Hagar founded the Cabo Wabo restaurant and bar company.

"Jimmy turned us onto Corona beer, tequila, and margaritas," the rocker wrote on Instagram. "The first time I met Jimmy he said 'Oh you're the guy that's trying to get my job' and I said, 'Of course, we all want to be you.' Rest in paradise, Mr. Buffett."

Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea commented on his post, "Love to jimmy."

In addition, many fans, other celebs and notable figures also shared tributes to Buffett on social media.

Oscar winner Michael Douglas wrote on his Instagram, " What a loss, much too soon. Whether at home with friends, or on the stage, he always made people feel good. Multi-talented, and such a lovely man. My deepest sympathies to Jane, Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron. RIP @jimmybuffett

His wife, fellow Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, wrote on her own page, "Jimmy Buffett loved you, as so many did. We will miss you. Love to Jane and all the family. Could there possibly be a 'cheeseburger in paradise' good enough for you? I hope so."

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Surf legend Kelly Slater posted a pic of himself with Buffett on his Instagram. "I grew up listening to @jimmybuffett with my family," he wrote. "His music basically outlined the lives we desired…fishing, diving, dreaming about being in the tropics, playing music, and just living the dream."

He continued, "I met Jimmy in France in 2010 about 8 years or so after my dad died and the first day I told him how much he reminded me of my own father and from that moment on he kind of became a surrogate to me, occasionally calling me from some far off land telling me he missed me and I had to come visit him wherever he was. He told me life was too short not to take every good opportunity that came along and go live it."

He later wrote, "I really don't want to believe such a fine man is gone but I'm thankful and lucky for the times we had. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, Jimmy, and I know you'd be smoking a joint with a drink in your hand and a huge smile on your face like any good pirate would. Thanks for being one of the good guys. It was a real dream to know you. And as he always signed off…Fins Up!"

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