Late Friday night came the announcement that musician and entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett had died at age 76.
Buffett turned the no-worries, good-vibes-only worldview of his calypso-tinged take on singer-songwriter country-rock into an unlikely empire, as a T-shirt shop and café grew into a hospitality company with more than 150 restaurants and bars and more than 30 hotels and resorts. His sole top 10 hit, 1977’s “Margaritaville,” inspired a dedicated fan base known as “Parrotheads,” which helped make him an enduring and popular live act.
Buffett’s death was announced on his website. While the cause and location of his death were not immediately known, the statement said that he died “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.”
Reactions to the news of his death came quickly. Buffett had a long relationship with former President Bill Clinton, having played on the South Lawn of the White House in August 2000. Clinton posted, “Jimmy Buffett’s music brought happiness to millions of people. I’ll always be grateful for his kindness, generosity, and great performances through the years.”
Elton John took to his Instagram stories, writing, “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.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” star Miles Teller posted a photo of himself with Buffett and included the Buffett-esque quote from singer Jimmy Dean, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Singer Alan Jackson also posted a photo of himself with Buffett and a lyric from the song “Boats To Build,” which Jackson and Buffett sang together on Buffett’s 2004 album “License to Chill.”
Pro wrestling legend Ric Flair declared, “So Saddened To Hear About The Loss Of My Great Friend Jimmy Buffett! 30 Years Of Friendship! He Was An Amazing Entertainer Who Made The World A Better Place!”
Rapper and actor LL Cool J posted to Twitter, “Rest in power @jimmybuffett I’m glad we had time to vibe. You were and always will be a Truly inspiring human.”
TV host Andy Cohen declared Buffett “The king of cool,” while the official account for the football team the New Orleans Saints also paid tribute, declaring Buffet, “an iconic performer.”
The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson posted the album cover to Buffett’s 1976 album “Havana Daydreamin'” along with a simple message: “Love and Mercy.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.