Musician And Restaurateur Jimmy Buffett Dead At 76

"Margaritaville" singer-songwriter and restaurateur Jimmy Buffett has died at the age of 76. A statement on his website reads, "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."

Buffett was best known for his island escapism music. It was this carefree, beach bum persona that led to the creation of his Margaritaville food and beverage empire that included his iconic Margaritaville tequila line, along with his popular Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chains. In fact, the "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" crooner's Margaritaville café on the Las Vegas strip is believed to be the top-grossing restaurant in the United States.

In 2016, Forbes listed Buffett at number 13 on its list of America's Wealthiest Celebrities, citing a fortune of $550 million. Then, five years later, the same magazine named Buffett on its list of New Billionaires.

His grandfather fostered his love of water

Born on Christmas Day in 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Buffett's love of sand and water was nurtured by sailing lessons and stories his grandfather, who was a steamship captain, would share with him. The musician would eventually open his first Margaritaville in Key West, Florida, in 1987 where you could enjoy all of your favorite beach food including volcano nachos, and of course, margaritas. The chain experienced great success and growth resulting in $700 million Margaritaville Casino & Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi.

While Buffett didn't set out to achieve such success, he didn't shy away from the accolades that resulted from his business acumen. He told The Washington Post, "I'm not about to apologize for being a good businessman. Too many people in music have ruined their lives because they weren't. I'm not a great singer, and I'm only a so-so guitar player. I started running the band years ago because nobody else could, and I turned out to be good at this stuff. There's never been any grand plan to this thing. I'm making it up as I go along. ... Just trying to work the system while maintaining my '60s anarchic soul." 

Buffett's cause of death is unknown. He is survived by his wife, Jane, their two daughters, Sarah and Savannah, and their son, Cameron.