Jimmy Buffett celebrated slackers earlier than the phrase existed, although he was hardly one himself.

“Wasting away in Margaritaville,” went the refrain to his most well-known tune, which turned a global singalong. However Buffett was really an astute, formidable, aggressive businessman.

A press release posted to Buffett’s official web site and social media pages introduced his passing on Friday at age 76. The assertion didn’t say the place Buffett died or give a trigger. He rescheduled concert events in Might and acknowledged he had been hospitalized for an unspecified sickness.

Buffett constructed an empire primarily based largely on Caribbean-flavored pop that celebrated the Florida Keys, sunshine and nightlife. His identify turned synonymous with a laid-back subtropical get together vibe, and his followers had been generally known as Parrotheads.

However behind the laid-back exterior, Buffett was an admitted workaholic. He expanded into novels, nightclubs and plenty of different ventures. At one time his estimated annual earnings was greater than $40 million, and his income sources prolonged far past a musician’s typical enterprise mannequin of album gross sales, live performance tickets and memento T-shirts.

He landed at No. 13 in Forbes’ America’s Richest Celebrities in 2016 with a web price of $550 million.

The title of Buffett’s hottest tune confirmed up on eating places, clothes, booze and casinos. He turned concerned in such merchandise as Landshark Lager, the Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chains, boat footwear, salsa, hummus, tortillas, dips, tequila and blenders. The Margaritaville cafe on the Las Vegas strip was stated to be the highest grossing restaurant within the nation.

Buffett was chairman of Margaritaville Holdings primarily based in Palm Seashore, Florida. He had a restaurant and a on line casino in Vegas, a on line casino in Mississippi and a lodge in Pensacola Seashore, Florida, however the precise scope of his empire was a secret. Margaritaville Holdings LLC did not disclose its funds, and he normally declined interview requests.

Together with hit songs, Buffett wrote best-selling novels. In 2008 he was ranked by Self-importance Honest as No. 97 on an inventory of the 100 most influential folks on the planet, and his fan base was broad and constant. Even when he was in his 60s, his live performance tickets fetched greater than $100.

“I am not about to apologize for being businessman,” Buffett advised The Washington Publish in 1998. “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 could be more intense than his songs and stage persona suggested. He was injured in 2011 when he fell face-first off the stage while performing in Australia and struck his head, knocking him unconscious. He was released from the hospital the next day.

An avid Miami Heat basketball fan, Buffett caused friction at a 2001 game when he cursed at referee Joe Forte from his courtside seat. Forte ejected him. The Heat moved Buffett and his son to another section.

When then-Heat coach Pat Riley asked Forte if he knew the man he had ejected, Forte didn’t recognize the name. He asked if Forte had ever been a Parrothead. “He thought I was insulting him. He wanted to give me a technical,” Riley stated.

Buffett was born on Christmas Day, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He as soon as stated he arrived within the Keys driving a 1946 Packard in about 1970. He discovered his musical area of interest throughout that decade with breezy, island-influenced get together tunes. The tone was set with a preferred tune in 1973, “Why Don’t We Get Drunk?”

He became a pop star in 1977, when “Margaritaville” cracked the Top 10. The song has provided a soundtrack to countless happy hours in the decades since.

Buffett’s 1992 collection titled “Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads” became one of the best-selling box sets ever and his annual summer concert tours with his Coral Reefer Band became major events, drawing thousands of Parrotheads who would dress up in Hawaiian shirts, leis, funny hats and other mellow party accessories. Some would follow Buffet’s tour from city to city.

“We were the social network before there was a social network on the Internet,” Buffett told the Dallas Morning News in 2012. “They had something in common; they shared things. They started dressing up because they were listening to the music. It was the common bond.”

Business success soon eclipsed record sales. According to Buffett’s website, the first Margaritaville opened in Key West, Florida, in 1987. The chain grew to 16 outlets and Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., teamed up with Buffett to develop the $700 million Margaritaville Casino & Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi, near where he was raised.

Regardless of his commercial achievements, Buffett’s legacy will be, in his words, “helping people forget their troubles for a couple of hours.”

The singer told the Baltimore Sun in 1999 that his optimistic view of life brought fans to the humor and escapism in his work. And that was okay, because there already was enough serious material in the world.

“I was the life of the party,” Buffett stated.

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