U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith introduced a resolution in honor of the late singer-songwriter and Mississippi native, Jimmy Buffett, who passed away last month.
The resolution “extends its heartfelt condolences” to those close to Buffett, as well as requests that the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of the resolution to his family as a token of the U.S. Senate’s respect and admiration of his life’s work.
According to a statement posted to social media on September 1, the “Margaritaville” singer died peacefully surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs at 76 years old.
“He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many,” the statement read.
An official obituary released on the artist’s website said Buffet had been “fighting Merkel Cell Skin Cancer for four years.” According to the National Cancer Institute, Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the skin. Sun exposure or a weak immune system can increase one’s chances of contracting the disease.
Buffett, born in Pascagoula on Christmas Day of 1946, was raised in Mobile, Ala, before learning to play guitar during his first year of college at Auburn University. He continued strumming while a student at Pearl River Community College and Southern Mississippi before graduating in 1966.
Following graduation, Buffett moved to Nashville to work for Billboard Magazine before taking “a fateful trip” to Key West, Fla., in 1971 that inspired him to move into more of a beach bum soft rock style.
In 1974, his song “Come Monday” peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard Charts, with “Margaritaville” later topping the charts for a total of 22 weeks in 1977.
“Jimmy Buffett was a true Southern storyteller who was generous enough to share his piece of paradise with the world,” Hyde-Smith said. “In honoring him, we celebrate the man who, through his music, brought us with him on many of his adventures around the sun, from the Pascagoula Run to the shores of paradise, and we are all the better for it. I have no doubt his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.”
Over his 50-year career, Buffett released over 30 albums, wrote three books, was nominated for two Grammys, and opened over 30 restaurants.
“One of the great Mississippi-born musicians, Jimmy Buffett taught a generation of Parrotheads how to pass time in Margaritaville and enjoy paradise,” Wicker said. “Jimmy was a generational talent and entrepreneur who made his native state proud. With this resolution, we raise a glass to honor the life and legacy of this musical pioneer.”
Click here to see the full text of the resolution.