How Did Jimmy Buffett Die? The Details Behind the Artist’s Unexpected Death

how did jimmy buffet die? jimmy buffet arriving at an event in a suit
Image from Shutterstock.

When you listened to Jimmy Buffett sing, it was clear that you were in for a relaxing, good time as he tapped into his “island escapism” themed music and likewise portrayed lifestyle. 

He has made his mark in the music industry with such hits as “Margaritaville,” ranked 234 on the Songs of the Century list by the Recording Industry Association of America, and “Come Monday.” 

Over the years, his uniqueness in performance and personality earned him a massive following of fans, lovingly known as “Parrot heads,” who are now grieving the loss of the beloved musician who died of cancer this month. 

How did Jimmy Buffett die? Find out that and more below. 

How Did Jimmy Buffett Die? 

Jimmy Buffett’s cause of death was lymphoma, which he had been privately battling for some years. 

Did Jimmy Buffett have melanoma? 

Buffett reportedly had been diagnosed with skin cancer, scientifically known as melanoma, four years ago, and it eventually developed into lymphoma. An insider, deemed a “close friend” of Buffett, said, “He lived his life in the sun, literally and figuratively,” according to TMZ. 

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system that causes swelling in the lymph nodes, particularly in the neck and armpit, as well as fevers, weight loss, night sweats, and difficulty breathing. 

jimmy buffet in a black jacket and sunglasses on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

When Did Jimmy Buffett Die?

Jimmy Buffett passed away peacefully in the evening hours of Friday, Sept. 1. 

“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs,” his family said in a statement that was posted to the singer’s website and social media channels. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many. 

The deceased Jimmy Buffett was survived by his wife, his three children, and his many grandchildren. 

How Old Was Jimmy Buffett When He Died?

Jimmy Buffett passed away at the age of 76. 

Where is Jimmy Buffett Buried?

Plans for Jimmy Buffett’s burial as well as for Jimmy Buffett’s funeral services have yet to be announced. 

Considering similar tributes for fellow artists like George Jones and Loretta Lynn, it is expected that, while Jimmy Buffett’s funeral will most likely be a private affair amongst family and friends, there will surely be a special tribute or memorial service for fans.

Related: How Did George Jones Die? 

Who Inherited Jimmy Buffett’s Money?

While the terms of Jimmy Buffet’s will have yet to be disclosed, including the plans for Jimmy Buffet’s estate, it is assumed that the “Cheeseburger in Paradise” singer’s wife of 46 years and their three children will be the primary beneficiaries. 

What Was Jimmy Buffett’s Last Words?

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, Lucy “LuLu” Buffett, Jimmy Buffett’s sister, shared a reflection with the Florida Keys daily newspaper, the Keys Citizen. In it, she shared her brother’s final words to her.

In true Jimmy Buffett fashion, his last words were in a whisper, “‘Have fun,’” she revealed. “He didn’t care about resting in peace,” she wrote.

Her reflection spoke of her final visit with her older brother. “We had a beautiful goodbye visit earlier this week. He had my grandfather’s twinkle in his eye to the end, and he was very clear that the music, the party, and the good life was to continue with his robust optimism in tow.”

“I know that he is flying high above Mother Ocean, soaring up to the Pleiades, and was gliding over Duval Street yesterday,” she adds.

Thanks to the modern world of social media, we can find out what his final words to the world were, too. In true Jimmy Buffett fashion, he said it with music, as less than a week before his death, he posted a video to Instagram flashbacking to the summer of 2016 when he performed The Beatles’ hit classic “Hey Jude” during a show. He captioned it with three hashtags: #withalittlehelpfrommyfriends, #flashbackfun, and #summer2016. 

A true performer until the end. 

How Much is Jimmy Buffet’s Net Worth? 

At the time of his death, Jimmy Buffett’s net worth was a staggering $1 billion thanks to his more than 50 albums that have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, as well as his business investments like his restaurants, Cheeseburger in Paradise (a now-defunct Tiki-themed bar and restaurant) and Margaritaville Cafes. 

He also saw a lot of success in film and television.

Buffett has written for multiple soundtracks, co-produced, and even made cameo appearances in several projects. 

His most notable contributions include writing “Hello, Texas” for the John Travolta film Urban Cowboy and “I Don’t Know (Spicoli’s Theme)” for the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High

jimmy buffet arriving for an event with a female guest
Image from Shutterstock.

Was Jimmy Buffett Married When He Died? 

Yes. Jimmy Buffett was married to Jane Slagsvol for 46 years. The pair first met in 1976 and were married just a year later. While their love story ultimately ended happily, Buffett and Slagsvol did separate for a time in the early 1980s but were later reconciled in 1991. 

How old is Jimmy Buffett’s wife, Jane Slagsvol? While there are no reports on her exact age, it is known that she was a college student at the University of South Carolina on spring break when she and Buffett met in Key West. According to Buffett, his future wife was “wearing a tight, long pink dress that made a lasting impression on me” when he first saw her at a local bar he was performing at. 

Being that she was in college, we can estimate that she was between 18 and 22 when they first met, while in March 1976, Buffett would have been in his very late 20s, preparing to celebrate his 30th birthday on Christmas Day later that year. That would mean there was a fairly significant age gap of roughly 6-10 years between the two lovebirds. 

How many times has Jimmy Buffet been married? The answer is twice. 

While Buffett and Slagsov were together for 46 years, Buffett did have a short-lived marriage to Margie Wasichek before meeting his long-time partner. Buffett and Washichek married in 1969, but the two were divorced by 1972. 

How Many Children Did Jimmy Buffett Have? 

Jimmy Buffett was the father of three children. They have two daughters – Savannah Jane, a radio personality, and Sarah Delaney, a filmmaker. They also have a son whom they adopted, Cameron Marley. 


Jimmy Buffett was a songwriting legend. Since Jimmy Buffett’s death was announced, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member’s (inducted in 2006) legacy is proven by the outpouring of love from around the world from fans and famous people alike. 

In particular, many of his fellow country artists have turned to social media to remember the “Come Monday” singer. 

“So goodbye, Jimmy. Thanks for your friendship and the songs I will carry in my heart forever,” Kenny Chesney wrote on Instagram. “Sail on forever.” 

The “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” singer posted two videos with the short yet heartfelt caption. One of himself on a beach in Key West singing Buffett’s “Pirate Looks at Forty” and another of him and Buffett singing “Margaritaville” on stage. 

Toby Keith and Alan Jackson also wrote tributes. The former wrote simply: “The pirate has passed. RIP Jimmy Buffett. Tremendous influence on so many of us – T.” 

The latter, who recorded “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Buffett back in 2003, shared touching lyrics from “Boats to Build” by Guy Clark: “‘Shores distance shorts, There’s where I’m headed for, I got the stars to guide my way, Sail into the light of day…’ #BoatsToBuild Rip my friend, @jimmybuffett.” 

Paul McCartney and Pitbull, among others, have also shared reactions to the “One Particular Harbour” singer’s death. 

What really solidifies your impact in this country, however, is when the president himself pays tribute after your death. 

On behalf of himself and First Lady Jill Biden, President Joe Biden posted a lengthy tribute to the official White House webpage on September second in honor of the “Death of an Unpopular Poet” singer. 

The statement read: “A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffet was an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another. 

“His witty, wistful songs celebrate a uniquely American cast of characters and seaside folkways, weaving together an unforgettable musical mix of country, folk, rock, pop, and calypso into something uniquely his own,” the statement continued. “We had the honor to meet and get to know Jimmy over the years, and he was in life as he was performing on stage – full of goodwill and joy, using his gift to bring people together.” 

The president went on to note Buffett’s more than 50 albums, thousands of performances, Grammy nominations, and country award wins. 

“Jimmy reminded us how much the simple things in life matter – the people we love, the places we’re from, the hopes we have on the horizon,” President Biden wrote. 

Along with his awards in music, “he was also a best-selling writer, businessman, pilot, and conservationist who championed the waters and Gulf Cost that he so loved.”

President Biden ended the statement with heartfelt condolences to Buffett’s family and fans. 

“Jill and I send our love to his wife of 46 years, Jane; to their children, Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron; to their grandchildren; and to the millions of fans who will continue to love him even as his ship now sails for new shores.” 

Mr. President, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Rest in peace, Jimmy Buffett. Saddened Parrot heads around the world unite in grieving the loss of you. 

You May Also Like: 

Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





ynw melly's net worth image of ynw melly's mugshot

YNW Melly’s Net Worth & Biography: His Cars, House, Career, and More

Album cover of Chandelier & Bloom from Mae Simpson

Mae Simpson’s Chandelier & Bloom May Be Minnesota’s Record of the Year