Jimmy Buffett’s Cause of Death Released

Kim Willis USA TODAY - September 3, 2023 1:28 pm

Jimmy Buffett’s official website has revealed the musician and mogul’s cause of death.

Buffett, 76, died at home Friday in Sag Harbor on Long Island, New York, from skin cancer, according to an obituary posted to the site.

He had been battling Merkel cell skin cancer for four years, which the National Cancer Institute describes as a rare carcinoma which usually appears as a single painless lump on sun-exposed skin and tends to metastasize quickly. It is second to melanoma as the most common cause of skin cancer death.

He kept performing while undergoing treatment, and Buffett’s last show was a surprise 45-minute appearance at a July 2 Mac McAnally show in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where he brought the crowd to its feet screaming when he walked out.

Jimmy Buffett’s best songs: From ‘Margaritaville’ to ‘Come Monday’

Jimmy Buffett, seen here in 2015 performing in Austin, died of skin cancer, his official website revealed.

Buffett “passed away peacefully,” a statement announcing his death read, “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.”

The “Margaritaville” singer and songwriter built a billion-dollar business empire and a devoted following around his 1977 laid-back signature hit in the course of a 50 year-plus recording career.

In 2022, his struggles with a then-undisclosed health issue became visible when he was hospitalized and forced to cancel several shows. In May and June 2023, he revealed in a statement he was “back in the hospital to address some issues that needed immediate attention.”

‘A lovely man gone way too soon’:Jimmy Buffett remembered by Elton John, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson

His death on the unofficial last weekend of summer was mourned by celebrity admirers including fellow musicians (Paul McCartney, Elton John and Kenny Chesney) and U.S. presidents (Joe Biden and Bill Clinton).

“I’ve had a couple close calls and I’m still here,” Buffett told USA TODAY in 2020, when he released his final album, “Life on the Flipside.” He noted the song “Live Like It’s Your Last Day” was inspired by his 1994 plane crash and a 2011 stage fall.

“So I think I’ve been living like it could be my last day for a long time.”

Contributing: Melissa Ruggieri and Patrick Ryan


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