Jimmy Buffett, who died Friday, was remembered today by his famous friends as the quintessential songwriter, an artist whose work ran deeper than the popular images of lazy days on the beach.
Kenny Chesney, who had Buffett join him on a remake of Buffett’s “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” on Chesney’s 2018 album, Songs for the Saints, posted a video Saturday morning. He remembered Buffett with a rendition from the beach in Key West, Florida, singing Buffett’s song A Pirate Looks at Forty” on Instagram.
“So goodbye Jimmy. Thanks for your friendship and the songs I will carry in my heart forever. Sail On Sailor 🦜🌴🌊,” posted Chesney, who had appeared on the title track of Buffett’s 2004 release “License to Chill.”
Elton John remembered “Jimmy Buffett was a unique and treasured entertainer. His fans adored him and he never let them down,” he said in an Instagram story. “This is the saddest of news. A lovely man gone way too soon. Condolences to (his wife) Jane and the family from (my husband) David (Furnish) and me.”
Brian Wilson, cofoundeder of the Beach Boys, paid tribute with a post calling back one of his own songs: “Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett.”
David Letterman’s official Facebook account posted a clip of Buffett’s appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman.” The clip showed Buffett plaing Distantly In Love and Come Monday.
Buffett told Letterman he was living in a Howard Johnson’s when he wrote the song, which became his first Top 40 single when it released in 1974. “It hit and I paid the rent and got my dog out of the pound … and the rest is history,” Buffett said.
President Joe Biden also issued a statement on Buffett’s passing.
“A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffett 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.
“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.
“Over more than 50 studio and live albums and thousands of performances to devoted Parrot Heads around the world, 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.
“A two-time Grammy nominee and winner of multiple country music awards, he was also a best-selling writer, businessman, pilot, and conservationist who championed the waters and Gulf Coast that he so loved.
“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.”
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It seems that so many wonderful people are leaving this world, and now Jimmy Buffett is one of them. I’ve known Jimmy for some time and found him to be one of the kindest and most generous people.
I remember once on holiday when I had forgotten to bring my guitar and was… pic.twitter.com/k5B6xgpAh7
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) September 2, 2023