Nicole Kidman and Elton John pay tribute to Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffett | Ents & Arts News

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Stars including Nicole Kidman, Elton John and LL Cool J have paid tribute to singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who has died aged 76.

The performer – known for his laid-back approach to life and credited with creating the tropical rock genre – died at his home in Sag Harbor, on Long Island, in America, according to a statement on his official website.

Jimmy Buffett dies

Best known for his 1970s hit Margaritaville – named after the popular cocktail – Buffett had last performed during a surprise appearance in Rhode Island, in early July.

He had been fighting Merkel cell skin cancer – a rare and aggressive cancer which tends to first develop on the face, head or neck before spreading to other parts of the body – for four years.

Nicole Kidman, whose country singer husband Keith Urban had previously performed with Buffett, shared photos in her Instagram story which showed them chatting, along with the message: “Remembering the good times. You will be missed xx.”

Elton John wrote in his Instagram story: “Jimmy Buffett was a unique and treasured entertainer. His fans adored him and he never let them down.

“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.”

Rapper LL Cool J wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Rest in power Jimmy Buffett, I’m glad we had time to vibe. You were and always will be a truly inspiring human.”

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson posted a picture of one of Buffett’s album covers on social media with the message: “Love and mercy, Jimmy Buffett.”

Actor Miles Teller shared photos taken with Buffett, with the poignant messages, “‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination’ – the legend Jimmy Buffett,” and “Where it all ends, I can’t fathom, my friends. If I knew I might drop my anchor” which he shared on social media.

Music was about ‘fishing, diving, dreaming’

Founding his group, the Coral Reefer Band, in 1975, Buffett earned two Grammy Award nods, two Academy of Country Music Awards and a Country Music Association Award over his seven-decade career.

With his fans dubbed the Parrot Heads, much of his music portrayed a sun, sea and sand-loving lifestyle in a tropical tourist location.

Living the life he portrayed in his songs, he accepted an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Miami in 2015 wearing flip-flops and sunglasses.

A canny businessman as well as a singer, he used the title of his 1977 hit Margaritaville as the brand of his billion-dollar empire, which encompassed restaurants, clothing, casinos, a radio station and more.

The song itself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016.

A former journalist, his musical writing had been praised by Bob Dylan, and he had also written bestselling books of both fiction and non-fiction.

A man of many talents, he was also a skilled pilot and sailor.

His ethos: ‘Take every good opportunity and go live it’

Paying a very personal tribute to Buffett on Instagram, professional surfer Kelly Slater, 51, said that since he met Buffett in France in 2010, eight years after his own father had died, the singer and songwriter had “kind of became a surrogate” father to him.

He summed up the themes of Buffett’s music as “fishing, diving, dreaming about being in the tropics, playing music, and just living the dream”, going on to describe the impact the star had had on his life.

Slater wrote: “He told me life was too short not to take every good opportunity that came along and go live it.

“I’m not sure I’ve met many people with as positive an attitude who were as welcoming and giving as Jimmy has been to me, just one of the many thousands of friends he’s had around this world… I really don’t want to believe such a fine man is gone but I’m thankful and lucky for the times we had.”

He ended his post, “Fins Up!”, a phrase he said Buffett always signed off with.

Announcing his death on Saturday, a message on Buffett’s Instagram read: “Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1 surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs.

“He lived his life like a song ’til the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

Buffett is survived by his wife Jane, daughters Savannah and Sarah, son Cameron, and his six devoted dogs.

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