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Margaritaville Mourns: Global Tribute to Jimmy Buffett Rocks the World – From Key West to NYC!

On Saturday, the world transformed into “Margaritaville” as fans across the globe mourned the loss of legendary beach-bum balladeer Jimmy Buffett, who passed away at the age of 76. Buffett’s iconic hit song, “Margaritaville,” has been the cherished anthem of Florida’s Key West, where Buffett had once lived and left an indelible mark. “Everyone associates that song with our city,” remarked Clayton Lopez, a Key West city commissioner. “I mean, when you say Margaritaville, you’re talking about the city of Key West.”

The community has organized a remembrance event along Duval Street for Sunday, which is home to some of Key West’s most famous eateries and music venues, including the Chart Room, a dive bar where Buffett performed early in his career. “He’s doing another show now, but it’s in the sky,” said Jimmy Weekley, owner of Fausto, a landmark restaurant in Key West.

Buffett’s fanbase extended far and wide, and tributes poured in on Saturday. President Joe Biden conveyed condolences to Buffett’s family “and to the millions of fans who will continue to love him even as his ship now sails for new shores.” Former President Bill Clinton tweeted that Buffett’s “music brought happiness to millions of people.” Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys expressed his sentiments: “Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett,” and Paul McCartney described him as “one of the kindest and most generous people.”

Matt Urben, a devoted Parrothead (Buffett’s fans’ nickname) and a resident of Brooklyn, woke up to the news of Buffett’s passing. He joined fellow fans in New York City to reminisce. Urben, who has attended 48 Buffett concerts since his college days, remarked, “I actually got emotional. They were really special and really fun… Just so many stories and so many memories.” Afterward, he and a friend visited the Margaritaville restaurant in Times Square, an establishment within the Buffett business empire, which bills itself as “an island-inspired oasis in the middle of New York City.”

As “Margaritaville” played, Reid Johnson sang along, even though he wouldn’t consider himself a Parrothead, he admitted, “I’m very familiar with his music.” Jeanne Fetner, who had traveled from Northern Virginia with her daughter Avery to visit colleges in New York City, decided to celebrate Buffett at Margaritaville, where she sipped on a margarita. Her favorite Buffett song is “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” an ode to a beef patty and bun. Fetner fondly remembered a visit to Buffett’s house during a spring break trip to Key West years ago, where Buffett’s daughter Savannah greeted them, saying, “My dad can’t come out but he wanted to thank you for coming.”

Tracy Smith, who hails from Tampa, Florida, arrived at the Times Square restaurant with her daughters between Broadway shows. She shared, “We made a trip here to pay tribute to Jimmy Buffett, too. I bought all his music. I love him and I love his vibe. He makes people happy.”