Over the long weekend, on September 1, Jimmy Buffett died at 76 years old. A statement on the “Margaritaville” singer’s website reported that he had been fighting Merkel Cell Skin Cancer for four years. Aside from music, Buffett was a successful author, with best-selling books on the New York Times‘ best-seller lists for both fiction and non-fiction. He was also an incredibly successful businessman: A few months ago, he landed on the Forbes billionaires list for the first time thanks to his Margaritaville restaurants, stores, and hotels.
Ultimately, though, the music was the bedrock of it all, and he stayed committed to delivering good times right until the end: On July 2, he showed up at the Sunset Cove café in Portsmouth, Rhode Island for an unannounced surprise performance, which saw him play, among other hits, “Margaritaville” for the final time.
As Rhode Island’s WJAR reports, Buffett’s band member Mac McAnally was scheduled to perform that day, and as Sunset Cove owner Mike MacFarlane tells it, “Mac got a hold of me and said, ‘Hey, Jimmy wants to come up and do a few songs. What do you think?’ And I said, ‘Let’s find a way to make it happen.’ It was just impromptu. Just wanted to get out of the house.”
Buffett was in Long Island at the time, so he flew up to Portsmouth and played a surprise 45-minute set.
MacFarlane noted Sunset Cove is currently working on commemorative T-shirts of the performance and proceeds from sales will go to charity.