Last Updated: March 7, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$1 Billion
Dec 25, 1946 - Sep 2, 2023 (76 years old)
5 ft 6 in (1.7 m)
Writer, Songwriter, Novelist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Author, Film Producer, Musician, Businessperson
United States of America
💰 Compare Jimmy Buffett's Net Worth

What was Jimmy Buffett's Net Worth?

Jimmy Buffett was an American singer-songwriter, author, actor and businessmen who had a net worth of $1 billion at the time of his death. Unfortunately, Jimmy died on Sept 2, 2023 at the age of 76.

Jimmy Buffett earned a fortune embodying the "island escapism" lifestyle. He was perhaps best known for the hit songs "Margaritaville,"and "Cheeseburger in Paradise," both of which became anthems for those looking to escape the daily grind. Buffett's musical style is a unique blend of country, rock, folk and pop, infused with coastal and tropical lyrical themes.

Starting his career in the late 1960s, Buffett initially struggled to make a significant impact in the music industry. However, with the release of albums like "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" in 1977, which featured "Margaritaville," he cemented his status as a mainstream artist. He would go on to release more than 30 albums, and his concerts were often sold-out events featuring devoted fans, known as "Parrotheads," dressed in tropical attire.

Beyond music, Buffett built a business empire embodying the very lifestyle he sang about. This empire, which made him a billionaire, included restaurants, hotels, and even a line of merchandise. In typical years Buffett earned $50-100 million from his musical and business ventures. As of this writing there are dozens Margaritaville locations around the world. There are restaurants, casinos, hotels and vacation clubs. There are also dozens of retail outlets. The Margaritaville empire is owned by Margaritaville Holdings LLC, which is itself a subsidiary of Cheesburger Holding Company, LLC.

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Early Life

James William Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Christmas Day (December 25), 1946. He spent his childhood in the cities of Mobile and Fairhope, Alabama. He attended grade school at St. Ignatius School, where he played the trombone. He first enrolled at Auburn University for college, before continuing his education at Pearl River Community College at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a bachelor's degree in history in 1969. Following graduation from college, he worked a Billboard magazine correspondent in Nashville.

Music Career

Buffett's musical career began in Nashville, Tennessee, during the 1960s. He recorded his first album in 1970, country-tinged folk-rock number "Down to Earth." Buffett, who had been frequently found busking for tourists in New Orleans at the time, was soon taken by music singer Jerry Jeff Walker on a busking expedition to Key West in November 1971. This prompted Buffett to move to Key West and establish the easy-going beach-bum persona for which he is known. There, Buffett combined both folk and country music with coastal lyrical themes that produced a sound commonly known as the "gulf and western" sound. Thanks to his instant party hits, he gained a loyal following. Before 2003, songs played at every Buffett show were known as the "Big 8," including the song "Margaritaville" that helped him break into the mainstream. Other songs part of the "Big 8" include "Come Monday," "Fins," "Volcano," "A Pirate Looks at Forty," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Why Don't We Get Drunk," and "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes." With his 30+ album releases, eight of which are Gold and nine Platinum or Multiplatinum, and around 40 live tours to date, he has remained faithful to his well-established persona known as the easy-going beach-bum guy. He also enjoys a dedicated fan-base, nicknamed "Parrotheads."

During a performance in Nashville in April 2023, Buffett announced he recorded an album titled "Equal Strain on All Parts" that is yet to be released.

"When you wrote that song, did you have any idea what it would become?"

Buffett responded:

"It's been a pretty good song. No, it was written in five minutes about a hot day in Austin, Texas, with a margarita and a beautiful woman. I finished it in Key West. I had no idea."

Writing Career

Buffett is a successful writer, having written three number one bestsellers. His first book, "Tales from Margaritaville" (1989), is a collection of short stories. His second book is the novel "Where Is Joe Merchant?" (1992). These two books both spent over seven months on The New York Times Best Seller fiction list. His memoir "A Pirate Looks at Fifty" (1998) debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller nonfiction list. He has released several other novels, including "A Salty Piece of Land" (2004) and "Swine Not?" (2008). Buffett has stated that he plans to release his autobiography when he is about 86 years old (2032).

Additionally, Buffett co-wrote two children's books with his eldest daughter Savannah Jane Buffet: "The Jolly Mon" and "Trouble Dolls."

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Margaritaville and Business Empire

In 1997, Buffett collaborated with novelist Herman Wouk to create a musical based on Wouk's novel "Don't Stop the Carnival." It ran for six weeks in Miami, and Buffett released an album of songs from the musical in 1998. A new musical "Escape to Margaritaville" opened in May 2017 at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, running until July that year. It went on to perform limited runs in cities like New Orleans, Houston, and Chicago. The musical uses Buffett's classic songs, some of which were rewritten in order to better fit into the story, and features a book by Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley. The show eventually opened on Broadway in March 2018, directed by Christopher Ashley. It ran until that July, with a total of 29 previews and 124 regular performances.

Buffett is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his hit songs, "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Margaritaville." Furthermore, he is the owner of the Margaritaville Cafe restaurant chain and co-developer of the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant concept with OSI Restaurant Partners (parent of Outback Steakhouse), which operates the chain under a licensing agreement with Buffett. Buffett has also licensed a series of products under the "Margaritaville" name, including Margaritaville Tequila, Margaritaville Footwear, and Margaritaville Foods, which produces products like chips, salsa, guacamole, shrimp and chicken.

Under the Margaritaville Brewing label, Buffett partnered with the Anheuser-Busch brewing company in 2006 to launch LandShark Lager. He also opened the Margaritaville Casino at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in May 2013. Other real estate ventures he has made include Latitude Margaritaville, a $1 billion retirement village in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is a joint venture between Minto Communities and Buffett's Margaritaville Holdings. As of March 2018, 250 of the planned 400 lots had been sold, with home prices ranging between the low $200,000s to the mid-$300,000s.

Additionally, Buffett launched Margaritaville Records in 1993, distributed through MCA Records. After his deal with MCA ended following the release of his album "Christmas Island" in 1996, Margaritaville Records partnered with Island Records for a two-record deal. He later partnered with RCA Records for distribution in 2005 and 2006.

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Personal Life and Death

Buffett married Margie Washichek in 1969. They divorced in 1971. With his second wife, Jane Slagsvol, he has two daughters and an adopted son. Buffett and Slagsvol separated in the early 1980s but reunited in 1991. They resided in Sag Harbor, New York, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Buffett also owned a home in Saint Barts in the Caribbean. Buffett started the charity Save the Manatee, the world's leading manatee protection organization, in 1981 along with former Florida governor Bob Graham.

Unfortunately, Jimmy Buffett died on September 2, 2023. He was 76.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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