Jimmy Buffett, whose sunny songs celebrated life by the sea, has died of a rare and aggressive skin cancer, according to a statement posted on his website.
Buffett, 76, suffered from Merkel cell cancer, according to the statement released after his death was announced on Saturday. The statement also reveals where the “Margaritaville” singer died: at his home in Sag Harbor, New York, near the Hamptons.
He had been battling cancer for four years while continuing to perform, most recently making a surprise appearance in Rhode Island in early July, the statement said.
Merkel cell carcinoma, as it’s known in the medical literature, is very rare and tends to spread quickly, including to parts of the body beyond the skin, according to the Federal National Cancer Institute. and the Mayo Clinic. Risk factors include prolonged sun exposure, weakened immune system, history of other cancers, fair skin, and over 50.
Buffett evoked a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle in songs such as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” and “Margaritaville.” He made the latter a brand encompassing restaurants, clothing, casinos and more.