Country superstar Blake Shelton is among many celebrities, including several alumni of “The Voice,” mourning the death of legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet, who died at age 76 on September 1, 2023. A statement on Buffett’s website and social media accounts announced the news.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” the statement said. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
Tributes to Buffett have poured in from fans and celebrities, including Shelton, who wrote on social media that he is “heartbroken” over the singer’s passing. Here’s what you need to know:
Jimmy Buffett Wrote Theme Song for Blake Shelton’s TV Show
Shelton paid tribute to Buffett with a tweet that was also shared to his Instagram Stories on September 2. Buffett wrote the theme song for “Barmageddon,” the USA Network game show Shelton created and stars in with “The Voice” host Carson Daly.
“Heart broken this morning hearing of Jimmy Buffett’s passing,” Shelton wrote. “What an incredible talent and man. His songs will live on forever. I’ll bet most of y’all don’t know that he wrote the theme song for @BarmageddonUSA for me about 2 years ago. Raising a glass today to the Son of a son of a Sailer.”
Though the theme song is performed by Blake Shelton, Buffett cowrote the theme song with Mac McAnally, according to USA Network, with lyrics that descibe the show as “a high tech, honky tonk shotgun wedding,” warning viewers that “anything can happen there and it usually does.”
In December, Shelton explained to USA Network’s digital correspondent Stephanie Gomulka that he originally wanted to use Buffett’s hit tune “Margaritaville,” as one of the show’s opening sing-along songs. But when he asked for permission, Buffett suggested he write a whole new tune for the show.
“So when you do these television shows and you’re gonna perform a song, you have got to reach out to the writers of the song and get permission,” Shelton said. “I have a mutual friend with Jimmy Buffett … and we reached out to get permission to sing ‘Margaritaville’ as one of the intro songs — every show opens with a sing-along song.”
Shelton continued, “And I got an email back from (them), they just forwarded Jimmy’s email back to him on to me that said, ‘Yeah, they can do this song … I love the title of that TV show. That sounds like a good song.’”
Shelton said he immediately knew Buffett was the perfect person to write a theme song and committed to singing whatever he wrote.
“I figured Jimmy Buffett can pull this off if anybody in the world can,” Shelton said. “It’s got to be Jimmy Buffett … it ends up being perfect. I mean, it really is actually just (a) good, fun song. It gets stuck in your head, and I mean, who else can say that Jimmy Buffett wrote the theme song for the TV show?”
‘The Voice’ Alums Bryce Leatherwood & Morgan Myles Pay Tribute to Jimmy Buffett
On September 2, Leatherwood shared two posts about Buffett’s death in his Instagram Stories, including one from The Sandlot Vintage, an online vintage apparel shop that Leatherwood follows. He didn’t add any comments to his posts, though.
Myles, who is currently crisscrossing the U.S. on tour, shared on social media how sad news of Buffett’s death made her.
The morning after his death, she tweeted a quote from the singer and wrote, “I don’t think anyone was ready to say goodbye to the beacon of light that #jimmybuffett was … #RIPJimmy”
In her Instagram Stories, she also shared a tribute image of Buffett and wrote, “I’m so sad … this just brought me to tears.”
According to TMZ, Buffett was diagnosed with skin cancer four years ago, which turned into lymphoma. The outlet reported that he entered hospice care in late August.
During the Mississippi-born singer-songwriter’s six-decade career, Buffett created his own signature sound, which USA Today called “a laidback, coastal seagoing vibe” beloved by millions of fans known as Parrotheads. He parlayed his signature sound into a brand with an empire of related businesses including Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants and Margaritaville-branded tequila and foods.
Liv Lane is an entertainment writer who covers the Hallmark Channel, The Voice, American Idol and HGTV for Heavy. She has three decades of experience as a radio host, publicist and motivational speaker, and is an accomplished watercolor artist. Liv attended the University of Minnesota and is based in the Twin Cities. More about Liv Lane
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