Jimmy Buffett isn’t your typical millionaire singer with a pocket full of amazing, billboard-busting hits to show. The American crooner, who has spent more than 40 years singing about getting drunk and living a sun-soaked beach life, just has one album that reached the top of the Billboard 200, way back in 2004 (it was License to Chill).
Yet Jimmy sits atop an incredible net worth of more than half a billion dollars that he earned through his songs and a hefty amount of entrepreneurial skills. Back when Margaritaville was released, in 1977, it reached No. 8 on the Billboard 100. However, that was not the end of it.
Rather, Buffett successfully parlayed the fame that the song had garnered and spun it into an empire. There are Margaritaville restaurants all over the US, in Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlantic city, Key West, Orlando and more (he has the Margaritaville website as well). He owns the Margaritaville Cafe restaurant chain and Margaritaville Resorts in Hollywood Beach, Pigeon Forge, Orlando, Biloxi and Pensacola. He even owns vacation clubs in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas (he loves the sun, sand, and sea, as his lyrics have made amply clear). No doubt, in May 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek called it “the most lucrative song ever.”
And that is not the end of it.
In case you would rather prefer Cheeseburger in Paradise to Margaritaville, Jimmy has them as well. There are restaurants inspired by the song in California, Maryland, Indiana, Florida, Omaha and Maryland, among other places.
Concerts and books
Then there are his concerts, which have a huge fan following and draw a lot of cash. Buffett stood at number 20 In the list of top acts between 1990 and 2014 compiled by Billboard, raking a gross amount of $407.7 million in that period.
Buffett has also proved himself to be a bestselling author many times over. His books, Tales from Margaritaville and Where Is Joe Merchant? both spent over seven months on The New York Times Best Seller fiction list. A Pirate Looks at Fifty, published in 1998, became No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller non-fiction list. Buffett is one of the only eight authors in the list to have reached number one on both the fiction and nonfiction lists.
Jimmy’s other businesses include a casino, video games, and real estate.
A humble beginning
Born on December 25, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Buffett spent part of his childhood in Mobile, Alabama. He attended St. Ignatius School, where he played the trombone in the school band.
Buffett started his music career as a folk-rock musician in Nashville. After his first two albums flopped, Buffett headed for Key West, where he decided to change his style. While he maintained his folk-rock roots, his 1973 album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean was totally different from his first two attempts.
Live to give
Throughout years, Buffet has been active in philanthropic activities. He co-founded Save The Manatee Club In 1981 with Bob Graham, the former Florida governor, and senator. Its goal is to protect wild manatees and help their population bounce back.
The other charity that Buffett supports is Singing For Change, which he started in 1995. It provides grants to non-profit organizations actively involved in environmental issues.
The 70-year-old singer has been married twice. His first wife was with Margie Washichek, whom he divorced after three years. In 1977 Jimmy married Jane Slagsvol. He has been with her ever since.