With a massive net worth to show for it, singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett has created a successful brand through his music. Still, some fans will be shocked to find out how long it took him to write his hit song “Margaritaville,” especially compared to how much money it has helped make since its release.
Jimmy Buffett’s net worth is $600 million
Born in Mississippi on Christmas Day of 1946, Buffett has accumulated a $600 million net worth through his music and related business ventures, placing him among the richest musicians ever (per Celebrity Net Worth).
After one divorce, Buffett married his second wife, Jane Slagsvol, around 1977. They had two daughters and adopted a son. Though they separated in the ’80s, they reconciled in 1991 and are still together. In 2020, the couple sold one of their Palm Beach homes for $6.9 million after purchasing it in 2011 for $4.95 million (per Taste of Country).
Aside from music and real estate, Buffett is also a best-selling author, publishing a collection of short stories, a memoir, and several novels. He also released children’s books with his oldest daughter, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Jimmy Buffett said he wrote ‘Margaritaville’ in 5 minutes and it affected ‘just about everything,’ namely his net worth
Like many music artists, Buffett’s career started in Nashville with a sound blending rock, folk, and country. But he eventually moved to Key West and developed the “beach bum” persona and musical vibe his fans, known as “Parrotheads,” adore.
“Margaritaville” debuted in 1977 and was the first brick in a highly lucrative empire. The song represented a way of life, which translated into a successful brand. When asked if he knew what the tune would become when he wrote it, Buffett shared, “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,” he concluded (per the book Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way via Celebrity Net Worth). But he also explained how it had a lasting impact on his career. “Since I wrote the song 40 years ago, ‘Margaritaville’ has affected just about everything we’ve done,” he said (per Forbes).
“From getting me on the radio first,” he added, “to the evolution of the brand in so many areas that we couldn’t possibly conceive of in the beginning.”
Jimmy Buffet turned ‘Margaritaville’ into an everlasting money-making empire
Stores and restaurants with “Margaritaville” themes started cropping up in 1985 (per Forbes). And they spread across Florida, California, and New Orleans in the following decades. The brand is now active in 50 categories, including destination resorts, apparel, footwear, and home decor. Buffett even launched a national radio station, Radio Margaritaville, through Sirius XM Radio.
According to Buffett, one of his favorite things about success is how he enjoyed himself.
“I love that as successful as we’ve become, the basic principle that I learned on Bourbon Street, of having fun and engaging with fans, has always been a focus,” Buffett said. “I love ‘Margaritaville,’ the entire idea of it.”