Remembering Jimmy Buffett: Re-Live His Final Performance And Memorable Last Words

Buffett passed away on September 1 at age 76 after a four year-long battle with a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma.

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on September 6, 2023

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Jimmy Buffett; Photo Courtesy of Amy Harris/TheTravelAddict.com

Jimmy Buffett passed away on September 1 at age 76 after a four year-long battle with a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma.

The iconic musician gave his final performance less than two months ago in a surprise appearance in July at Mac McAnally’s, a longtime member of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, show at Sunset Cove restaurant in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

McAnally was performing Buffett and Alan Jackson’s duet “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” and when he got to the line “At a moment like this / I can’t help but wonder / What would Jimmy Buffett do?” Buffett himself appeared on stage, telling his bandmate, “I would come play for you.”

Buffett grabbed a guitar and helped McAnally close out the feel-good track, telling the crowd after the song ended, “Well, it is good to see an audience, let me tell you.”

Watch Jimmy Buffett’s Final Performance Below

He stayed on stage for one more song, performing his signature hit “Margaritaville,” which also got the crowd singing along.

Sunset Cove owner Mike MacFarlane told CBS Boston that Buffett’s surprise appearance was “very impromptu.”

“Mac got ahold of me and said ‘Jimmy’s reached out and wants to come up and do a couple of songs, what do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s find a way to make it happen,’” he recalled, praising Buffett as “genuine, sincere, humble.” “I was in awe,” he added. “You can’t make that up. The ‘wow’ factor was unbelievable.”

Jimmy Buffett Memorable Last Words

Since Buffett’s death, his family has been sharing memories and reflections, including some of his final words.

In a column for the Keys Citizen, Buffett’s sister LuLu wrote a touching essay remembering her brother, revealing that she had a “beautiful goodbye visit” with him shortly before his death.

“He specifically asked me to bring my pup, JoJo, with me,” she shared. “And I also brought Gumbo and water and sand from the Gulf of Mexico that gave him so much joy to touch and taste those elements that inspired his dreams as a child. He had my grandfather’s twinkle in his eye to the end and he was very clear that the music, the party, and the good life was to continue with his robust optimism in tow.”

Jimmy Buffett; Photo Courtesy of Ticketmaster
Jimmy Buffett; Photo Courtesy of Ticketmaster

That wish was evident in Buffett’s final words to LuLu. “He didn’t care about resting in peace,” she revealed. “The last words he whispered to me were, ‘Have fun.’”

Buffett’s Sister LuLu Said Her Brother Needed A Miracle

LuLu noted that toward the end of Buffett’s cancer battle, “when we knew things were ‘going South’ as my Daddy used to say, there were lots of talks and texts about the need for a ‘miracle.’ That is when my husband, Mac, said sweetly, ‘Lu, the miracle is that we have had him for the last four years!’”

She concluded her column by praising her brother as “an ordinary man from an ordinary childhood that did extraordinary things that touched millions!!!” and sharing that she knows his spirit was present during a parade held on Duval Street in Key West, Florida September 3, which saw thousands of residents and visitors gather to celebrate the late singer.

Buffett’s final performances in Key West were in early 2023, and LuLu wrote that her brother “knew what he was doing when he booked four shows there in February! He wanted to go back and give back to the place that started it all for him.”

“I know that he is flying high above Mother Ocean, soaring up to the Pleiades, and was gliding over Duval Street yesterday,” she continued, “laughing and singing all the way with his beloved Parrotheads and friends.”

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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