The legendary Jimmy Buffett passed away of skin cancer on Friday. He was 76. Jimmy was a HUGE star . . . but at his heart, he was always a country singer, and he was an inspiration and influence to many country artists over the past few decades.
1. Kenny Chesney said, "Jimmy painted pictures and short stories in all the songs he wrote. He taught a lot of people about the poetry in just living, especially this kid from East Tennessee." Kenny also posted an early morning video of himself singing Jimmy's "A Pirate Looks at Forty" on a beach.
2. Toby Keith posted photos with Jimmy, along with the caption: "The pirate has passed. R.I.P. Jimmy Buffett. Tremendous influence on so many of us."
3. Old Dominion thanked Jimmy for "providing countless musicians like us a comfortable, welcoming place to create our own music." (Here's a clip of Old Dominion paying tribute to Jimmy over the weekend.)
4. 20 years ago, Jimmy appeared on Alan Jackson's singalong, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere", a massive Number One hit that earned Jimmy his first CMA Award, for Vocal Event of the Year in 2003. (Alan shared a tribute to Jimmy on Instagram.)
"It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" is #1 on Billboard's list of Jimmy's BEST country collaborations. Here's the rest of the Top 6:
5. A lot of musicians were celebrating Jimmy this weekend by performing renditions of "Margaritaville" . . . including Zac Brown. Halfway through his tribute, Zac told the crowd, "He [once] said he'd pass the torch on to us. It was one of the greatest honors of my life. [He was] such an incredible American poet and soul." (Here's video.)
6. In an interview online, Clint Black said, "People always say don't meet your heroes, because, a lot of times they disappoint. [Jimmy was] not one of those . . . he was a one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life, sweetheart of a guy. "Fun, funny, brilliant. He holds a special place in the hearts of all of us Parrotheads."
7. Blake Shelton Tweeted, "Heartbroken hearing of Jimmy Buffett's passing. What an incredible talent and man. His songs will live on forever . . . raising a glass today to the 'Son of a son of a Sailor.'"
8. Brad Paisley said, "He got the point of all this. Thank you Jimmy, for being the soundtrack to the best in life. Heartbroken. But thankful for you. Sail towards that distant horizon."