Jimmy Buffett wrote “Margaritaville” in 1977. It ended up being his only song to reach the pop Top 10. But the song carried him for the next 45 years. When you think Margaritaville, you think of an easy-breezy way of life. And that simple idea infused the brand of Buffett’s Margaritaville business empire. Between the song’s birth and the singer’s death this weekend, Buffett created a Margaritaville business empire that included bars, restaurants, casinos, beach resorts, retirement communities, cruises, packaged foods, apparel, footwear, and beyond. This spring, Buffett improbably made Forbes‘ list of billionaires. Above, you can watch a young Jimmy Buffet perform “Margaritaville” in 1978, right at the beginning of the song’s long journey from hit, to brand, to commercial empire.
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